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Texas Orthopedics, Sports & Rehabilitation Associates

Monday, November 23, 2015

Arthritis and Diabetes

November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Although arthritis and diabetes are two very different diseases, they actually share strikingly similar traits.

In addition, those suffering from diabetes are nearly twice as likely to become arthritic than others, suggesting there may be a diabetes-arthritis connection.

Arthritis is caused by any number of culprits including age, autoimmune deficiencies, inflammatory issues, hereditary genes, and trauma. There are more than 100 different types of the disease, and it typically results in joint pain, stiffness, immobility, and severe swelling.

Diabetes occurs when the body does not properly produce or utilize the hormone insulin. Insulin converts glucose from food into energy. Limited, or a lack of, insulin causes glucose to remain stagnant in the blood, leading to a sluggish of fatigued feeling. Along with sluggishness, joint pain is another common symptom of diabetes.

Here are some other characteristics, in addition to joint pain, of both: 
  • Swollen nodules under the skin, especially in the fingers
  • Tight, dry, or thickened skin
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Poor circulation in and skin sores on the feet
  • Vulnerability to cardiovascular/heart disease
Proper diet and exercise both go a long way in helping to manage arthritis and diabetes. For arthritis, try consuming foods with anti-inflammatory properties, and for diabetes, limit sugar intake and monitor glucose levels vigilantly.

Staying active also can help keep affected joints flexible and promote healthy blood circulation throughout the body.

(Adapted from The Arthritis Foundation).

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