Relationship Between Muscle Cramps and Diabetic Retinopathy in Type 2 Diabetes patients


A recent study conducted by researchers in China has claimed that muscle cramps are associated with diabetic retinopathy and occur frequently in patients with type 2 diabetes. Patients suffering frequent muscle cramps show higher familiarity with diabetic retinopathy (DR), and proliferative DR (PDR).

Muscle cramps usually occur during sleep or when the body is in a resting position. They are painful contractions of the skeletal muscles, which are induced by certain medical conditions and physical activities, for instance, exercise, hepatic and renal dysfunction, or metabolic disorders.

Some previous studies had revealed that approx. 60 percent of patients with T2DM suffer muscle cramps, and the pain that a T2DM patient goes through is much more severe than that experienced by a healthy individual.

Diabetic patients with PDR display higher severity, frequency, and longer duration of muscle cramps in comparison to those with Non-Proliferative (DR) or without DR.

Finding the reason behind frequent muscle cramps in T2DM patients, the researchers in the new study have suggested that it might be a result of microvascular dysfunction. Meanwhile, to alleviate muscle cramps, one can perform modulation of microvascular perfusion, which may provide a therapeutic target.

Common causes of muscle cramps

  • Neurologic, muscular, and endocrine disorders
  • Vitamin D insufficiency
  • Electrolyte imbalance (too much loss of body fluids by sweating or vomiting).

To conduct the study, a total of 150 adult patients suffering from type 2 diabetes were enrolled. Along with a visual analog scale for pain, the researchers administered a questionnaire on muscle cramping to the enrolled patients.

Out of 150 adult patients, 72 (48%) self-reported suffering from cramps during the three months of research. Out of these, 24 (33.3%) patients experienced cramps at least once a week, while, 31 (43.1%) suffered at least once a month, and the rest 17 (23.6%) patients reported muscle cramping once within the last three months.

Meanwhile, going by time of day, 49 (68.1%) patients reported experiencing cramps at night and 8 (11.1%) during both the day and night. The research has been published on March 15 by Dovepress publication.

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Post expires at 5:22am on Tuesday April 19th, 2022