Arthritis Cure

🔥+ Arthritis Cure 05 Aug 2020 Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are one of the most common medications to treat hip osteoarthritis. Some NSAIDS, such as ...

Arthritis Cure AC arthritis is usually osteoarthritis, the result of repeated movements that wear away cartilage in the acromioclavicular joint. Because the shoulder is used so ...

Your Local Area
Sign In

Find out what the science says about the link between arthritis and diabetes. 

By the 1 last update 2020/08/05 Stephanie Watson By Stephanie Watson 

Arthritis and diabetes have a lot in common. Almost half of all adults with diabetes—47%—also have arthritis.  People with arthritis have a 61% higher risk of developing diabetes than those without this joint disease.

Arthritis Curehow to Arthritis Cure for What’s behind the link? Part of the connection stems from inflammation. Genetics and shared risk factors like obesity and inactivity are also involved. Learn more about the risk factors and how to combat your individual risk below. 

Autoimmunity, Inflammation, and Diabetes

Arthritis Curehow to Arthritis Cure for Autoimmune forms of arthritis like rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis (PsA), and ankylosing spondylitis (AS), as well as type 1 diabetes occur when the immune system misfires and attacks the body. In people with type 1 diabetes, the attack is against the pancreas, the organ where insulin is made. In autoimmune forms of arthritis, the joints are targeted. 

When you have one autoimmune disease, you’re at higher risk for another. “Once your immune system starts acting abnormally, it can affect other organs,” explains John Miller, MD, instructor of medicine in the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center. Part of the reason people get more than one autoimmune disease is genetic susceptibility, which is also why these diseases tend to run in families, Miller says.

Inflammation and Arthritis

Inflammation is another culprit. Levels of cytokines—inflammatory substances such as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), and interleukin-6 (IL-6)—are higher in people with autoimmune forms of arthritis and both types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an inflammatory condition. In type 2, inflammation is related to factors like obesity and insulin resistance. “We know fat cells release inflammatory signals,” Miller says.

Controlling Inflammation

For people with autoimmune types of arthritis, dampening inflammation with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs like methotrexate, hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil), and/or TNF-inhibitors (such as adalimumab (Humira), certolizumab pegol (Cimzia), etanercept (Enbrel), golimumab (Simponi, Simponi Aria) and infliximab (Remicade)) improve blood sugar control, too. These treatments may reduce the risk for developing diabetes in people with inflammatory arthritis. According to a 2019 study in PLoS One, RA patients who took TNF inhibitors were at significantly lower risk for diabetes.

The Problem With Steroids

Another drug used to calm arthritis inflammation has the opposite effect. Prednisone and other steroid medicines increase blood sugar levels by stimulating the liver to release more glucose, and by slowing its movement into muscle and fat tissue.  In a 2017 study published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, the DMARD plaquenil and the biologic abatacept (Orencia) both reduced diabetes risk, while steroids increased it. 
Higher steroid doses and longer use compound increases in blood sugar. “The goal for everybody is to use the lowest amount of steroids for the shortest duration,” Miller says.

Osteoarthritis and Type 2 the 1 last update 2020/08/05 DiabetesOsteoarthritis and Type 2 Diabetes

Doctors used to believe that OA stemmed primarily from age-related wear and tear of cartilage, but today the focus has turned to the role of other disease processes on the joints. More than half of people with type 2 diabetes have OA, compared with just over a quarter of those without diabetes. That may not be surprising, considering that the two conditions share a number of common risk factors. Both OA and diabetes disproportionately affect people who are older, overweight, and inactive.  

Metabolic Disturbances

Yet the connection goes even deeper. Studies have linked OA to metabolic disturbances, which suggests that diabetes may affect the arthritis disease process directly. High blood sugar contributes to the development of reactive oxygen species (ROS)—molecules that encourage the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines (substances that are secreted by certain immune cells). It also triggers the production of compounds called advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which build up in and damage joints.

Arthritis Curehow to Arthritis Cure for Take Good Care of Yourself

The three cornerstones to diabetes and arthritis management are weight control, diet, and exercise. 

The first-line fix for both conditions is to lose weight. Excess weight contributes to insulin resistance and puts added strain on joints. Each additional 2 pounds of body weight puts 13 extra pounds of load on arthritic knees. Modest weight loss will alleviate pressure on the lower extremities, helping to ease pain in the hips, knees, and feet. Losing just 5 to 10 percent of body weight can significantly reduce blood sugar.

Eat regularly and consistently to help your body maintain steady blood glucose levels. Discuss with your doctor how to choose your foods wisely. Eat some protein and healthy fats at each meal, along with whole-grain carbohydrates and non-starchy vegetables, and limit portion sizes.

Finally, get regular exercise—at least 150 minutes a week of aerobic activity. “Water aerobics and low-impact activities like biking can be helpful,” Miller says. Add in strengthening, flexibility, and balance-promoting exercises a few days a week. Just be careful not to exercise to the point of pain. Working out with an experienced trainer or physical therapist can help reduce your risk of injury.

