The Senior Digest

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Diabetes In Seniors

Diabetes In Seniors


Are you the one who is suffering from Diabetes in seniors? 

Well, we all know that Diabetes is a significant health issue faced by a massive number of people in almost every country of the world. If we talk about only America, it has affected a large population. It is expected that more than 10% or 30 million populations in the USA are suffering from diabetes. 

Isn’t it terrifying?

More surprisingly, 25% of seniors have been suffering from this chronic disease, which is the most alarming. 

The pancreas is the largest gland of the body, which lies alongside the stomach.  Insulin is an important hormone that is produced by the pancreas. 

Insulin absorbs the glucose in the bloodstream. Insulin plays a key role by letting the glucose gets into the cells, where glucose molecules are metabolized to obtain energy. 

Diabetes is a chronic disease and can happen when the pancreas fails to produce insulin, or the body cannot show the insulin response. 

As a result, the level of glucose level rises in the bloodstream. This condition is known as hyperglycemia.  If a high glucose level persists for a long time, it can be damaging for the body in several ways. 

The risk of diabetes can be reduced by understanding the risk and changing your lifestyle as well. Changing the lifestyle may not be an easy job, by it would keep you protected from a life-threatening disease. 

If your elders suffer from high blood pressure or cholesterol, or obesity, you are at higher risk of developing diabetes. So, it would be best to take precautionary measures to keep yourself protected from this chronic disease. 

You can stay here for a while to complete your reading and learn more about diabetes, its type, and test to diagnose diabetes. 

What Is Diabetes?

It is a disorder that affects the body’s metabolism and how it processes food to provide energy. 

Usually, the human body breaks down the food and converts it into small sugar molecules, also known as glucose. Furthermore, the breakdown of these sugar molecules provides the required amount of energy to the body.

The pancreas of the human body releases two different hormones, and insulin is one of them. The human body can absorb these sugar molecules due to insulin. 

On the other hand, diabetic patients face difficulty while absorbing the glucose molecules. As a result, glucose increases in the body, and this condition is known as hyperglycemia.

The problem arises when the sugar level remains high in the body for a long time. It can cause detrimental effects on the body and affect the overall performance of the body as well. 

Diabetes can change your lifestyle completely, from daily activity to eating style altogether. 

So, insulin is the real game-changer. In the body of diabetic patients, the pancreas either fails to produce the insulin or may not have enough amount of insulin. It is also possible that the body fails to use insulin in the right way. 

The insulin can keep the glucose level standard in the body. But, this is not always the case. 

What Are The Types Of The Diabetes?

There are three major types of diabetes. A brief description of all of them is given below:

  • Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is most common in children and adolescents, but it can happen at any age. 

In type 1, the patient’s body either fails to produce the insulin or does not produce the insulin at all. Therefore, to maintain the body’s average sugar level, insulin is provided through injections to keep the sugar or glucose level under control. Studies show that about 10% of patients have type 1 diabetes. 

Type 1 diabetes occurs due to the attack of the body’s immune system on the pancreas cells. The body does not produce insulin. But the exact reason for type 1 is yet not known.

  • Type 2 Diabetes

Well, type 2 is widespread in adults. More than 90% of patients suffer from type 2.

In this type of diabetes, the body fails to respond to insulin production in the body. But this condition can be cured through a healthy lifestyle. You can add physical activities as well n your daily routine. Well, a healthy diet can also play an essential role in this regard. 

The patients with this type of insulin take oral drugs and insulin to maintain the sugar level daily. 

As described earlier, type 2 is common in adults. Still, in the present day, it’s getting common in kids, younger adults, and adolescents due to the unhealthy lifestyle, low diet, rising levels of obesity, and physical inactivity. 

Diabetes In Seniors

Diabetes is a serious as well as a chronic disease. A percentage of older people gets affected by diabetes. The constant high sugar level can cause severe body issues and completely change the living model, as described earlier. 

Diabetes can be a cause of different other diseases in the body as well. For example, it can be a reason for the loss of vision, nerve damage, and kidney failure. In some people, it can be a reason for cardiovascular disease as well. 

Besides it, diabetic patients suffer from infections as compared to normal human beings. In addition to it, the healing process is slow as well. And in case of severe diseases or wounds, they may have to face amputation. 

Studies have revealed that type 2 diabetes is prevalent and as well as more problematic in seniors. 

Who Are At Greater Risk As Compared To Others?

The age and the type of diabetes are somehow interlinked with each other. Besides it, how your body handles the sugar with time is an essential factor to consider. 

