Nearly 10% of the population has diabetes. In fact, 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, it’s critical to keep your spine and nervous system in the best possible health. So, why are diabetics at high risk for spine problems?
Too much fat and sugar in your blood can damage nerves. It can also damage the small blood vessels that supply your nerves with oxygen and nutrients. And, without these, nerves can’t function properly and may be damaged over time. This is known as diabetic neuropathy. However, some people are at higher risk than others.
Who’s At Risk?
The older you are, and the longer you have diabetes, the greater the risk for nerve damage. However, the risk is much greater if you have the following:
- High cholesterol and blood fat
- High blood pressure
- Have kidney disease
- 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. Therefore, what can we do for diabetics at high risk for spine problems?
Steps for Diabetics at High Risk for Spine Problems
First off, it’s critical to know how important it is to keep your nervous system and spine healthy. But, there are a few steps that you can take to minimize these risks, such as:
- 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. To find out more about ways we can help you keep your spine healthy, please call 888-409-8006. Or, schedule an appointment online now.