If This Happens To Your Fingers, It Could Be A Sign Of Diabetes

Diabetes is a progressive disease, meaning that symptoms worsen over time if they are not treated. Even with treatment, you may need to pay attention to your body because it changes as you age (via American Diabetes Association). If you have diabetes or are at risk, it is important to know what to look for. The most common signs of diabetes are frequent urination, thirst, unexplained weight loss, blurry vision, fatigue, and hunger, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

However, there are other less-talked-about symptoms of the disease, and these include sweet-smelling breath, dark patches of skin around the neck, frequent infections, and dry mouth. High or low levels of blood sugar can also make you lightheaded and cranky. Because diabetes can cause nerve damage, or diabetic neuropathy, people with the condition can experience leg cramps and itchy hands and feet. In addition, neuropathy might cause people to struggle with nausea, per Healthline.

How diabetes affects the skin

Another sign of diabetes that you might not hear so much about has to do with the skin on your hands and feet, which can become hard and thick. This condition usually develops on the fingers and toes, and it is called digital sclerosis. The skin on the back of hands may feel tight and look waxy, according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association. This tightness will make your fingers feel stiff, and it makes moving them more difficult. Left untreated, thick skin can develop on the forearms and even the upper arms. Some people experience thick, hard skin on their elbows and knees. Digital sclerosis can even spread to your tendons, making it hard to straighten your fingers, per Verywell Health.

If you notice the skin on your fingers becoming thick and hard, discuss it with your doctor. Physical therapy can help you gain movement in your joints, according to Verywell Health.