Watch This Report On The Relationship Between Opioids And Diabetes

People with diabetes are often plagued by acute and chronic pain.

According to an article in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, four out of ten adults with Type 2 diabetes suffer from pain. Whether because of diabetic neuropathy, osteoarthritis, or from the effects of obesity, patients often turn to opioids for pain relief.

While opioid medications may provide some measure of relief, they’re also associated with significant health risks, including weight gain and glycemic dysregulation. 

When it comes to behavioral problems, the use of opioids can have an immediate effect on your ability to monitor and control your diabetes. The altered perceptions of pain that make opioid medications work can also affect the monitoring of your own diabetes conditions. In an altered state, it can become difficult to recognize hypoglycaemia, hyperglycaemia, or diabetic ketoacidosis.

These altered perceptions themselves can also impact a normal health routine. When not in the right mind, it increases the risk of missing insulin injections that can then lead to hypoglycaemia, hyperglycaemia, or diabetic ketoacidosis. In addition, these altered perceptions from opioid use can influence your own healthy eating habits, making it more difficult to control your blood glucose levels and the ability to manage your diabetes.

In a study published in the Journal of Opioid Management, researchers found that certain types of opioids may even induce a taste preference for sweet foods. This preference and acting upon it can, of course, lead to issues with diabetes control and management. It can also lead to weight gain and tooth decay.

If you are on opioids for pain, discuss alternative forms of treatment with your doctor. While opioids provide pain relief, they normally don’t treat the underlying condition causing the pain. 

For those who need to be on opioids, there are steps you can take to reduce the risks of their use as a diabetes patient. When taking them, always be aware of their effect on your memory and perception. Make it a priority to keep up with your normal routine, taking your insulin and testing your blood glucose levels regularly. Even though you may not feel like it when on opioids, follow your same eating habits and avoid sugary foods.

If you have diabetes and are taking opioids, try to be with people who know that you have diabetes and, further, can recognize the symptoms of hypoglycaemia, hyperglycaemia, or diabetic ketoacidosis. They can act and provide help if you fail to recognize oncoming symptoms.

Do you suffer from diabetes? Do you take prescription opioid medications?

Image by kev-shine via Flickr

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