It is not a well-known fact that fibromyalgia and diabetes often occur together. Recent medical research shows that keeping your blood sugar levels low also reduces your risk of developing fibromyalgia.
A study published in the 2003 edition of Journal Rheumatology International states that about 15% to 18% of patients with diabetes suffer from fibromyalgia too. This strongly suggests that there is a link between these two health conditions.
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Interestingly, controlling blood sugar levels can also dictate the likelihood of developing fibromyalgia. The connection between both diseases is due to the levels of hemoglobin A1C among diabetic patients.
Hemoglobin A1C is blood chemical used to measure how well high your blood sugar was on average during the past 3 months. It was determined that the higher the hemoglobin A1C levels of a diabetic patient is, the more likely he or she will suffer from fibromyalgia.
Another link between these two disorders is how they both seem to react to blood sugar levels. An increase of blood glucose also indicates the severity of the symptoms associated with the two health issues.
How do I know if I have fibromyalgia?
Getting a diagnosis of fibromyalgia can be tricky if you are already dealing with type 2 diabetes. This is due to the fact that diabetes mimics if not all, almost all of the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
The only way to get a definitive diagnosis is to seek your doctor’s opinion and get a particular clinical testing on your condition.
Be mindful of your body pains and other symptoms you may feel. Published research papers stated that patients, especially females, suffering from diabetes are four times more likely to get fibromyalgia compared to the average population.
One unique hint that could point out whether you have this problem or not is to watch closely how your diabetes symptoms react to your treatments for glucose levels. If you have poured all your efforts to get your blood sugar controlled yet your body seems to be less responsive, you have to go back to your doctor right away to get more clinical tests done.
This means that if your blood sugar is uncontrolled, headaches, tender points, insomnia, and fatigue are more likely to happen to you. In severe cases, patients with both disorders suffer from chronic body pain.
What are the symptoms to watch out for?
Shooting nerve pains, tenderness and other sensory symptoms are the most common symptoms leading to confusion between the two disorders. Other symptoms include burning pain, numbness, prickling, waning pain, pressure points and thermal pain.
A study on the distribution of these symptoms was conducted in Germany in 2011. It was established that there are certain symptoms often occurring together from fibromyalgia and diabetes that can be assigned specifically to one of the disease as follows.
Burning pressure, pressure point, thermal pain and waning pains are more likely caused by fibromyalgia while numbness prickling, sharp pains or cramps favor diabetes as the cause over fibromyalgia.
Can I get treatments for both?
Experiencing both health problems can definitely cause you a lot of body pain. Though they follow different treatments, the good news is treating one often improves the manifesting symptoms of the other.
It is certain that a good blood sugar regulation will impact some fibromyalgia symptoms like insomnia, fatigue, and chronic pain. Additionally, there are other ways in improving your health other than taking your medications.
Exercise is known to help increase insulin sensitivity and ward off blood sugar spikes. Physical activities can also prevent coronary diseases which are common among diabetics. With fibromyalgia, exercise improves mood, reduces pain and promote better sleep.
In this respect medical experts say that aerobic exercise provides great results. They recommend you to perform at least 15 to 20 minutes of light to moderate aerobic exercise daily, at least three times a week.
The sad truth is it is indeed possible for you to suffer from both disorders at the same time as it was asserted by scientific papers that fibromyalgia is four times more likely to those already suffering from diabetes compared to the general population.
As researchers are still working extensively to uncover the link between both disorders, for now to ensure maximum recovery you should get treatments for both disease separately.
About the Author
This is a guest post from Katrina Rice, a mom and a freelance writer. She strongly believes in the concept of holistic wellness by traveling, taking natural yet simple steps to living healthy, and immersing one’s self in new activities. A self-proclaimed health enthusiast, she hopes to inspire more people to turn to natural treatments in addressing health issues.