Home Health How diabetes affects the elderly? – Credihealth blog

How diabetes affects the elderly? – Credihealth blog

Diabetes is a serious medical condition that affects people of all age groups. It is a medical condition in which the body’s cells cannot properly absorb the insulin produced by the pancreas to convert the glucose in the body into energy. Diabetes affects many parts of the body. If left untreated, over time it can cause serious health problems such as heart disease, stroke, eye problems, kidney disease and nerve damage and can even lead to amputation. Older people with type 2 diabetes may also be at greater risk of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease

Fatigue, increased appetite or thirst, weight loss, frequent urination, and decreased vision are symptoms of type 2 diabetes. Other symptoms may include skin infections or slow healing of cuts and bruises. Some of these symptoms for older people are constantly overlooked as signs of aging, but they can be a bigger problem. Older people are advised to talk to their doctor if they feel any of these symptoms.

Type 2 diabetes can be treated with a healthy diet and regular exercise, but some people may need diabetes medications or insulin injections. A person may need both lifestyle changes and medications over time. Regardless of this, there is a need for a diabetes management plan based on your lifestyle, preferences, health goals, and any other underlying medical conditions. Areas of concern in managing diabetes are relevant for all age groups, but there are some specific changes in the elderly.

Some dietician advice for an older person may differ from the standard advice. This is because the elderly are often more underweight. There may be a risk of malnutrition, so reducing fat, salt and sugar intake in diabetes may not be appropriate.

Poor oral health, some of the effects of drugs on the digestive system, and limited mobility, dexterity or vision are all issues that older people can face when dealing with inadequate food intake and lack of a well-rounded diet. Fluid absorption is equally important, as dehydration can become a serious problem or lead to serious complications. A dietitian should perform appropriate nutritional assessments to address areas where extra calories may be needed or in the case of meal supplements, weight reduction, a low-salt diet or manageable foods.

The Klinio app also offers excellent meal plans tailored to you and has been recommended by several dieticians.

The elderly should stay active as it helps strengthen muscles and maintain and increase mobility and balance, improving insulin sensitivity.

The frailty of the elderly makes the need for light exercises and balance training important. Just a morning walk through your street would do a lot. Their physical therapists can teach limb strength and flexibility exercises and monitor them by their caregivers on people who are housebound or on a chair or bed. Don’t forget to ask your doctor about any exercise routines you hope to do.

Hypoglycemia, also called hypoglycemia, occurs when blood glucose levels in the body fall below 4 mmol/L. Seniors have been proven to have more significant risk factors that can contribute to hypoglycaemia. Factors such as insulin or specific diabetes medications, poor food intake, chronic kidney problems, and underlying diseases and conditions can all increase the likelihood of developing hypoglycemia.

Older people often have hyposymptoms that are not very obvious, so having a caregiver around, inability to concentrate, personality changes, morning headaches and sleep disturbances are all signs to watch out for in older people because if there is no hypo is treated quickly, it can lead to more serious symptoms such as,

  • Confusion
  • Speech or self-care problems
  • little appetite
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Cognitive Damage
  • Heart attack or stroke

Hypo is treatable with fast-acting glucose, such as a sugary drink or glucose tablets, followed by a starchy meal. However, if there is loss of consciousness, a doctor or ambulance should be contacted immediately.

Maintaining a healthy mental state is something to note, as depression is more common in people with long-term conditions, which can go undetected in older people with complex health conditions. Depressive symptoms can make matters worse due to factors such as painful neuropathy, foot ulcers, and drug side effects.

Because the risk of dementia increases with age, you should be careful about anything that affects your mental well-being as it can affect your ability to successfully manage your diabetes. For the elderly living in care homes, screening on admission and annually is strongly recommended.

Also read: 5 complications associated with diabetes.

  • Dealing with illness and hospital admissions

Elderly people with diabetes, especially those in nursing homes, are hospitalized more often when they are sick. This is because diabetes can have a greater impact on the disease, and the condition in turn can affect diabetes.

Book an appointment for the best Diabetology in India.

Blood glucose levels can rise rapidly during illness, especially in dehydrated older adults; consequently, additional monitoring and treatment are required. In these cases, your care plan should include instructions for the healthcare provider. It should also indicate when medical treatment is required. If medical care is necessary, this should be indicated.

If hospitalization is not necessary, it is helpful to have a copy of the care plan with you so that staff can quickly review your diabetes history and current medications.

Over the years, the number of adults 65 and older with diabetes has steadily increased, leading to a consensus in the medical community that this is a problem that needs to be addressed, and more older adults need to be educated about how to cope with the disease. properly manage diabetes. and live their lives with diabetes without developing diabetes-related health problems.

Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in these publications are those of the individual authors and contributors only and not of Credihealth and the editor(s).

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