Diabetes is a condition that takes place because there is an excess of glucose in your bloodstream. In a non-diabetic person, a hormone called insulin transforms food into glucose which is then used as energy, If you’re diabetic, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin (type 1 diabetes) or uses insulin inefficiently.
This results in glucose staying in your bloodstream, which can cause a range of other health complications like heart disease, hypertension, eye conditions, skin conditions, and numb feet. Children and young adults are more likely to develop type 1 diabetes. However, seniors are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body doesn’t use insulin well. As a senior, you are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes if you’re overweight, lead a sedentary lifestyle or have a family history of diabetes. If you have prediabetes (which means your glucose levels are slightly higher than normal) or have had gestational diabetes (which develops during pregnancy), you also are at a higher risk as an older adult. People with prediabetes can prevent being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes by losing weight, eating healthy foods, and incorporating daily physical exercise into their routine.
It’s important to pay attention to your body as you get older. A lot of the symptoms of type 2 diabetes are hard to miss but easy to ignore. Some of these symptoms include unexplained fatigue, increased hunger or thirst, frequent urination, blurry vision, or minor cuts and bruises that take a long time to heal. Diabetes symptoms may develop slowly so you must keep up with your doctors’ appointments.
Doctors may use a variety of blood tests, a plasma glucose test, or an oral glucose tolerance test to arrive at a type 2 diabetes diagnosis. If you do get diagnosed, you can usually manage your blood sugar by regular exercise and a prescribed diet. If your blood sugar is too high to manage, your doctor may prescribe diabetes pills and insulin injections as part of your treatment and management plan.