Osteoarthritis, Diabetes and You.

Approximately 14% of adults age 25 and older, and 33.6% of adults age 65 and older have osteoarthritis (OA), the most common form of arthritis.

There are two types of OA. Primary, which has no identifiable cause and secondary which occurs as a result of trauma. Genetics may play a significant role in primary osteoarthritis. Studies recognize that knee, hip and hand primary OA may have a genetic link. Almost 75% of adults with knee, hip and hand OA are predisposed to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. For adults with OA and a family history of type 2 diabetes, the probability of developing type 2 diabetes is higher than if they had a family history alone.

In 1976, the Tahoma Clinic looked at controlling OA with niacinamide. 81% of their OA subject group had insulin abnormalities. 75.7% were insulin resistant, 5.4% had an abnormally low insulin response (a type 1 diabetic precursor.) Only 11% had normal insulin behaviors. More recent studies have identified that 60% of OA subjects had metabolic syndrome (only 20% of those without OA had metabolic syndrome.) This suggested that there is a strong connection between the genetic predisposition to insulin resistance and OA.

Insulin resistance is a hallmark of metabolic syndrome which is defined by abdominal obesity (40″ waist on a male, 35″ waist on a female), low good cholesterol (HDL) of less than 40 for men and 50 for women), high triglycerides (over 150 mg/dL), high blood pressure (greater than 130/85) and/or fasting blood glucose of 100 mg/dL or higher. Untreated, metabolic syndrome will become type 2 diabetes within a decade for most adults. These signs compounded with OA of a joint place you at very high risk for type 2 diabetes.

Are you at risk?

If you have OA and type 2 diabetes is in your family you are more likely to be insulin resistant and on the path to having type 2 diabetes yourself – especially if you have OA, waistline obesity, high cholesterol, high triglyerides or high blood pressure.

Working with a doctor who is well versed in natural and nutritional medicine can be a great way to ensure that you minimize your risk of both a life of pain (for osteoarthritis) and medication (for diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol.) For those of you experiencing these issues proactive choices are available through the doctors in our clinic (636) 928-5588.