The Diabetes Osteoporosis Link

The Diabetes Osteoporosis Link

The fact that diabetes causes nerve damage is something that most people are aware of. As the disease progresses, especially with poor management, nerves in the extremities become damaged. Something that many people do not realize, however, is that diabetes can also have an impact on bone health. Those individuals who have diabetes are at great risk of developing a condition known as osteoporosis, which makes it easier for them to experience bone fractures. This post will help you better understand the link between diabetes and osteoporosis, as well as how you can improve your bone health. 

What Is Osteoporosis?

Let’s start by considering what osteoporosis is and how it affects your life. The term osteoporosis refers to a condition that causes bones to become weak. Bones in the body play a crucial part in supporting different parts of your body. They are also involved in your ability to move around and protect certain organs against external damage. 

When you have osteoporosis, you have a much greater risk of fracturing your bones with a simple fall. The condition often affects your spine, wrists, and hips, but other parts of the body are also susceptible. One important aspect to note is that the condition has no cure, but there are strategies available that help manage the symptoms and slow down the progression.

How Does Diabetes Affect Bone Health?

There are different ways in which diabetes affects your bone health. Some of these are direct, while others rather have an indirect impact on your bones. 

The risk of osteoporosis is especially high among people with type 1 diabetes, partly because this diagnosis is often made at a young age. Many patients with type 1 diabetes are diagnosed before their bones can reach their peak mass. The disease may have an impact on the continued development of bones, which results in the patient having brittle and weak bones by the time they reach adulthood. 

This is not the only way in which diabetes has an impact on bones. The condition is associated with a large number of potential complications. Depending on how well diabetes is managed and how quickly it progresses, it can cause nerve problems, make muscles weaker, and even result in hypoglycemic episodes. 

These are all factors that can increase a person’s risk of falling. When you fall due to these factors, you may experience a fracture, which can have long-term effects on your bone health and overall functionality as well. 

Identifying The Signs Of Osteoporosis

During an early stage, osteoporosis often does not lead to any notable signs or symptoms. Symptoms may, however, start to become noticeable once the condition has caused the weakening of bones in your body. As a diabetic, you should ensure you are on the lookout for signs that may signal the preference of osteoporosis. 

Some of these signs may include a reduced height that occurs gradually, as well as a posture that seems stooped. If a vertebra collapses due to the weakening of bone tissue, then you may start to notice the gradual onset of chronic back pain. Should you experience a fracture, the bone will break easily if you have osteoporosis. Thus, if you fall and you find that you have broken a bone that feels unexpected, it could also be a sign of this particular condition. 

Osteoporosis Management And Treatment Options

As previously noted, no cure exists for osteoporosis. This does not mean there is nothing you can do about the condition, however. The first step here is to take a closer look at the diabetes management strategy that you are using. Poor diabetes management contributes to osteoporosis, a weakening of your bones, and makes you more likely to experience fractures. 

If you feel unhappy about your current diabetes management strategy, speak to your healthcare provider. They can help you identify any problems that exist in the current treatment plan and suggest adjustments that could potentially improve your results. 

In terms of osteoporosis, certain strategies can help to strengthen bone tissue. With this said, it is a good idea to start with a bone density test. This type of test will look at the density of your bones and determine how severe the osteoporosis is. The great thing about a bone density test is the fact that they can often be used to identify osteoporosis before you have a fractured bone – thus allowing you to take the necessary precautions. 

A healthy lifestyle is an important factor in the management of osteoporosis. You already need to ensure you follow a healthy lifestyle for your diabetes management, so this can be incorporated into the strategy you use for osteoporosis too. 

Certain medications may help. These medications will not attempt to cure your osteoporosis, but they can often be very helpful in managing the symptoms that you experience. 

Bisphosphonates are often provided as prescription drugs to assist with the risk of fractures that people with osteoporosis have. Examples of these bisphosphonates include Zometa, Fosamax, Actonel, and Binosto. Denosumab may also be given to help improve bone density. This particular medication has been found to significantly reduce all fracture risks. 

Sometimes, the healthcare provider may find it necessary to use bone-building medications on the patient. This may include the use of teriparatide, romosozumab, or abaloparatide. These drugs can be taken for a period of one to two years. The provider will regularly monitor the patient’s bone density to determine whether the medication is working well. 


Osteoporosis can increase the risk of fractures and have a significant impact on your daily life. The development of osteoporosis is more likely among people who have diabetes. While the risk is higher among those with type 1 diabetes, people with type 2 diabetes should still ensure they are aware of the risk. Poor management of diabetes can further add to the risk, which is why it is crucial to maintain stable glucose levels and implement strategies that cater to the well-being of your bones.