If you live in the Phoenix area, the American Diabetes Association’s Phoenix is a good place to get information on diabetes and its relationship with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Research has found that individuals with RA are up to 50 percent more likely to develop type-2 diabetes. Experts admit they don’t know if the inflammation associated with RA results in insulin resistance, which in turn increases blood sugar levels, or if living a more sedentary lifestyle because of RA pain makes one more susceptible. Also, the steroid medications used to treat arthritis can also make it harder to control blood sugar levels.
Dr. Wayne Evron, MD, an endocrinologist at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Pittsburgh explains, “When you have a lot of steroids in your body, your body makes glucose because it assumes you’re going to need it for some kind of ‘fight or flight’ response. But if you’re giving them to someone to control their RA, it can make their sugars higher.”
However, other experts point out a more obvious cause. Type-2 diabetes is often found in people who are overweight or obese, which are also risk factors in developing joint pain and conditions such as tendonitis. Carrying extra weight also exacerbates arthritis. So to hep prevent both diabetes and joint issues, experts stress the importance of maintaining proper weight.
Even just losing 15 pounds can cut knee pain by 50 percent as well as easing the stress on hips, ankles, and feet. Similarly, a 5 percent to 10 percent decrease in body weight can significantly reduce blood sugar, which could allow some individuals to wean off of insulin along with other medications.
Experts stress it doesn’t require an Olympian effort. Moderate exercise such as walking or hiking or riding a bike for as little as two and a half hours total a week, or a half hour a day five times a week, is enough to significantly improve health and help prevent or at least put off developing Type-2. It’s also important to eat well. Fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains all help control weight and also help control blood sugar.
One of the more interesting developments is using chiropractic care to help people with diabetes. Research published in the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research found positive effects of chiropractic when used as part of a treatment for adult onset diabetes. Another study published in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal, & Family Health focused on a four-year-old child whose blood sugar was stabilized via chiropractic care.
So scheduling regular visits with your chiropractor is not only good for you back and joints, but it could also help stave off type-2 diabetes.