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Diabetes and arthritis: what's the link between them?

Diabetes and arthritis: what's the link between them?

About 30% of adults with diabetes also have arthritis. The article provides both causes and treatment strategies for both conditions

Commonalities between diabetes and arthritis

Dr. Alberto Chavez Velazquez, an endocrinologist at the Texas Diabetes Institute, acknowledges the similarities between type 1 diabetes and inflammatory arthritis. For example, both involve the immune system mistakenly attacking its tissues.

However, Chavez notes that the risk of joint issues isn't limited to those with type 1 diabetes. Individuals with prediabetes may also have connections to specific forms of arthritis. These links, he explained, can be attributed to lifestyle factors and the presence of inflammation (inflammation is also thought to play a key role in the development of type 2 diabetes).

Other factors Chavez said contribute to both type 2 diabetes and arthritis are aging and living with obesity or excess weight, which can accelerate or complicate chronic conditions like these.

Lifestyle strategies to improve its quality

Weight management is key to alleviating arthritis symptoms. Significant weight loss can notably reduce arthritis pain. The American Diabetes Association advocates weight loss and increased physical activity to combat prediabetes. Effective strategies include more exercise and reduced calorie intake. However, this can be challenging for individuals with arthritis and diabetes. Low-impact exercises like swimming or stretching are recommended. Weight loss can significantly relieve joint stress. Chavez also emphasizes the importance of quality sleep, as poor sleep can increase obesity and diabetes risks. He recommends a sleep assessment, along with lifestyle changes like limiting tobacco and alcohol, hydrating, managing carbohydrate intake, and a diet low in saturated fat.

According to the article from diaTribe Diabetes and Arthritis: Decoding the Link
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