Related Conditions
View All Articles

Related Conditions

Arthritis Curehow to Arthritis Cure for The Truth About JIA Medications and Cancer Risk
Get the facts about the link between cancer and juvenile idiopathic arthritis medications.
Read More

Related Conditions

Arthritis and Cancer Risk
Learn the link between cancer and the drugs used to treat inflammatory arthritis.
Read More

Related Conditions

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Your Kidneys
Learn about the link between RA and the increased risk of serious kidney disease, and how to protect yourself.
Read More
Connect Face to Face Where You Live
Get encouraged and make living with arthritis easier through a Live Yes! Connect Group.
Find a Group
Stay in the Know. Live in the Yes.

Join the Live Yes! Arthritis Network. Tell us a little about yourself and you will receive emails packed with the latest information and resources to live your best life and connect with others.

I Want to Contribute
I Need Help
  • Donate

    Every the 1 last update 2020/08/05 gift to the Arthritis Foundation will help people with arthritis across the U.S. live their best life.Every gift to the Arthritis Foundation will help people with arthritis across the U.S. live their best life.

  • Arthritis Curehow to Arthritis Cure for Volunteer

    Join us and become a Champion of Yes. There are many volunteer opportunities available.

  • Live Yes! INSIGHTS

    Take part to be among those changing lives today and changing the future of arthritis.

  • Partner

    Proud Partners of the Arthritis Foundation make an annual commitment to directly support the Foundation’s mission.


Ways to Give

Every gift to the Arthritis Foundation will help people with arthritis across the U.S. live their best life. Whether it is supporting cutting-edge research, 24/7 access to one-on-one support, resources and tools for daily living, and more, your gift will be life-changing.

Make a Donation

Arthritis Curehow to Arthritis Cure for Help millions of people live with less pain and fund groundbreaking research to discover a cure for this devastating disease. Please, make your urgently-needed donation to the Arthritis Foundation now!

Become a Member

Become an Arthritis Foundation member today for just $20. You'll receive a year's worth of Arthritis Today magazine, access to helpful tools, resources, and more.

Make a Honor or Memorial Gift

Arthritis Curehow to Arthritis Cure for Honor a loved one with a meaningful donation to the Arthritis Foundation. We'll send a handwritten card to the honoree or their family notifying them of your thoughtful gift.

Gift Planning

Arthritis Curehow to Arthritis Cure for I want information on ways to remember the for 1 last update 2020/08/05 AF in my will, trust or other financial planning vehicles.
 I want information on ways to remember the AF in my will, trust or other financial planning vehicles.


Arthritis Curehow to Arthritis Cure for Arthritis Curehow to Arthritis Cure for
Arthritis Curehow to Arthritis Cure for

Volunteer Opportunities

The Arthritis Foundation is focused on finding a cure and championing the fight against arthritis with life-changing information, advocacy, science and community. We can only achieve these goals with your help. Strong, outspoken and engaged volunteers will help us conquer arthritis. By getting involved, you become a leader in our organization and help make a difference in the lives of millions. Join us and become a Champion of Yes.

Arthritis Curehow to Arthritis Cure for
More About Volunteering


Give Just 10 Minutes.

Tell us what matters most to you. Change the future of arthritis.

By taking part in the Live Yes! INSIGHTS assessment, you’ll be among those changing lives today and changing the future of arthritis, for yourself and for 54 million others. And all it takes is just 10 minutes.

Your shared experiences will help:

- Lead to more effective treatments and outcomes
- Develop programs to meet the needs of you and your community
- Shape a powerful agenda that fights for you

Now is the time to make your voice count, for yourself and the entire arthritis community. 

Currently this program is for the adult arthritis community.  Since the needs of the juvenile arthritis (JA) community are unique, we are currently working with experts to develop a customized experience for JA families. 

How are you changing the future?

By sharing your experience, you’re showing decision-makers the realities of living with arthritis, paving the way for change. You’re helping break down barriers to care, inform research and create resources that make a difference in people’s lives, including your own.

Get Started


Meet Our Partners

As a partner, you will help the Arthritis Foundation provide life-changing resources, science, advocacy and community connections for people with arthritis, the nations leading cause of disability. Join us today and help lead the way as a Champion of Yes.


Our Trailblazers are committed partners ready to lead the way, take action and fight for everyday victories. They contribute $2,000,000 to $2,749,000


Our Visionary partners help us plan for a future that includes a cure for arthritis. These inspired and inventive champions have contributed $1,500,00 to $1,999,999.


Our Pioneers are always ready to explore and find new weapons in the fight against arthritis. They contribute $1,000,000 to $1,499,999.


Our Pacesetters ensure that we can chart the course for a cure for those the 1 last update 2020/08/05 who live with arthritis. They contribute $500,000 to $999,000.Our Pacesetters ensure that we can chart the course for a cure for those who live with arthritis. They contribute $500,000 to $999,000.

Arthritis Curehow to Arthritis Cure for Signature

Our Signature partners make their mark by helping us identify new and meaningful resources for people with arthritis. They contribute $250,000 to $499,999.


Our Supporting partners are active champions who provide encouragement and assistance to the arthritis community. They contribute $100,000 to $249,999.