Things 55+ Seniors Need to Know About Diabetes

55+ seniors suffer from a myriad of health issues. These can include heart disease, arthritis, osteoporosis, eye problems, Parkinson’s disease, etc. Diabetes is also a health issue you may encounter. Many 55+ seniors do not understand the serious repercussions of diabetes. They ignore the diagnosis and go about their lives hoping the problem will go away. This is not the way it works. You can avoid serious complications with proper prevention methods and management of diabetes.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease that causes glucose to back up into your bloodstream. This happens when your body is unable to properly use and store glucose. This causes your blood glucose levels to rise more than the normal amount. Diabetes comes in two types. This is Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 is the most common and results when your body doesn’t produce adequate insulin or is unable to use insulin in the proper manner. People over 40, overweight, and have a history of diabetes in the family are at high risk of getting Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 occurs when the body stops producing insulin completely. This is most commonly seen in children and young adults, although it can occur at any age.

What are the Symptoms of Diabetes?

Very few people are aware of diabetes symptoms. This could be because they don’t know the symptoms of diabetes. Symptoms of diabetes include

  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive hunger
  • Frequent urination
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Slow healing cuts or bruises
  • Blurred vision
  • Tingling, numbness or pain in the hands and feet (Type 2)
  • Weight loss (Type 1)

Sometimes, Type 2 diabetes causes no symptoms. This means you may live in blissful ignorance for years. Therefore, it is always beneficial to consider a blood glucose test once every three months or so, especially if you have a family history of diabetes if you are over 40 or overweight.

Complications of Diabetes

The long-term complications of diabetes will build up gradually. These complications may be disabling or life-threatening. Complications include cardiovascular diseases, nerve damage, kidney damage, eye damage, Alzheimer’s, foot damage, skin and mouth conditions, and cancer.

Preventing Complications and Managing Diabetes

The first thing you need to do upon a diagnosis of diabetes is to work at keeping your blood glucose levels in the normal range. This helps you to prevent the complications of diabetes. This can be managed through a proper diet, exercise, and medication. Eat foods low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, and salt. Avoid eating excessive fruits as they contain sugar. Speak with your healthcare professional about your exercise routine. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you should stop smoking and drinking, and if overweight, work at losing weight.

Your life does not have to change with a positive diagnosis of diabetes. You can live a full life and do things you have always wanted to if you take care and manage diabetes properly.

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