Diabetes affects people of all age groups but the senior population experiences it the most. In this post, we will discuss the symptoms of diabetes in elderly adults, managing diabetes in the elderly, and other pieces of useful information about diabetes and the elderly.
Diabetes in the Elderly: Statistics
Why is diabetes more common in the elderly? The higher prevalence of diabetes in the elderly is due to increasing insulin resistance and impaired pancreatic islet function with aging. Here are some statistics about diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association:
In 2018, 34.2 million American adults had diabetes
Of that 34.2 million, 26.8 million were diagnosed while 7.3 million were undiagnosed
26.8% of seniors age 65 and older (both diagnosed and undiagnosed) have diabetes, making the total 14.3 million seniors
Next up, can diabetes cause confusion in the elderly? We’ll answer that question and many others when we examine the symptoms of diabetes in seniors.
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Diabetes in the Elderly: Symptoms
If your loved one experiences any of the following symptoms, you may want to take them to the doctor for diabetes treatment. Here are some symptoms you may experience if you have Type 1 (when the body stops producing insulin) or Type 2 (when the body resists insulin) diabetes:
Any of the symptoms for Type 1 diabetes
Numbness in the hands or feet
Wounds that never heal or are slow to heal
Next, we will review the complications related to diabetes in elderly adults.
Diabetes in the Elderly: Complications
There are several complications when it comes to diabetes but luckily, you can manage them with some self-care strategies. Here are a few you should look out for.
Now that we know more about managing complications, let’s take a look at other ways to manage diabetes in elderly adults.
Diabetes in the Elderly: Guidelines
Here are some other tips for managing diabetes:
Eat a healthy diet that is low in sugar and saturated fats
Exercise at least 30 minutes a day five times a week by performing aerobic exercises such as bicycling, swimming, and walking
Check glucose levels to monitor for hypoglycemia
Check cholesterol and blood pressure levels to help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke
Take your medication regularly and keep yourself organized by using pillboxes and other organizational tools
Get vaccinated for the flu and pneumonia
Check your feet every day for cuts or signs of infections and notify your doctor immediately if you see any; keep your feet clean, use lotion, and wear comfortable shoes
Take a hearing test because hearing loss is more common among adults with diabetes
Visit the dentist because diabetics are more likely to have gum disease and other dental problems