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What Diabetes Is and Means for Senior Health

Here’s to Your Health

      

An estimated 33% of adults age 65 or older have diabetes. Currently, it is the eighth leading cause of death in the US.  When we eat, food is broken down into glucose and released into the bloodstream. When blood sugar goes up, the pancreas releases insulin into cells to use as energy. The presence of diabetes means the body cannot make enough insulin or can’t use it as well as it should. 

There are two more common types of diabetes. Type 1 is generally acquired in childhood, and Type 2 can occur at any age. About 90 to 95 percent of diabetes cases are Type 2.  In general, too much sugar from food stays in the bloodstream. If not managed, over time heart disease, stroke, vision loss, loss of limbs, dementia, and kidney disease may result. 

5 Steps for Seniors to Manage the Disease. While there is no cure for diabetes, there are ways diagnosed seniors can manage symptoms to avoid disease progression to more complicated health conditions. Lifestyle and daily routine are key factors. Here are five steps to help keep it in check. 

1. Monitor Blood Glucose Levels. Adhere to regular monitoring of your blood glucose (blood sugar) levels, as well as blood pressure and cholesterol. Today there are less painful and intrusive glucose monitoring systems, often covered by insurance, ranging from apps to subcutaneous implant devices and more

2. Follow a Healthy Diet. A proportionate weight can make all the difference in the health and longevity of people with diabetes. One approach is to eat several small, healthy meals a day, spaced just a few hours apart, instead of three big ones many hours apart. In this way blood sugar levels remain relatively constant. 

3. Exercise Daily. In connection with diabetes, movement cannot be underestimated. The same goes for a myriad of conditions and aging well in general. Being physically active works! Diabetes or otherwise, be sure to stay well hydrated when exercising. 

4. Reduce Alcohol Consumption. Alcohol can sometimes exacerbate diabetes complications, including eye disease and nerve damage. It can also interfere with medication.  

5. Quit Smoking. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) now says smoking is one cause of Type 2 diabetes.  

If you’d like to learn the importance of having trained, knowledgeable Caregivers to support a loved one with diabetes or striving to manage a chronic condition, please contact one of our friendly and resourceful Amada Senior Care advisors by visiting www.AmadaBirmingham.com or calling 205-208-9466. 

Len Everts-Len Everts, Amada Senior Care 

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