The risk of developing lingering diseases increases as you age. Diabetes is one such disease. It is estimated that seniors aged 60 and above have a high risk of developing it. One out of four senior citizens is currently living with this disease which sadly is a huge ratio.
Diabetes can affect many body functions like digestive, circulatory, nervous and reproductive systems. Moreover, people have a higher risk of developing infections if they are suffering from this disease. There are two types of diabetes: 1 and 2. Type 1 is rare accounting for 5 percent of all adult diabetics. Type 2 is common with around 95 percent of all adult diabetics suffering from it. Type 1 happens when insulin is not produced by the pancreas. However, in type 2 diabetes, there is a low production of insulin or the insulin produced does not effectively balance out the glucose in our body.
There are a number of symptoms associated with this disease. Some of them are extreme thirst and hunger, loss of weight, feeling of tiredness, numbness, confusion, blurred vision and the need to frequently urinate.
Diabetes can have a huge impact on adults of all ages affecting their physical and mental health, but the consequences are pretty high for seniors. Some age-related factors like sleep issues, eyesight weakness, and limited physical movements may accelerate the onset of this disease.
If the statistics mentioned above seem a bit too much bleak to you then you should not panic. With proper care and lifestyle changes, diabetes can be successfully managed. In fact, researchers have claimed that Type 2 diabetes can even enter into remission phase, provided if proper care is taken to control weight and exercise regularly.
Some tips to effectively deal with diabetes for seniors are as follows.
- Management of weight is very important to balance the levels of insulin in your body. Even a brisk walk of thirty minutes a day can do wonders for your health. Swimming and bicycling are also other good options.
- Stop smoking is necessary and a vital step towards a healthy life. A study found that overall smokers are 30-40 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
- Seniors should consume a healthy diet. Proper meal plans should be made which include leafy greens, pulses, and white meat. Fruits should be consumed that are low in sugar. Oily and fatty food should be avoided.
- People with diabetes develop gums that frequently bleed. They also have dental problems. It is therefore advised to visit a dentist on a regular basis. They should also take care of their feet and wear socks most of the time because any cut or wound on feet of a diabetic person can become a serious problem if not taken care of properly. So, prevention is better than cure.
- Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar is a serious complication faced by adult diabetics. Older people should, therefore, monitor their glucose levels regularly. Blood pressure and cholesterol levels should also be checked regularly to control hypertension and risk of stroke.
Caring for yourself is very important as you age. You should have regular visits to your healthcare professional to devise a clear strategy. Your visits are usually covered by Medicare to some extent, but you should also look into Medicare Supplement Insurance to cover the additional costs and live a carefree, healthy life you deserve.