Nearly 10% of the population has diabetes and among seniors over 65 years of age, it rises to over 25%. If you are one of the many who have been diagnosed with diabetes, you may be interested to discover why it’s important to keep your spine and nervous system in the best possible health and the steps you can take toward that.

Too much fat and sugar in your blood can damage nerves and the small blood vessels that supply your nerves with oxygen and nutrients. Without these, nerves can’t function properly and may be damaged over time. This is known as diabetic neuropathy.

The older you are and the longer you have diabetes, the greater the risk for nerve damage. The risks are greater if you have:

  • High cholesterol and blood fat
  • High blood pressure
  • Are overweight
  • Have kidney disease
  • Smoke
  • Drink too many alcoholic beverages

The most common type of diabetic neuropathy affects the nerves of your feet, legs, hands, and arms. However, the nerve damage in diabetes can involve the spinal cord, which connects almost all parts of the body to the brain.

Knowing how important it is to keep your nervous system and spine healthy, here are a few steps that you can take:

  • Keep your blood glucose numbers as close to your target as possible
  • Be physically active and take the diabetes medicines advised by your doctor
  • If you smoke, stop smoking
  • Tell your doctor right away about any problems you have
  • See your doctor at least once a year for an exam
  • Eat healthy meals and follow the meal plan
  • If you drink alcoholic beverages, limit your intake

At Spine & Orthopedic Center, we understand the challenges of managing your health with diabetes. If you are interested in finding out more about ways we can help you keep your spine healthy, please call or visit Spine & Orthopedic Center today for more information.