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.
In a pre-diabetic stage, you can take the following steps to try to reduce your risk of developing the full blown disease:
- Diet: Watch your diet for refined sugars and carbohydrates so there aren’t any spikes in your blood sugar and insulin levels.
- 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.
- Weight Loss: Losing 7-10% of your starting weight can have an unexpected positive effect.
- Smoking: Quit now. In addition to other known ills, smokers have a 50% higher risk of developing diabetes.
More serious measures include:
- Daily monitoring of your glucose levels.
- Taking medication such as Metformin to keep the blood sugar down.
- Having the doctor check the blood level of hemoglobin A1C to make sure it hasn’t risen.
- 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.