Living Well: Diabetes and Spinal-Cord Injury

Reprinted from PN August 2000
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Dr. Bill Bauman writes that as many as 20% of SCI survivors may have adult-onset diabetes; an even larger percentage, he says, don?t have symptoms, yet their laboratory blood-work findings suggest their bodies do not use insulin properly.

People with SCI need to be aware of diabetes for two major reasons. First, the effects of SCI may disguise the disease?s symptoms. More importantly, SCI can actually increase your risk for becoming diabetic.

Type I (insulin-dependent) diabetes starts in childhood or young adulthood and requires daily insulin injections. Type II (often called adult-onset diabetes) usually occurs in adults over age 40 and accounts for 95% of all diabetes cases. This type is of most concern to SCI survivors. While it usually can be controlled through diet and exercise, some people also need oral medications or insulin injections.

Unfortunately, SCI can get in the way of diagnosing diabetes. Along with disguising the symptoms, SCI can actually increase your risk. But careful management of this disease generally has excellent results.

To learn about this disease?s side effects, the increased risks for people with SCI, and how to manage your blood sugar, read the complete text of this article.


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Living Well: Diabetes and Spinal-Cord Injury


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