Diabetes and Spinal Cord Injury
people with spinal cord disorders are more prone than most to developing type 2 diabetes. But the condition can be managed and even reversed with diet, exercise and medications.
By Jerome Stenehjem, M.D.
“You are diabetic.” No one wants to hear these words and when they do, they are likely to be in shock or disbelief. “Sure, I’m in a wheelchair, overweight and I don’t get much exercise, but nobody in my family has diabetes,” may be a typical response.
Surprisingly, genetics plays only a limited role in the development of type 2 diabetes, but diabetes now afflicts almost 1 in 10 Americans and a recent study showed that 2 in 10 spinal cord injured veterans are diabetic.