The Diabetes Arthritis Connection

By Mary Loftis, Extension Associate

Work in the yard one day and you’re stiff the next.  Take a long walk and your knees ache.  It’s just part of the aging process, right?  Yes but your diabetes may have something to do with it.  People with type 2 diabetes are almost twice as likely as with normal blood glucose to develop osteoarthritis. 


Through extensive world-wide research conclusions are being drawn that diabetes must have a direct effect on the joints.  Diabetes is an independent predictor for severe osteoarthritis.  Scientists are not sure why diabetes contributes to joint damage, but they have theories.  People with diabetes and especially poorly controlled diabetes, tend to have difficulty healing.  It takes longer for joints to heal after injury, and joint damage is the result.  Out-of-control diabetes may also promote the production of inflammatory substances that degrade joints.  Researchers are starting to think of osteoarthritis not as a wear and tear condition and more as part of the disease complex know as metabolic syndrome. 


Unfortunately for people with multiple health issues, joint pain often takes a back seat.  Doctors don’t ask about it, or patients thinks it’s just a normal part of aging.  Caring for joints may play an important role in controlling your diabetes.  Arthritis in the knees and hips is very likely to interfere with the ability to exercise, which those with diabetes need to do to control weight, cholesterol and blood glucose levels. 


During the November 14 session of “Control Diabetes for Life” we invite you to learn about the diabetes and arthritis connection. The program will help you learn how to protect your family members and what information to share with your medical team.  During the program you will also learn now making healthful eating and staying active as a family a high priority will help in prolonging the development of diabetes.  Healthy eating and staying active benefits your entire family.    Feel better and stay healthy for years to come by exercising and lowering your blood glucose level.

The program “Control of Diabetes for Life” will be held on Monday November 14 from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at the Tekamah Herman High School. The program will be held in a new location in the school. Come to the front doors and look for the yellow signs leading you to the Home Economics room.

“Control Diabetes for Life”, is a program to help participants learn to control diabetes and prolong the onset of complications.  Topics that will be covered during the November 14 session include:  “How Medicine Works to Control Blood Sugar Levels”, “The Diabetes Arthritis Connection”, “10 Steps for More Energy”, “Managing Alcohol with Diabetes”, “Insight from Food Diaries”. The program is a joint project, sponsored by University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension, Franciscan Care Services of West Point and cooperating schools, and is offered free-of-charge.

Participants are asked to pre-register for “Control Your Diabetes for Life” by calling the Burt County Extension Office. Please register by Friday, November 10, so the proper number of handouts may be prepared. If too few register for this free program it will not be held, but a DVD will be available in a few weeks.

Nebraska School Food Service Association has approved this session for two hours of continuing education credits for food service staff for attending.

Control of your diabetes for life! Start by attending the November 14 distance education program. Call today to register!



About katcountryhub
I am a graduate of Northeast Community College with a degree in journalism. I am married to Jeff Gilliland. We have two grown children, Justin and Whitney and four grandchildren, Grayce, Grayhm, Charli and Penelope. I will be covering Lyons, Decatur, Bancroft and Rosalie and am hoping to expand my horizons as time progresses!

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