Diabetes Prevention


iStock_000010740731XSmall-300x199.jpgDiabetes is a major health concern in the United States, but those ​taking care of elderly individuals may not be aware of just how big a concern it is. More than one in four Americans over the age of 60 has a form of diabetes, a disease which significantly impacts health and quality of life.

Diabetes is a major health issue for people at any age, but it’s even more serious for those who are elderly; the older a patient is, the more likely that complications related to diabetes may develop. These include kidney disease, vision issues (including blindness) and heart disease. In addition, sometimes diabetes can result in the need to amputate a limb.

Type 2 diabetes


While many older adults have other forms of diabetes, the most common among seniors is type 2 diabetes. For patients who suffer from this particular form of the disease, the body either does not produce sufficient insulin to counteract high levels of sugar in the blood or is not able to properly use use the insulin that it does produce.

Prevention


The best way to help prevent diabetes from developing is to make sure that the patients are sticking to appropriate lifestyle regimens that promote general good health. These regimens include:

Maintaining an appropriate weight. Obesity is a major risk factor for diabetes, so shedding extra pounds helps to decrease the chance of getting type 2 diabetes.

Eating healthily. Consuming appropriate amounts of the right foods is also a good prevention strategy. In particular, a diet should include plenty of whole grains and whole grain products, polyunsaturated fits instead of trans fats, water, tea, and coffee instead of sugary drinks, and poultry or fish instead of red meats.

Exercising. Regular, consistent exercise can keep the body healthy and reduce the risk of contracting diabetes. As always, consult a doctor before beginning any new exercise strategies.

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Individuals who already have diabetes can also benefit from the prevention strategies outlined above. In addition, of course, they should also monitor their blood glucose levels and blood pressure regularly, and keep an eye on their cholesterol levels.​

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