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Ways in Which Diabetes Cause Joint Pain

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There are various ways through which diabetes causes pain in the joints which, in turn, results in the damage of the nerves and joints. Diabetes, if not controlled, can affect the bones and muscles in the body over time leading to several health problems such as nerve damage and joint pain. It is often linked with two major types of arthritis.

In addition to this, people who have diabetes are most likely to develop arthritis, according to the Arthritis Foundation. There is a lot of information you must know about the link between diabetes and arthritis, a few of which are discussed in this article. 

How does Diabetes Cause Joint Pain?

Diabetes is a chronic condition that is characterized by problems with blood glucose and insulin (a hormone that is responsible for delivering blood sugar into body cells). A person who does not seek treatment for high levels of blood sugar is likely to suffer from several health conditions. 

Type-1 Diabetes is an autoimmune condition that occurs when insulin is not produced by the pancreas whereas type-2 diabetes is a condition that is acquired which often causes the body to produce fewer levels of insulin. Described below are some of the ways through which diabetes can cause pain in the joints. 

Musculoskeletal Problems

Diabetes can result in the breakdown of musculoskeletal cells if a person refuses to seek effective treatment leading to damage in joints that often affects joint movement. It can also cause changes in the blood vessels and nerves which normally results in hand abnormalities in people with diabetes. 

Also, many joint conditions are seen to be developing in people having type 1 or type 2 diabetes. These are often correlated with the duration and control of this condition.  

A person having diabetes may suffer from inflammation, pain, and stiffness when the bones rub together while cushioning does not work properly due to damage in the joints. As a result, the person may experience decreased mobility at their joints. 

How is Diabetes Linked to Arthritis?

Though people having diabetes are most likely to develop arthritis, the risk of this condition can differ depending on the type of diabetes. 

Type 1 Diabetes and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Both type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis are autoimmune disorders that attack the healthy parts of the human body. The tissues in the joints are attacked by the immune system in a person having rheumatoid arthritis which often results in causing pain, swelling and other deformities in the person. 

In the case of type 1 diabetes, the pancreas of the person is attacked by the immune system which results in stopping the production of insulin. 

Type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis cause inflammation and various clinical signs of inflammation. A person having one kind of autoimmune condition is more likely to have the risk of developing another kind. This perfectly explains why rheumatoid arthritis and type 1 diabetes co-exist in people. 

Type 2 Diabetes and Osteoarthritis 

Type 2 diabetes is strongly associated with overweight. Having obesity or excess weight increases the risk of developing osteoarthritis in people as extra stress is put on the joints, especially on the lower parts of the body. 

Maintaining a healthy weight by sticking on to practices like exercise and a healthy diet can reduce the chance of developing this condition. Losing fifteen pounds often improves the levels of knee pain in a person having osteoarthritis, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Losing 5 to 10 percent of the total body weight can help in decreasing the levels of blood sugar significantly, in people having type-2 diabetes. This often helps in taking less medication for the condition. 

Management and Treatment 

Taking anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen can often help reduce the swelling and pain in the joints. Always speak to your doctor about the short and long term benefits of these medications. 

If symptoms like pain and inflammation persist even after taking medication, it is important to discuss other options of treatment with your doctor. Patients are seen to be benefiting from orthotics, braces, medication, and lifestyles, or a combination of any of these. 

Both types of diabetes have different forms of treatment. People suffering from type-1 diabetes need to take insulin in various forms for controlling the levels of blood sugar. Though people with type 2 diabetes also need forms of insulin, they only need the kind of medications that approves the response of insulin to blood sugar. Receiving treatment in the early stages can be helpful for a person to avoid the complications associated with the condition such as malformation and joint damage.