Justin Delgado is husband to Kacie Doyle-Delgado, diagnosed at age 11. After more than a decade together, he considers himself to be an expert carb counter and Dexcom inserter. He graduated with his Master of Science in Finance from the University of Utah in 2013 and has been working in commercial banking since then. He attended his first Friends for Life conference in 2015 and is looking forward to volunteering with the teens.
May 30, 2003
Question from Kingsbur, California, USA:
I have had type 1 diabetes for 37 years, and recently, I have been experiencing numbness in my hands. At first, I thought it was just sleeping on them during the night and cutting off circulation, but as it continued, I got worried it could have something to do with my diabetes and circulation. However, they were not numb upon rising; usually 30-45 minutes afterwards, and they alternated between right and left hand, and it was never consistent. I started tracking and recording when this occurred. Sometimes it happened in the morning; sometimes in the afternoon, but there never any consistency except I started noticing that whenever my blood sugar dropped, my hand or hands got numb! I had never heard of this symptom for hypoglycemia before! Sometimes low blood sugars produce this result; other times not. Since I have been tracking it, it does seem to be a precursor to a low blood sugar about 80% of the time. In fact, if I do feel the numbness, I can almost bet a low blood sugar is coming on. This is different than the "tingling" feeling I sometimes get with a drop in blood sugars, and is something quite new. It's really strange that it is happening all of a sudden during the past year or so. Is this a documented symptom of hypoglycemia or something rare/unique? Have other people with diabetes reported such a symptom?
From my clinical experience, this is not a common symptom of hypoglycemia. However, when low sugars occur, the nerves may not have enough glucose around to allow for a source of energy.
However, in addition to diabetes-related neuropathy, you need to consider whether this is also related to carpal tunnel syndrome which is associated with diabetes and gets worse with repetitive activities.