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How diabetes

changes with age

Diabetes type 2 requires ongoing maintenance

How diabetes changes with age

Diabetes type 2 requires ongoing maintenance, but it's also important to keep in mind that the disease will eventually progress, even if it's well-controlled. As a result, elderly diabetics' treatment plans are likely to need to be adjusted more than once in their lifetime. For diabetics, chronic high blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, can lead to a whole host of complications, including heart disease, blindness, lower limb amputations, peripheral neuropathy, and kidney damage.
The good news is that these complications can be prevented or delayed with proper diabetes management. For this reason, older adults with diabetes should eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and take medication as prescribed. Over time, prescription medicines, diet, and exercise recommendations will likely need to be adjusted as type 2 diabetes progresses. Having to start insulin therapy does not mean a person with type 2 diabetes has failed to manage their condition.
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As you age, your body will change as your diabetes progresses

The body of an elderly person also deteriorates with age, in addition to diabetes. It may be necessary to adjust their diabetes management plan if they begin to experience diabetes complications. As diabetes progresses, older adults may develop nerve pain or osteoarthritis, which can result in decreased mobility and the need for medical intervention in order to get your diabetes management plan back on track as a consequence.
A certified diabetes care and education specialist may be able to help older adults manage age-related issues. It is possible for these healthcare experts to adjust an elderly adult's diet, exercise, and medication management plan to ensure that they continue to enjoy a high quality of life.

The best ways diabetics of any age can manage their condition is by:

  • Eating healthy - There is no specific diet that works for every diabetic, but it's important to understand how food choices can affect blood sugar levels. Those with diabetes can benefit from filling their plates halfway with vegetables at every meal. Also, they can learn more about proper portion sizes by reading nutritional labels.
  • Stay active - Combining aerobic, resistance training, and flexibility-building activities can improve diabetics' insulin sensitivity.
  • Aim for a healthy weight - Obesity increases a diabetic’s risk of health complications. Even losing 10 to 15 pounds can improve diabetes management.
  • Check your blood sugar - Target blood sugar ranges may change with age. Elderly diabetics should increase the frequencyof checking their blood sugar levels, especially if they take insulin.

Take care each and every day

You can delay the progression of your elderly loved one's diabetes by making sure they take care of themselves every day to the best of their abilities, even with a chronic disease like diabetes. Stay on top of diabetes management and have strategies in place to prevent the development of other health complications by keeping in touch with their physicians.

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