Arthritis and Diabetes

Osteoarthritis runs rampant through the bones and joints of women in my family.  I spent years watching my mother, grandmother and other women in my family quietly struggle with this painful and frustrating condition. They were always suppossed to be grateful because they did not have a diagnosis of Rheumatoid arthritis. Type 1 diabetes and Rheumatoid arthritis are both autoimmune based. I am grateful that diabetes does not run rampant in my family. What is the official connection between diabetes and arthritis? Is there a link between type1 and osteo-arthritis?

According to the Arthritis Foundation: “Arthritis and diabetes are not directly related, but the diseases often overlap. In fact, recent reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that more than half (52 percent) of people with diabetes also have arthritis.

Arthritis literally means joint inflammation. But the term is often used to refer to any of the more than 100 diseases that affect the joints – where two or more bones meet to allow movement. Currently, there are 46 million people diagnosed with arthritis in the United States. The most common types of arthritis are:
Osteoarthritis – a condition in which the joint cartilage – the tough, smooth, shock-absorbing tissue that covers the ends of the bones where they meet – breaks down causing pain and stiffness.

Rheumatoid arthritis – a condition in which the body’s immune system attacks the thin membrane (synovium) that lines the joints, causing pain, swelling, inflammation, redness, heat and, if not stopped, joint destruction.” I am continuing to research the connection between both types.

So how did this topic come to the forefront of my concerns? My emotions got the better of me. Today happens to be my neice’s 12th birthday. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 12. Realizing that this was the year my life changed as a child, I have been surprisingly more emotional than expected. As it happened, on this day I also had my very first arthritis knot pop out on my pinkie finger!

I became emotional, angry, and sad when this happened. I had my own little pity party, and although I kept telling myself to snap out of it, I could not seem to manage to do such a thing. I realized that it was ok to be upset. I can’t let arthritis overrun my thoughts for the entire day, but I can acknowledge it. I can be angry with it, and then I can focus on moving forward.

It is funny, how many times a Person with Diabetes (PWD) tries to protect their emotions by saying that their condition could always be worse. I find it amusing that so many peoploe try to stifle their emotions by comparing it to a worse prognosis. I watched this with arthritis growing up, and I witness it constantly with my clients living with diabetes.

I am angry that this condition has started in my body. I am angry that I live with diabetes. I also try to remember for myself, just as I tell my clients, that this is acceptable. I am allowed to feel these things. I need to handle those emotions properly and then move forward.

I can take steps to modify my lifestyle even futher to ensure that I am eating the best foods for my body and exercising in the manner that supports healthy bloodsugars and healthy joints. I also will remember to speak to my doctor about this. I will not sit by and accept that “it just is”. I will make positive changes in my life to curb the effects of this. I do this with diabetes, and now I will do it with arthritis. You can do this with any condition with which you might be struggling.

There seem to be more and more connections between diabetes and other conditions. There are high correlations between diabetes, celiac, carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, reflux, and more. Is it pleasant? No. Can we react in better ways? Yes. Keep researchin, and don’t just accept that you have to suffer through these conditions. Find out how they might link together and how to live with them the best way for you!

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