Watch Out for Pre-Diabetes

If you are over 45, overweight and inactive, you should seriously think about whether you might have diabetes or pre-diabetes.

Diabetes is on the rise worldwide and about to get even higher as a large segment of the population becomes senior citizens. Knowing if you have an elevated blood sugar level which is still in the range of normal, in other words, pre-diabetic, can help you to stave off this latest scourge.

Common complications of diabetes include heart disease, stroke, kidney damage, nerve damage, hearing loss and eye disease including blindness. Some even link it to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The concerning thing is about 28% of adults with full blown diabetes and those with pre-diabetes don’t have symptoms.

As we age, the risk of diabetes increases. Insulin is a pancreatic hormone that regulates blood sugar and your body uses the insulin in order to use glucose for energy. Aging causes these cells to wear out in certain individuals triggering diabetes or pre-diabetes.Pre-Diabetes_DavidYorkAgency

In a pre-diabetic stage, you can take the following steps to try to reduce your risk of developing the full blown disease:

  1. Diet: Watch your diet for refined sugars and carbohydrates so there aren’t any spikes in your blood sugar and insulin levels.
  2. Exercise: Even moderate exercise for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week can make a difference, especially those aimed at reducing belly fat (apple shaped body) since that appears to be a risk factor for developing the disease.
  3. Weight Loss: Losing 7-10% of your starting weight can have an unexpected positive effect.
  4. Smoking: Quit now. In addition to other known ills, smokers have a 50% higher risk of developing diabetes.

More serious measures include:

  1. Daily monitoring of your glucose levels.
  2. Taking medication such as Metformin to keep the blood sugar down.
  3. Having the doctor check the blood level of hemoglobin A1C to make sure it hasn’t risen.
  4. Bariatric surgery for weight loss.

It might be prudent for us all to consider ourselves either pre-diabetic or at risk for it since watching your weight, diet, exercise regimen and not smoking are good steps for any of us to take.

David York Agency is skilled at recognizing the symptoms of various diseases endemic to the elderly. We are licensed by the New York State Department of Health and provide skilled home health aide services for home healthcare and could assist in managing the total care of your senior loved one. Please call us at (718) 376-7755 or visit us on our website www.davidyorkagency.com to become acquainted with all we offer. Please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Mitigating Pre-Diabetes

Diabetes affects a disproportionate number of older adults—approximately 25% of Americans aged 60 and over. In the United States, our growing aging demographic is clearly one of the drivers of the diabetes epidemic. Another less known condition, prediabetes, is even more common and affects an estimated 50 percent of Americans over 65. Prediabetes is where one’s blood glucose level is above normal, but not high enough to warrant a diagnosis of diabetes. It is important for seniors to be aware of prediabetes because it is very common and greatly increases one’s risk to develop type 2 diabetes. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes.

Lady SwimmingMedication
When someone is at risk of developing diabetes, a health care provider may prescribe certain medications to manage symptoms. Taking even simpler steps, however, may be even more effective in preventing the disease.

Physical activity
There are numerous studies that show the benefits of being active as we age. This is absolutely vital in diabetes management. The activity doesn’t need to be strenuous—begin slowly to build up stamina and strength. Limited mobility isn’t a barrier, many websites and books today offer suggestions for chair and limited mobility exercises.

Weight loss In addition to increasing physical activity, cutting back on calories from sugar and bad fats can go a long way in managing weight. The American Diabetes Association suggests losing 7 percent of your total body weight as a goal.

Continued monitoring
If you’re at risk for diabetes, having blood glucose checked once a year is standard; some health care professionals may suggest more often. Blood pressure and cholesterol should also be checked regularly, as fluctuations can point to heart disease and blood vessel problems.

If you’ve been told you are prediabetic, or that you’re at risk of developing diabetes, see this as a warning sign—not a life sentence. By taking simple steps and getting help from your health care provider and loved ones, diabetes can be prevented.

David York Agency is skilled at recognizing the symptoms of various diseases endemic to the elderly. David York Agency and their team of home heath aide professionals will be there to help you every step of the way. Our client intake coordinator is available to answer your questions about in-home healthcare. When you sign on as a client, a free nursing assessment helps tailor a specific care plan performed by a caring home health aide.

For more information about our services, please visit www.davidyorkagency.com. You can also like us on Facebook or follow us on our LinkedIn or Twitter pages. You can also call us at 718.376.7755 and we will be happy to talk over your specific home healthcare needs.

Diabetes Meal Plan: Two vs. Six Meals Per Day

There has long been a controversy in managing diabetes as to whether it is better to eat two large meals or six small meals over the course of a day.  There are experts that come down on either side of the issue and some that believe it doesn’t make much of a difference. 

The New York Times recently reported on a small study out of Czechoslavakia that tips the scales in favor of fewer meals.  Some differences, albeit not dramatic, were found in those that ate fewer meals even while all participants consumed exactly the same amount of calories.  Improvements were seen in terms of waist size, fasting glucose levels, lower liver fat content and better insulin sensitivity.  In any case, two larger meals is also a good way to ensure that patients with diabetes eat whole, nutritious meals vs. smaller snacks that may not be as nutritious individually and may spoil your appetite for the more nutritious food. 

494095515Meal management can be challenging for the diabetic elderly especially when new information such as this surfaces that might encourage a change in a current routine.  A home health aide can help assist the elderly person with meal preparation and shopping to ensure that senior loved ones are provided with nutritious and regular meals.  Aides can also help with feeding the elderly patient and other meal related as well as other household tasks.  The home health aide can be hired on an hourly or full time basis and licensed home healthcare agencies such as David York Agency can help you hire one totally suited to your needs. 

The staff and aides at David York Agency provide direction as to how to manage the total care of your senior loved one.  Please call us at (718) 376-7755 to set up a senior care plan or visit us on our website www.davidyorkagency.com to become acquainted with all we offer.  You can also like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn.