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Type 1 Diabetics Have a Higher Chance of Fracturing Bones, Latest Study Finds

It has become a commonly-known fact (thanks to the plethora of medical-related websites on the internet), that Type 1 diabetes causes a person to develop a lot of complications such as damage to the nerves and kidneys, skin conditions, and also cardiovascular diseases.

However, according to a new study, one with significantly large sample size, has declared that the Type 1 diabetes sufferers who maintain a very high sugar level in their blood develop a greater risk of breaking a bone compared to those who maintain a normal blood sugar level on average.

The Study

Over 47,000 people were included in this study, all of whom had diabetes although only 3,329 had the rarer form of it, the Type 1.

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Diabetes is one of the most prevalent medical conditions in the world

A core difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes is that the former develops in the childhood years due to a problem with the pancreas, while the latter develops in the later years of life due to either obesity or old age, both of which make it harder for the body to manage optimal levels of insulin in the blood. Insulin is the hormone responsible for breaking down sugar present in the blood into usable energy.

The study also tried to standardize other factors in the demographics of the sample population, such as the fact that all patients included in the study had received their diabetes diagnosis in the UK and in between the year 1995 and the year 2015. The study recognized that during these years, 672 of the sample population with Type 1 diabetes had experienced a bone fracture, compared to 8,859 people who had Type 2 diabetes and reported bone fractures.

Upon further investigation into the causes behind bone fracture in people with Type 1 diabetics, it was discovered that people with an unhealthily high level of average blood sugar were 39% more prone to fracturing their bones compared to those who maintained a lower level of blood sugar. Having a level of blood sugar over time that could be considered moderately rather than unhealthily high was not recognized as a factor behind a higher propensity to fracture a bone.

For patients suffering from Type 2 diabetes, the level of sugar in their blood did not have any impact on their propensity or risk of fracturing a bone.

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Type 1 diabetics who maintain a dangerously higher level of blood sugar on average are more prone to fracturing their bones compared to those who maintain a moderate to low blood sugar level over time

It Is Better To Control

According to Dr. Francesc Formiga, who is associated with Barcelona University, the people who are suffering from Type 1 of diabetes must keep their blood sugar levels in control at all times, not only because they can reduce the risk of fracturing a bone this way, but also because it would help them lessen the risk of contracting other diseases associated with diabetes.

This obviously does not mean that Type 2 diabetics don’t need to control their level of blood sugar, as although they will neither increase nor decrease their risk of fracturing a bone by keeping their blood sugar in check, but a higher than healthy blood sugar level over time leads to many other complications which can potentially be life-threatening.

There is no doubt that diabetes of any form has long been linked with a higher risk of bone fracture, but now researchers are aiming to analyze whether the level of blood sugar has any impact on that risk. This study has certainly contributed to that analysis and revealed a very interesting fact for Type 1 diabetics who should now be more careful and keep their blood sugar levels in check at all times.

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The negative impacts of diabetes can be minimized by maintaining blood sugar levels either by modifying the diet or by injecting insulin

Other Complications

Bone fractures are not the only ailment which diabetics need to worry about. There are many other complications which may arise due to consistently high blood sugar levels, including impairment in cognition, retinopathy, or damage to the eye which sometimes makes it difficult to recognize objects.

Vascular complications such as retinopathy may arise in Type 1 diabetic patients, and according to research, increase the chances of the sufferer to experience a fracture by 29% compared to those are not suffering from such complications.

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