Diabetes is a metabolic disease, but it affects not only the presence of substances in the blood. In this disease, the level of glucose in the blood increases with the risk of other pathologies, for example, diabetes increases the risk of fractures.
Metabolism in patients with diabetes
As a metabolic pathology, diabetes not only affects blood glucose levels but also alters the balance of fats, proteins, and minerals. Insulin, which in this case changes, affects many processes in the body.
Complications of this disease are now known to be related to the heart and kidneys. However, it is also necessary to add the effect it has on bone tissue. Bones depend on both the level of calcium and the ability of bone cells to produce it.
Why diabetes increases the risk of fractures?
Both men and women with diabetes have a higher risk of fractures. Hormonal changes, inflammation, and even some medications are associated with this complication. What other possible reasons?
Prolonged high blood glucose damages the adipose tissue of neurons. Nerves, especially in the lower extremities, begin to transmit nerve impulses less efficiently. Indirectly, diabetic neuropathy upsets the balance, so people suffering from this disease are more likely to fall.
This term refers to the poor functioning of the nervous system, in particular the autonomic system. It is the part of the nerves that regulates and controls all those functions that do not require direct and conscious command.
Thus, when it comes to diabetic dysautonomia, patients have difficulty maintaining blood pressure when getting up. As a result, they usually lose consciousness and feel dizzy, which often leads to falls and fractures.
Osteoporosis is more common in diabetics than in the rest of the population. Insulin is an anabolic hormone that stimulates tissue production. Because they do not produce it properly, the process of bone regeneration becomes slower.
Retinopathy is another complication of diabetes. Small arteries located in the retina rupture and lose the ability to coagulate, as a result, it affects vision. Of course, any visual impairment increases the risk of falls and fractures.
What fractures are most common in patients with diabetes?
Several studies in patients with diabetes have been able to establish the relative incidence of fractures. This is good because they serve as a guide to which parts of the body these patients break most often.
First, in the case of type 1 diabetes, there is not enough insulin in the human body, so patients need to get more of it externally and artificially. Patients with type 1 diabetes suffer from osteoporosis and also have vision problems.
In this type of diabetes, the most common are fractures of the thigh and spine. This is noted in people with established concomitant diseases of the cardiovascular and renal systems.
On the other hand, in type 2 diabetes, forearm and hip fractures are the most common.
How to prevent the risk of fractures in diabetes
Although statistics indicate an increased risk of fractures in diabetics, there is something you can do (other than glycemic control) to prevent this damage.
The most important thing here is to consult a specialist. The patient should follow a strict diet and take medication to keep blood sugar ranges within normal limits so that there are no problems with the cardiovascular system and kidneys.
Physical activity is extremely important here. Diabetes increases the risk of fractures in people who sit constantly and have less muscle mass. Exercise helps the sugar to penetrate the muscles and strengthens the bone tissue.
It is also worth mentioning the introduction of Vitamin D. This can be artificially supplemented with drugs that are prescribed when the rates are very low or if a person lives in a cold area with little sunlight during the year.
Green leafy vegetables are a good option for increasing vitamins and calcium. The latter can also be obtained from dairy foods. Regular consumption of these foods helps the bones to regenerate and maintain internal density. As a result, fractures become less likely.
In addition to preventive measures, patients with diabetes need to do densitometry. This test measures bone concentration to see if there is a high risk of fractures due to weaker tissues.
All patients can take control of the disease. However, it is important to remember to consult a professional and take the necessary precautions to reduce the risk of bone damage.
Picture Credit: Unsplash