Diabetes can happen to anyone, regardless of age. Older adults are especially vulnerable as our bodies naturally change with age and our normal functions become less efficient. Also, older adults may not be getting as much exercise as they used to. Diabetes is a huge issue with older adults, affecting more than a quarter of anyone over the age of 65. Read on as we list some measures to avoid diabetes. But first…
What is Diabetes?
With diabetes, the glucose levels or blood sugar levels are higher than normal, and these are influenced by the food that we consume. Our bodies produce insulin to process all glucose we eat and send it to our cells to convert it into energy that our bodies need. When the body fails to produce this insulin, blood sugar cannot be processed, and thus, blood sugar or glucose levels rise to dangerous levels. When blood sugar levels are incredibly high, this may result in a diabetic coma where a person is unable to respond to stimuli. When left untreated, it could even result in death.
There are two types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2.
Type 1 diabetes is a lot more severe and less common. This happens when the body is unable to make any insulin at all. The sugar or glucose remains in the blood and the cells are unable to use it for energy. As mentioned, high blood sugar levels can be fatal, so daily insulin therapy is necessary for a person with Type 1 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is also known as adult-onset diabetes because it usually develops after the age of 25. While it’s more treatable, it’s also far more common and makes up 90 percent of all diabetes. With Type 2 diabetes, our bodies are still able to produce insulin but it’s not enough to regulate our blood sugar levels.
People who are diagnosed with prediabetes have higher than normal blood sugar levels and should ensure that their condition does not evolve into Type 2 diabetes. This can be done in several ways.
Keep Track of Blood Sugar Levels
Diet is a major part of managing diabetes and it can be a tiring and trying process to find a diet that works for you. However, before you can even start figuring out what works and what does not, you should keep track of your blood sugar levels daily so that you have information on how your diet specifically changes your blood sugar levels.
Manage Your Diet
High sugar foods, simple carbohydrates, processed foods, and trans fats can cause diabetes. You should also try your best to cut down on sugary drinks and alcohol. Instead, opt for more complex carbs than white or simple carbohydrates and start loading up on veggies for your meals.
Getting your heart rate up with some exercise can help with lowering your blood sugar levels. If you’re just starting out after a long time of not exercising, you do not need to do intense exercises. You can start slow with walking, even 10 minutes a day for three days a week can help and move on to more intense exercises like going to the gym when you feel ready.