People who suffer from diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage) tend to have diabetic knee pain as well. Sometimes this may be just numbness, but sometimes extreme, unexplained pain can occur. Diabetic neuropathy is brought about by years of uncontrolled blood sugar levels. It is most common in patients who have suffered from diabetes for 25 years or more, according to LiveStrong.com.
People with diabetic neuropathy often experience tingling in their hands and feet, but many describe diabetic knee pain as well. Neuropathy in the knees indicates extensive nerve damage which is beyond repair. Keeping blood glucose levels on target can keep this type of nerve damage from occurring, and if you already have nerve damage, this can keep it from getting worse. There are other reasons for diabetic knee pain as well; so, if you experience this make a doctor’s appointment as soon as possible.
Reasons for Diabetic Knee Pain
Arthritis does not cause diabetes, and diabetes does not cause arthritis, however. People with diabetes tend to develop conditions which typically develop in most people at some point. It is just that diabetics tend to get them at a younger age because their body is not as stable.
Diabetics are almost twice as likely to have arthritis, according to ArthritisToday.com. If you have diabetes you probably are eating a healthy diet with smaller portions of food than most people eat. You may also be exercising lightly or moderately on a daily basis. These things are good for arthritis treatment as well as diabetes.
Diabetes causes musculoskeletal problems that can lead to joint pain, stiffness, and swelling. If you have had diabetes for several years joint pain, otherwise known as arthropathy, can occur. Recent studies have shown diabetes to be connected to rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, both of which can cause diabetic knee pain.
Interestingly, type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease and so is rheumatoid arthritis. Researchers have found that levels of the same inflammatory markers are increased in both rheumatoid arthritis and type-1 diabetes. In one study, which involved type-1 diabetes patients, the researchers found an increase in tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a), which is an inflammatory marker. TNF-a is also found elevated in various forms of arthritis as well.
Researchers later found that TNF-a could be inhibited, and drugs such as Humira and Enbrel are used in the treatment of both diabetes and arthritis. These medications may also help in the treatment of diabetic knee pain. If you have diabetic knee pain, be sure to talk to your doctor about which treatment options are available for your condition.