Diabetes Management and the Elderly

Pamela Egan: Nurse Practitioner, Diabetes Educator and Health Columnist Practical Practitioner

 

By: Pamela Egan, FNP-C CDE

 


 

Diabetes Management and the Elderly

 

 

Whether you’re young or old, diabetes management is not easy. Lifestyle changes in diet and exercise patterns can be particularly difficult when we’re set in our ways.

Uncontrolled blood glucose levels can compound other medical conditions such as high blood pressure, circulatory disorders, heart problems, eye problems, kidney problems and other conditions found in the aging population.

The prevalence of type 2 diabetes, represents about 90% of all diabetes, which increases dramatically in people over age 65 in the United States.

In the United States, Diabetes is the fourth most common cause of death. Patients with type 2 diabetes without a prior history of prior heart attack have equal, if not greater, risks of heart attacks compared to those without diabetes who have had prior heart attacks. This suggests that patients should be treated as aggressively for diabetes and cardiovascular risk factors as people with known heart disease.

Diabetes is the most frequent cause of blindness and renal failure in the United States, and complications rise with duration of disease and worsening blood sugar control.

Here are a few tips to help manage your diabetes:

  1. 1.  All diabetics, whether young or old, need regular, fairly moderate exercise.
  2. 2.  Invest in a Glucose Moniter. Egan Medical Equipment offers a variety of blood sugar moniters.
  3. 3.  Take care of your feet. Egan Medical Equipment offers custom fitted diabetic shoes by a certified orthotist.
  4. 4.  Lose weight.
  5. 5.  Small low sugar regular meals are preferable to large, high sugar meals.
  6. 6.  Avoid white flour, white bread, white rice & processed foods. Learn to eat small servings of whole grains and whole wheat. Eat lots of fruits & vegetables.
  7. 7.  Limit alcoholic drinks to one a day.
  8. 8.  Wearing a medic alert bracelet is essential- it could save your life.
  9. 9.  Become involved in Self-Management Diabetes Education Classes. Knowing as much as possible is your best defence against diabetes.
  10. 10.  Get your yearly eye exams. Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness.
  11. 11.  Have your teeth checked regularly.
  12. 12.  Get your Flu Shot.
  13. 13.  Stress Management can lower sugar levels.
  14. 14.  Stop Smoking.
  15. 15.  Take Medications as ordered.

 

Egan Homehealth & Diabetes Center is a certified Self-Management Diabetes Education Center. Their Dieticians & Certified Diabetes Educators are ready to assist with meal planning to help you attain optimum health. Egan Medical Equipment offers diabetic shoes, blood glucose moniters, & other diabetic supplies.

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