Those who are unable to keep your blood sugar levels under control run the risk of various bone and joint disorders. Factors such as nerve damage (diabetes neuropathy) and obesity may contribute further to these complications. Therefore, we asked our Diabetes Care Expert, Sana Saiyed to share some simple tips to manage osteoarthritis.
What is osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis occurs when the protective cartilage on the ends of your bones wears down over time. Although osteoarthritis can damage any joint of your body, it most commonly affects joints located in your arms, knees, hips, and spine. People with type 2 diabetes have increased chances of osteoarthritis, likely due to obesity.
What are the symptoms of osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis’ symptoms often develop slowly and worsen over time. Symptoms include:
- Pain: Your joints may hurt after or during movement.
- Tenderness: Your joints might feel tender when you apply light pressure on it.
- Stiffness: You might notice joint stiffness when you wake up or after a period of inactivity.
- Loss of flexibility: Movement of joints in full range might be hampered.
How can you manage osteoarthritis?
Eat a nourishing meal: It is important to have a diet rich in calcium and Vitamin D to maintain healthy bones. Low-fat dairy products and dark green, leafy vegetables are a good source of calcium. Vitamin D plays an essential role in calcium absorption and bone health. Our bodies need exposure to sunlight to be able to use this vitamin. When you don’t spend enough time outdoors, you can be deficient in this vitamin even if you follow the right diet. In this case, Vitamin D supplements might be required.
Exercise: Similar to your muscles, bones are a living tissue that grows stronger with exercise. Weight-bearing is one of the best exercises for your bones. Pair it with other exercises, for instance: walking, dancing and climbing stairs.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle: Avoid smoking! Smoking is not only bad for your bones but also your heart and lungs. Women who smoke tend to go through menopause earlier, triggering premature bone loss. Besides, people who smoke tend to absorb less calcium from their diets. The same goes for alcohol. Heavy drinkers are more prone to fractures and bone loss because of poor nutrition as well as at increased risk of stumbling.
What are the foods that you should include in your diet?
- Dairy products like yogurt, cheese
- Fruits like lady finger, cabbage, spinach, bell peppers, dark green leafy vegetables
- Vegetables like banana, papaya, strawberries
What are the foods that people with osteoporosis should avoid?
- Processed food
- Packaged food
- High sodium foods like chips, canned food etc.
- Sugary snacks, soda etc