Diabetes and Seniors

The average life expectancy and the prevalence of diabetes is rising. Type II Diabetes is of particular concern in our elderly population. What you might not realise, is that diagnosing and treating diabetes in an elderly patient requires a different approach.

Diagnosis: Because our bodies undergo physiological changes as we age, some symptoms may be harder to spot, or even be masked entirely. This is why it is important to be consistent with medical appointments and testing, to ensure that any health issues that you or your loved one is at risk of are regularly tested.

Treatment: Treating diabetes in the elderly can also present some unique issues, due to the overall health of an elderly patient. Adopting new exercise routines and radical diet changes can prove challenging. If there are other health issues already present, treating diabetes can be particularly difficult. This can range from difficulty in physical functioning making treatment more complicated, to cognitive issues creating an obstacle.

Risk: As we age, our bodies become generally more frail and our immune systems weaken. This can mean that the disease diabetes could have a potentially more severe effect on the body, especially if not treated properly. Complications due to diabetes are of a much greater concern in elderly patients. Furthermore, the complications in diagnosing appropriately can also result in other diseases not being diagnosed.

Prevention: I say it all the time, but I’ll keep saying it: diet and exercise! Whether you’re 2 or 82, take your health seriously. You – and your family – will be thankful you did.

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