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What You Need To Know About Managing And Living With Diabetes

Nov 12, 2021|Health & Medicine

Diabetes, particularly Type 2, affects many older adults. Here’s what you need to know about diabetes and how to delay its onset as you age. 

What is Diabetes? 

Diabetes is a disease that occurs when the body cannot properly produce the insulin needed to process glucose and get it into your body’s cells. If you have diabetes, it may mean that your body does not produce enough insulin, may not use insulin properly, or both. 

Type 1: Typically diagnosed as a child or young adult, Type 1 diabetes occurs when your body does not produce insulin and is a lifelong condition. 

Type 2: Typically diagnosed in middle age or as an older adult, Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body does not produce enough insulin or use insulin well. The chances of getting diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes increases if you are overweight, live a sedentary lifestyle or your family has a history of type 2 diabetes. 

Diabetes affects many parts of your body and diligent management is necessary to avoid health issues like heart disease, kidney disease, stroke, eye illnesses and nerve damage which can ultimately lead to amputation. In addition, research has shown that those living with diabetes are more susceptible to Alzheimer’s disease and certain cancers. 

Ways To Test for Diabetes 

Doctors use a variety of techniques and tests for diagnosing diabetes. Discuss the below testing options with your doctor: 

  • Random plasma glucose test
  • A1C test
  • Fasting plasma glucose test 
  • Oral glucose tolerance test 

How To Manage Type 2 Diabetes 

  • Track your glucose levels: Extreme high or low glucose levels can be harmful to your health. Work with your physicians to learn how to track your glucose levels. 
  • Make healthy choices: All the foods we eat turn into glucose so it’s important to work with medical professionals to determine which foods to eat or avoid as well as how much to eat in general. In addition, losing weight may be part of your diabetes management plan. 
  • Increase your activity: Getting active is always a good thing. Walking and other forms of exercise can be helpful in improving your glucose levels. 
  • Be diligent with your medications: Always take medications as they are prescribed and make note of any side effects that you may need to discuss with your doctor. 
  • Stop smoking: Smoking raises your risk for diseases like heart attack and stroke which diabetics are at particularly high risk for. 

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