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Study warns trigger finger could be sign of high blood sugar

High blood sugar: What are the warning signs?

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High blood sugar is notorious for the damage it inflicts on the nerves, but it can also wreak havoc on the tendons. In fact, diabetics who poorly manage their blood sugar are more highly susceptible to tendon conditions. According to the findings of a new study, complications like trigger fingers could directly be linked to high blood sugar levels in people with the condition.

Trigger finger describes a condition where one or two fingers become bent due to the thickening of tendons.

In this condition, the thickening of the tendon causes fingers and their connective tissue sheath to thicken.

The NHS explains this can cause the hands to become stiff or painful when gripping objects, particularly “first thing in the morning”.

As a result, the finger becomes fixed in a bent possession toward the palm and may produce a clicking sound when straightened.

According to the Merivale Hand Clinic, there are various differences in the clinical presentations of diabetic trigger finger and non-diabetic trigger finger.

“Diabetic trigger finger is more common in women than non-diabetic trigger finger,” explains the health body.

In fact, the risk of trigger finger is six times greater for women than it is for men, according to Arthritis Health.

Other risk factors include being between the ages of 40 and 60 or having an occupation that requires frequent gripping.

“Trigger finger in diabetics is also more likely to present in both hands and in multiple digits,” adds the health body.

A recent study led by Lund University in Sweden shows that the risk of being affected by the finger condition increases in the presence of high blood sugar.

Mattias Rydberg, a doctoral student at Lung University, and the first author of the study said: “At the hand surgery clinic, we have noted for a long time that people with diabetes, both type 1 and type 2, are more often affected by trigger finger.

“Over 20 percent of those who require surgery for this condition are patients who have, or will develop diabetes.”

The study leaders looked at two registers to examine whether high blood sugar increases the risk of trigger finger.

Results showed that high blood sugar increased the risk of both men and women being affected by the condition, in both groups with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

More specifically, the group of men with the most poorly regulated blood sugar had a fivefold higher risk of being affected, compared to men with well-regulated blood sugar.

Rydberg noted: “However, we can’t know for certain if any of the groups seek healthcare more often than others which could be a factor that affects the results.”

Their results strengthen the notion that high blood sugar is an influential factor for the development of a trigger finger.

The reasons for this, however, remain unclear.

It is believed that high blood sugar levels contribute to the condition by creating cross-links between collagen molecules.

The result of this is a build-up of collagen in the tendon sheaths or around the flexor tendons, which limits flexibility.

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