The age-related condition affecting millions could ‘play a role’ in bone deterioration

Osteoarthritis: Elaine reveals her experience of the condition

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According to registered osteopath Bethany Elliott-Hutton, one factor thought to contribute to the development of osteoarthritis is the metabolic disease, diabetes. Elliott-Hutton said: “The main cause of osteoarthritis is unknown, though there is thought to be a genetic correlation. “Other factors such as your environment, lifestyle, weight, previous joint trauma, and metabolic diseases, such as diabetes, are thought to play a role in the progression of osteoarthritis.”

Diabetes affects millions of Britons, with Diabetes UK stating 3.9 million people have been diagnosed with the condition.

While you may not have been told you have diabetes, if you haven’t had a recent check-up, it’s possible you may be affected.

Type 2 diabetes, for example, is extremely common; the blood sugar condition develops when the body either can’t make enough of the hormone insulin, or the insulin it does make doesn’t work properly.

The symptoms can be ever so slight, hence why type 2 diabetes can be overlooked for a number of years.

Subtle signs, according to the NHS, can include the urge to urinate frequently, especially during the night, and/or a feeling of extreme thirst.

High blood sugar, which essentially means there is too much glucose – a type of sugar – in the bloodstream, can also lead to increased hunger.

To elaborate, glucose is a type of sugar that floats in the bloodstream when you eat food.

If insulin is available, and is working properly, then glucose is absorbed by the body’s cells to be utilised as energy.

Without an adequate supply of insulin, the glucose stays in the bloodstream, which can have adverse health effects.

One such example is that glucose, in high quantities in the bloodstream, then irritates and damages the blood vessels.

The best way to know whether you have diabetes or not is to have your blood sugar levels tested via a blood test arranged by your local health practitioner.

If you do have diabetes, Elliott-Hutton suggested that it could worsen other health conditions, such as osteoarthritis.

“Symptoms can develop slowly and can worsen over time,” she cautioned.

The NHS highlighted the early warning signs of deteriorating joints (i.e. osteoarthritis) can include:

  • Joint tenderness
  • Increased pain and stiffness when you have not moved your joints for a while
  • Joints appearing slightly larger or more “knobbly” than usual
  • A grating or crackling sound or sensation in your joints
  • Limited range of movement in your joints
  • Weakness and muscle wasting (loss of muscle bulk).

Elliott-Hutton added: “There is no single treatment that cures osteoarthritis.

“But fear not, treatment for the condition has progressed over the years.

“And exercise has been demonstrated to play a very important role in helping with the symptoms of osteoarthritis.”

Elliott-Hutton recommends: water aerobics, stationary bikes, yoga, pilates, tai chi, and walking.

“Low-impact exercises like these will help reduce the stress on your joints,” she said.

Osteopath Bethany Elliott-Hutton is from BodyTonic.

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