Do You Have Your Diabetes Under Control? Most Seniors Don’t

  • by Bianca Doran
  • November 4, 2015
Do You Have Your Diabetes Under Control? Most Seniors Don’t

Blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. These are the three major components of good, diabetes control according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA).  However, new research found that only one in three adults meet the guidelines. 

Unattainable Guidelines

The study led by Elizabeth Selvin, a professor of epidemiology at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, provided insight on older Americans’ difficulty in meeting clinical targets.

The study analyzed around 1,600 adults diagnosed with diabetes over the age of 65 in Maryland, Minnesota and Mississippi. Though many experts believe that the ADA’s guidelines are unattainable, the study did find that even with lower targets, many seniors do not have their diabetes under control. There are many questions regarding maintaining diabetes according to Selvin: “Are some older adults being overtreated? Are some being undertreated? There are questions for which we don’t have answers.”

 The research even showed differences among different racial groups, especially in women. Black women were less likely than white women to have control of blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. A reason why seniors may have issues keeping their diabetes under control is that many have other health issues that may require more attention. Christina Parrinello, the study’s co-author at John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, found that many of the issues associated with poor diabetes control developed over a long period of time - longer than the life expectancy with other illnesses.

Stay Informed

Taking medicine is not enough to maintain good diabetes control. Failure to maintain a healthy diabetes control can put the patient at risk for nerve damage, blindness and kidney disease, which is why it is important to follow these recommendations:

  • Eat a variety of high-quality protein, starches, fruits and vegetables.
  • Eat foods low in sodium and fat.
  • Cook healthier: Bake, broil, roast and grill rather than fry, and opt for healthier fats such as olive oil.
  • Do not skip meals. Skipping meals will negatively affect your blood sugar.
  • Try to eat meals at the same time each day.

Becoming more knowledgeable about the foods you eat can drastically improve your blood sugar levels. Not only do the foods you eat affect you, but even the drinks you consume impact your health. A new study focused on the link between soda and diabetes. With diabetes affecting over 29 millions of Americans, more and more research is starting to surface about diabetes. New research is showing there might even be a link between poor oral hygiene and diabetes, which is why it is important to stay informed about the risks associated with diabetes and the different ways to prevent the disease from developing.

KEYWORDS: diabetes control, blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol levels