Diabetes And Rheumatoid Arthritis: Symptoms, Treatments!

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There’s been a dramatic increase in the cases of rheumatoid Arthritis and diabetes in the last few years. Even though these are two separate diseases, for most people, the diagnosis of one of them can result in a lifetime of struggle with the other. Studies have proven that there is a strong link between diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. If this is your situation, you can rest easy knowing that help is on its way.

The Connection Between Diabetes And Rheumatoid Arthritis

Diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis are both serious conditions that can have a major effect on your body. The good news is that there’s a new treatment option for people with both diseases. But in order to understand the connection between diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, it helps to know what they are.

Diabetes And Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease that affects the joints, such as the hands, feet, knees, and hips. Although the cause is unknown, genetics and environmental factors appear to play a role.

Diabetes is when your blood glucose (sugar) levels are too high because your body doesn’t produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood glucose levels.

The Symptoms Of Diabetes And Rheumatoid Arthritis

The symptoms of diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis can be similar. Both diseases cause pain and swelling in the affected area. The main difference between the two is that you can’t control rheumatoid arthritis with diet or exercise.

Rheumatoid arthritis usually affects joints in the hands, wrists, and feet but can also affect other areas of the body, such as the spine and neck. But, if it’s not treated early, it can lead to permanent joint damage and disability.

Diabetes is a disease where your body doesn’t produce enough insulin or can’t use it properly. This leads to high blood glucose (sugar) levels, affecting many parts of your body, including your nerves, eyes, kidneys, and heart.

The Causes Of Diabetes And Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes are both autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune diseases are caused by an immune system attacking the body’s cells and tissue. In rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system attacks the joints, while in diabetes, it attacks the pancreas.

Other autoimmune diseases include Graves’ disease (hyperthyroidism), Sjogren’s syndrome, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, multiple sclerosis, and celiac disease.

Autoimmune diseases can develop at any age but are most common between the ages of 40 and 60 years old. They can also affect children and teens. Disorders such as lupus are more common in women than men, while rheumatoid arthritis is more common in men than women.

 autoimmune diseases

The impact of diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis on daily life

The impact of diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis on daily life

The impact of diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis on daily life is significant. Both conditions can cause pain, fatigue, and loss of mobility, which can impact your ability to work, take care of yourself, and participate in social activities.


People with diabetes may experience fatigue, itching, numbness or tingling in their extremities, confusion, and difficulty concentrating. They may also have skin ulcers, infections, and wounds that don’t heal well (diabetic foot). Routine tasks such as bathing or dressing may become difficult due to pain or stiffness in the hands or feet.

Rheumatoid arthritis

People with rheumatoid arthritis often have joint pain and stiffness in the morning. They might also have fatigue, weakness, or weight loss due to anemia (low red blood cell count). In some cases, rheumatoid arthritis can affect your eyesight because it affects the muscles around them.

The treatments for diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis

Take note that these two conditions, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, are among the most common—and devastating—illnesses worldwide. And the treatments for them are quite similar. Both diseases are highly debilitating and painful, with severe effects on the body’s tissues, including those of the joints and extremities.

In both cases, patients must adhere to a stringent diet of carbohydrates. In most cases, this means cutting out all sugar from their diets: no more cakes or cookies (for diabetics) or no more chocolate or caffeine (for RA sufferers). This can be a massive change for patients to accept.

In addition to this diet, both groups of patients need to take injections of insulin or other drugs. For people with diabetes, this is a necessity: their bodies can’t produce insulin on their own anymore, so they need it to survive.

This is merely a recommendation for the RA group: many still have functioning immune systems that keep them alive and healthy without such treatment. However, they do still need an injection every day (or once every few weeks) as part of their treatment plan.

About Tim Mathew

Tim Mathew is an Endocrinologist specialized in general endocrinology, diabetes, and lipid metabolism. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in a science-related discipline and completed a medical school program in New York. Once Tim Mathew quoted that Endocrinology is both a challenging and rewarding medical specialty, so he wants to specialize in it. To know more about Tim Mathew kindly go through our about page.

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