We know that there are many serious side effects that come with diabetes. They are heart trouble, nerve damage, kidney failure, blindness & amputations. We now hear of a new connection of diabetes with high risk of bone fractures.
We got the transcript of an interview between the Bioscience-Medicine reporter Wendy Rigby and Dr. Ajeya Joshi of South Texas Spinal Clinic on this topic.
Rigby: So, let’s get started. Sir, how is it that having diabetes puts you at greater risk of brittle bones. What is happening here to increase the risk of osteoporosis in type 1one & type 2 diabetics?
Joshi: To start with, diabetes can actually affect every organ in our body. We have now found out that it affects our bones.
How diabetes affects bones
If we think that it is the sugar that is floating in our bloodstream, we know that the blood is flowing to the bones too.
The sugar goes into the bone matrix, corrodes it. It does not matter now much bone you have, it is how strong the bone is.
Rigby: That means that means that if a person has diabetes, they have more chances of a fracture than a normal person without diabetes.
Joshi: Yes, that is true. We have to interpret the bone scan for diabetic people differently. They have more chances of fracture. We did not understand these 5 to 10 years ago.
Rigby: So, what part of our body is most affected?
Joshi: For example, wrists fracture in a 50 year old female tennis player or a vertebral fracture which is very common.
Another important factor is the fact of how tall our patients are. We see people losing height over time.
The most important as we grow old is the shoulders and hips.
What exactly is the problem
Rigby: Here, how can we help a person if we know they are diabetic and developing this?
Joshi: We need to rethink how to help them with the low bone density. For diabetics, most important is to avoid the vascular problems like a stroke or kidney failure; most important is the control of sugar.
Rigby: You recently published this paper and data used from University Health System. Where was it published? & who exactly are you trying to reach out?
Joshi: Firstly, I was excited as I was part of such a research. Secondly, was published in the Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health.
Rigby: What exactly did you find about Hispanic diabetics?
Joshi: Being both diabetic & Hispanic increased the risk of fracture above the population that was diabetic but not Hispanic by 1 ½ – 2 times. Therefore, we have to give more attention to such patients. We must communicate, educate and do more research on the background behind it.
Precautions for the disease
Rigby: Right now, people hearing or watching this news might wonder how to make their bones stronger if they have this disease. What do they do?
Joshi: what I think is that you need to be aware of the things around you. Have a good lifestyle, eat right, and control your sugar. Manage your weight by walking daily, this is a good habit.
Research on diabetes and bone connection
Rigby: Sir, do you see more research done on this area in future.
Joshi: I certainly hope so.
Rigby: Alright, thank you so much for speaking with us Dr. Joshi; it was great to be here.
Joshi: It is my pleasure to be here. Thank you.
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