Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Health Center

Font Size

Carpal Tunnel May Predict Diabetes

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome May Indicate Future Diabetes Risk
WebMD Health News

Aug. 22, 2006 -- Carpal tunnel syndrome may be an early warning sign that diabetes is just around the corner.

The carpal tunnel is found in the wrist. In carpal tunnel syndrome, a nerve in the carpal tunnel becomes pinched due to swelling of the nerve and/or nearby tendons.

The pinched nerve can cause numbness, tingling, and sometimes pain in the fingers, hand, and forearm.

It's well known that people with diabetes are more likely to get carpal tunnel syndrome. But researchers wanted to find out if the risk actually goes up before diabetes develops -- when a person has pre-diabetes.

In pre-diabetes, fasting blood sugar is 100 to 125 mg/dL. Diabetes develops once the fasting blood sugar reaches 126.

The Diabetes Carpal Tunnel Link

So, researchers, including Martin Gulliford, FRCP, of King's College in London, looked at 2,655 patients with pre-diabetes who later went on to develop diabetes. They were compared with nearly 5,300 people without the disease.

Next, Gulliford's team scrolled back through nearly nine years of the patients' medical records.

The researchers found that people who had been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome were 36% more likely to later be diagnosed with diabetes, regardless of other diabetes risk factors.

That finding appears in the latest issue of Diabetes Care.

The study doesn't prove carpal tunnel syndrome causes diabetes.

Only 82 patients in the study had been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome. That number may be too small to draw firm conclusions, the researchers note.

But nerve problems are associated with diabetes, Gulliford's team says.

If the study's finding is correct, it may show that high blood sugar and other metabolic abnormalities can start affecting the body years before diabetes is diagnosed.

Today on WebMD

illustration of nerves in hand
Elderly patient undergoing water therapy
Nerve Pain Slideshow
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms
neural fiber
acupuncture needles in woman's back
Woman opening window
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Surgery