“Ah girl, don’t wait until it’s too late to take care of your health.”
Most times, a mother’s words will go unheard unless you’ve experienced a life-changing health scare. But if we don’t give our body proper attention and care now, it can lead to multiple illnesses in the future.
Take, for example, osteoarthritis (OA) which has a close link to diabetes. Studies have shown that hyperglycemia could promote joint inflammation and cartilage degradation through oxidative stress and inflammatory mediators induction as well as through accumulation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs).
In addition, increased insulin resistance in diabetes may be a factor in osteophyte development and subchondral bone sclerosis.
To put it in simpler terms, diabetic patients have a 46% chance of potentially suffering from OA. Likewise, OA patients need to manage their glucose level properly to reduce the risk of getting diabetes one day.
Also known as degenerative joint disease, OA is the most common type of arthritis which can be found in people at the age of 60 and above. But it doesn’t mean people in their 20s or 30s won’t suffer from OA.
Often times, the female gender is more susceptible to OA, especially after the age of 45. For men, however, it occurs more frequently before they reach 45.
As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure, so it’s worth looking at some of the factors that lead to OA including being overweight – which puts additional pressure on your hips and knees – as well as injury and overuse because repetitive movements or injuries to the joints can also lead to OA.
Mostly occurring in your hips, knees and spine, there have been cases where OA affects the finger joints and the joint at the base of your thumb or big toe.
Besides sugar management, OA patients should strive for a healthy body weight, maintain an acceptable range of blood pressure and lipid profile while doing regular exercise.
OA patients are encouraged to carry out low-impact exercises such as swimming, cycling and walking. Such exercises can help to maintain and improve muscle strength. With stronger muscles, it can support and protect the joints that are affected by OA.
High-impact exercises like running, hiking or squatting is a big no-no for OA patients, as it can cause the cartilage to break down further.
As a major cause of disability, OA can put a restriction on your movements as you will be in constant pain, significantly impacting your quality of life as you get older. In the long run, you will have to resort to surgical joint or knee replacement, while bearing the cost of medical expenses.
While diabetes is hereditary, so is OA with a gene defect. This usually happens when a defect in one of the genes is responsible for the cartilage component collagen, causing cartilage deterioration.
Newly diagnosed patients with OA should seek advice from any healthcare professional like a doctor or a pharmacist and get it treated immediately.
Those suffering from OA can also search for medication with an active ingredient known as crystalline glucosamine sulphate. Clinically proven with long term safety data and safe for consumption for those who require blood sugar control, this active ingredient can help to reduce joint pain and improve joint function.
In the long run, consistent intake can help to modify joint structure and potentially reduce the risk of having to go for surgery.