National Diabetes Awareness Month: Missouri Focus on Diabetes and Arthritis

Are you or is someone you love at risk for type 2 diabetes?  November is National Diabetes Awareness Month – a good reminder find out if you are at risk for diabetes (and learn the risk factors) and to think about how prevention activities can be incorporated into your life to prevent or delay the onset of this chronic health condition.  During American Diabetes Month®, the American Diabetes Association is asking the diabetic community to submit a personal image to the Association’s Facebook mosaic representing what A Day in the Life of Diabetes means to them to showcase the extraordinary effort it takes to live a day with diabetes.  

Perhaps you or someone you care for have already been diagnosed with diabetes – you’re not alone! 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), diabetes affects 25.8 million people (8.3% of the U.S. population) (National Diabetes Fact Sheet, 2011).  Here in Missouri, 10.2% of adults had been told by a doctor that they have diabetes.  Of those Missourians with diabetes, over half (55.5%) have arthritis also.  In yesterday’s article on the Impact of Obesity on Arthritis, we mentioned that a greater number of Missourians who are obese also reported having arthritis.  The same is true for diabetes; having both diabetes and arthritis is more prevalent in Missouri than nationally (55.5% to 47.3%)*.

Whether you have recently been diagnosed with diabetes or have lived with diabetes for decades, you may experience ups and downs in your normal care of your diabetes.  Similar to persons without diabetes, you may not want to be physically active.  If you have arthritis and diabetes, you may have extra motivation to not by physically active if your joints are causing you pain.  This physical activity may not be anything “extra”, but instead may be a usual activity like climbing stairs in your home or to your apartment, walking to the end of your driveway to get your mail, or carrying groceries into your home.  Having more than one chronic health problem (such as arthritis and diabetes) can further complicate participation in regular activities.  25.7% of adults in the United States who had both arthritis and diabetes indicated limitations in regular activities as a result of their arthritis (CDC). 

One way to combat limits in your usual activities due to arthritis or diabetes is to participate in self-management education courses.  If you are a Missourian who is diabetic and has arthritis, physical activity can help to reduce the rate and occurrence of these health problems.  The Missouri Arthritis and Osteoporosis Program (MAOP) and its Regional Arthritis Centers (RACs) offer both self-management and physical activity programs throughout the state of Missouri.  Click here to find a class near you.

As always, there are lots of resources available to persons who have chronic health conditions.  If you specifically struggle with arthritis and diabetes, consider taking a look at:

 Also, don’t forget, tomorrow, November 14 is World Diabetes Day 2013!

*Missouri’s numbers were taken from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) Survey, 2011.  National numbers were provided from 2010-2012 data from the National Health Interview Survey.

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