Those with diabetes are quite familiar with how it affects their blood sugar, their kidneys, and their eyes and heart. Unfortunately, many are not aware of how diabetes can affect their joints until they are faced with an orthopedic problem.
It is a lesser-known consequence of diabetes, and at that point, many begin to ask: how can diabetes affect my bone and joint health?
What We Know And Don’t Know
It is clear that diabetes affects bone and joint health, but most researchers don’t understand exactly why. The fact is: when you have diabetes, certain orthopedic problems exist, and you are more likely to suffer from them.
Nerve damage known as diabetic neuropathy, arterial disease, and if a person is obese, are factors contributing to an increased risk of joint and bone disorders. Nevertheless, the cause is still not understood.
Types Of Bone And Joint Disorders
People with diabetes are twice as likely to develop arthritis. Uncontrolled diabetes over time will affect your muscles and skeleton leading to joint pain and nerve damage.
Let’s look at some of the bone and joint disorders which can result from diabetes.
Charcot Joint – Neuropathic Arthropathy
This condition occurs due to nerve damage, and it usually affects the feet. Tingling and numbness are common symptoms accompanied by entire loss of sensation. The foot can be red and swollen and sometimes deformed, but there is little pain.
If treatment begins early, your Madison Medical Associates Physician can slow the progression of the disease.
Frozen shoulder causes pain and very limited range of motion usually in only one shoulder. Physical therapy can help, if started early enough.
Osteoarthritis causes the bone cartilage to break down, and it leads to pain, swelling, and stiffness in any joint.
Those with type 2 diabetes have an increased risk due to obesity more than diabetes itself.
Exercise, losing weight, physical therapy, pain meds, and sometimes surgery can help relieve the pain.
Type 1 diabetes is a risk factor for osteoporosis that leads to weak bones and fractures. Advanced cases can cause stooped appearance and loss of height.
When you have trigger finger, the fingers can catch when you try to bend them. It is quite common in older patients who have had diabetes for many years.
Common in those who have had diabetes for many years, Dupuytren’s Contracture is a deformity that bends one or more fingers into the palm of the hand.
Managing Diabetes Is Key
In order to preserve bone health, it is essential to manage diabetes. The most effective way is to minimize alcohol consumption, stop smoking, exercise regularly, maintain a healthy body weight, and monitor your blood sugar levels.