Type 2 diabetes is slowly becoming an American epidemic. It is estimated that 30 million Americans are currently living with diabetes, including a stunning 25 percent of people over the age of 65. Type 2 diabetes can be a deadly diagnosis unless you follow doctor’s orders for diabetes control and management.
Since today is World Diabetes Day, it’s important to discuss diabetes control for seniors living with type 2 diabetes. Without proper management, diabetes can take a toll on various systems in the body and lead to potentially lethal results.
Pushing Past Unattainable Type 2 Diabetes Guidelines
The three major components of good diabetes control according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA) involves managing blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. But some experts have argued that the guidelines laid out by the ADA are too strict for seniors to follow. And research has shown that only one in three adults living with type 2 diabetes actually meet the guidelines.
A team led by Elizabeth Selvin, a professor of epidemiology at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, analyzed around 1,600 adults over the age of who had been diagnosed with diabetes 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 simply do not have their diabetes under control.
One reason why diabetes control for seniors is lacking is due to the fact that for many type 2 diabetes is one of several other chronic health issues that require attention. With diabetes, symptoms can be slow moving in comparison to other illnesses, so seniors make the choice to focus on more pressing health concerns. Type 2 diabetes, however, can have a disastrous effect on the body in the long term--from nerve damage to kidney failure to blindness, and even amputation of limbs.
Stay Informed For Better Diabetes Control
Taking medicine is not enough to maintain good diabetes control. Failure to manage the disease can put the patient at risk which is why it is important to follow these recommendations:
Change Your Diet. Eat a variety of high-quality protein, starches, fruits, and vegetables. Eat foods low in sodium and fat.
Cook More Often. When you are able to prepare your own food, you can control what’s going into your body. Bake, broil, roast and grill rather than fry, and opt for healthier fats such as olive oil.
Practice Portion Control. By making sure that you are eating the recommended portion sizes, you won’t overwhelm your body with the extra work it takes to break down your meals.
Don’t Skip Meals. Skipping meals will negatively affect your blood sugar.
Be Consistent. Try to eat meals at the same time each day.
Know Your Numbers. Check your blood sugar levels at least three times per day, and keep track by writing everything down in a log book. This will help you address issues that pop up with your doctor(s) by allowing you to bring them data that they need to make more informed decisions about your care.
Becoming more knowledgeable about the foods you eat can drastically improve your blood sugar levels. A new study focused on the link between soda and diabetes. And research has shown that there might even be a link between poor oral hygiene and diabetes. By choosing to stay informed about the risks associated with diabetes, you can learn different ways to slow the progression of the disease on your body and take control of your health.
Extra Support For Those With Type 2 Diabetes
If you’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes, a medical alert system should be factored into your management plan. Medical Guardian has some of the most advanced medical alert technology on the market, including automatic fall detection, which can be used in case you experience a medical emergency, day or night. With Medical Guardian, you don’t have to worry about being stuck in an emergency, you just have to focus on managing your health.