About the Author:
Guest blogger Timika Chambers is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Certified Diabetes Educator, and has over 18 years of experience in the nursing profession. She has served in community and hospital settings, as well as academia. Timika helps her clients design a lifestyle that is full of energy and focus, by helping them to achieve balance in critical areas of their lives. She offers one-on-one counseling, group coaching, and presentations and training on diabetes management to lay persons and healthcare professionals. She is currently completing online healthy living programs to help others around the globe to focus on health management instead of disease management. Visit her website, Facebook, Twitter, or Podcast to learn more.
Diabetes is a multisystem chronic disease affecting millions of people worldwide. When blood sugars remain unmanaged, many people start experiencing the devastating complications of diabetes. Individuals with diabetes may be at an increased risk for bone and joint problems due to poor circulation, obesity and nerve damage. I have found that many people are unaware of how to properly care for their bones and joints; some people assume that physical activity is only for weight management and not for promoting bone and joint health. I have also found that some people are unaware of vitamin D’s role in strengthening their bones.
Healthy bones and joints are essential to the structural framework of our body. Our bones protect our organs and aid in body movement. For people with diabetes, bone and joint health is particularly important. Osteoporosis, a condition affecting millions of people, is associated with type 1 diabetes and sedentary individuals who have type 2 diabetes are at an increased risk of bone-related problems according to the National Institutes of Health. Research continues to unfold possible disease correlations and vitamin D deficiency.
In my Fuel Your Passion course, I play a game to help participants increase their knowledge about calcium and vitamin D. The participants have to arrange the foods in order of their calcium and vitamin D content. By the end of the class, the participants are adding new foods to their menu and their grocery list. Consider the ways in which you can create teachable moments for your clients in your practice.
Here are five ways you can promote bone and joint health to people with diabetes.
- Encourage them to talk to their healthcare provider about checking their vitamin D level. Help our clients become a student of their health. The more they know about their health, the more likely they are to make the necessary changes.
- Discuss the importance of consuming adequate amounts of vitamin D. Make sure they have a list of foods they can include in their meal plan.
- Encourage a referral to a registered dietitian or nutrition health coach to assist them in planning meals to optimize calcium and vitamin D intake.
- Encourage them to get approval from their healthcare provider before starting an exercise routine. Individuals with diabetes need to know their limitations and any problems that could lead to further injury
- Encourage them to work with experts in promoting and maintaining bone and joint health. Many people start exercising without clear instruction on how to exercise, which can lead to more harm than good. Bone and joint stability and mobility are necessary before they start intense exercises.
Please share how you promote bone and joint health in the comments.