13:47 PM

Diabetes Raises Your Risk of These Spine Conditions

Health Central reports on how too much blood sugar can lead to back pain according to experts including Jessica Rachel Starr, MD, endocrinologist at HSS. 

Uncontrolled diabetes is like a wrecking ball that crashes into your entire body. Left unchecked, this insidious illness can wreak havoc on multiple organ systems. Over time, your cardiovascular system, neurological function, kidneys, oral health, and even your eyes can suffer damage from drastic blood sugar fluctuations.

"Diabetes is more than just problems with blood sugar. It's a state of chronic inflammation,," said Dr. Starr. 

At least four spinal conditions are thought to be linked to diabetes including lumbar disc degeneration, spinal stenosis, spinal epidural abscess, and vertebral osteomyelitis. The disease can affect each condition’s development in a different way.

Dr. Starr said that none of these spinal conditions directly causes diabetes development. However, she offered an important caveat on this issue.

“Getting epidural steroid injections for pain related to these conditions can lead to diabetes in someone predisposed, like in someone with pre-diabetes at baseline,” she advised.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, Dr. Starr stated that diabetes does not specifically cause any of these spinal conditions. However, uncontrolled blood sugar can set the stage for a condition’s development.

“Having poor glycemic control can make the risk for bone infections, like vertebral osteomyelitis, higher,” she explained.

Read the full article at healthcentral.com.