As you all know, type 1 is common in children in teenagers, as developed at a very young age. But most of the seniors are diagnosed with type 2. 

Would you develop diabetes in your life or not is dependent on several factors. But the most important and worth considering factor is your lifestyle, habits and above all physical activity. 

For avoiding diabetes in old age, it is essential to monitor your activities at this age. You can prevent this chronic disease by adding physical activity, walking, and adopting a healthy lifestyle in your life. 

As old age, people have been exposed to high levels of sugar for a longer time. Therefore they are at higher risks of developing type 2 diabetes. In addition to age, race can also play an essential role in determining whether you will develop diabetes or not. 

Well, certain factors can decide whether you will decide diabetes. For example, if you have higher insulin resistance rates, if you are obese or having unhealthy foods, then you are at increased risk of developing the insulin. 


Prediabetes is a condition which one can face before being declared diabetic. In some cases, you can be diagnosed with a high level of sugar. But, it is not as much increased that it can be declared as type 2 diabetes. 

Being diagnosed with hyperglycemia does not mean that you should start taking strict measures to bring it back. 

Prediabetes means that your body rejected that way to convert the glucose into energy, or it will soon reject the insulin. 

According to ADA, more than 65% of the USA population has been suffering from prediabetes. So, you can say that about 25 million seniors are at higher risk of getting diabetic. 

It is an alarming situation, as more than 25% population of senior citizens already has diabetes. There are no symptoms of diabetes, and if you get the symptoms of diabetes, then it means you have already developed diabetes. 

Symptoms Of Diabetes

The following are the symptoms of diabetes. 

  1. Weight loss without any effort
  2. The patient used to feel hungry all the time
  3. The patient will remain thirsty 
  4. A lot of urination, mostly at night
  5. Blurry vision
  6. The feeling of being tired
  7. Dry skin
  8. Wounds or sores heal slowly
  9. Patients have numb or tingling feet or hands
  10. more risk of getting infections as compared to others 

Well, these are the general symptoms of diabetes. You need to get tested on your blood sugar in case if you have any symptoms of diabetes. 

  • Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes

The following are the symptoms of type 1 diabetes:

  1. Vomiting, nausea or may have stomach pains.
  2. Patients can develop severe to mild symptoms just within a few weeks.
  3. Type 1 is common among children and young adults.
  • Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes

The following are symptoms of type 2 diabetes:

  1. Yeast infections are prevalent, especially between the fingers, toes. 
  2. Slow-healing of the wounds, cuts, or sores
  3. Pain or numbness in the feet or the legs
  • Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes

The following are the symptoms of Gestational diabetes:

  1. High sugar level during pregnancy 
  2. Feel a little bit thirstier as compare to the standard conditions
  3. Slow-healing sores or cuts
  4. Numbness of the legs, feet, and hands
  5. Frequent yeast infections

Causes Of Diabetes

There could be several reasons for diabetes. A few of them are described just below:

  • Weight could be a possible reason for diabetes. The bulkier you are, the higher is the chance of developing diabetes. 
  • Family history plays an important role. You can develop diabetes in case if one of your parents has diabetes. 
  • The less active you are, the higher is the chance of developing diabetes. 
  • Well, individual races, including Black, Asian American, Hispanic and American Indian, are at higher risk of developing diabetes. 
  • Age is a significant factor. In the elder age, the chances of getting diabetes increase. 
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome can be a reason for diabetes in human beings. 
  • Abnormal cholesterol and triglycerides are some of the primary reasons for developing diabetes. 

Tests For Diabetes

If the glucose level is high, then you need to visit your doctor as soon as possible. Various tests can be used to check the sugar level in your blood. These tests include the following:

  • A1C test

The test is used to take a look at your sugar level within the last three months. This test is used to check whether you are suffering from prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.

The patient can go for this test without fasting. For this test, only a few ml of your blood will be required. 

This test is used to measure the average blood sugar level. The test results are shown in percentage, so the higher the percentage, the higher the sugar level.

The average sugar level is either 5.7 or below 5.7. The A1C from 5.7 to 6.4% shows that you are prediabetic. In case if it is either 6.5% or higher, then you have diabetes.  

  • Random Plasma Glucose (RPG) Test

It is just similar to FPG and is used to test the blood sugar level. For this test, you do not need to fast. This test is recommended when you are showing severe symptoms of diabetes. 

  • Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG) Test

This test is used to measure the sugar level at the current time of the test. These types of tests are usually pre-scheduled, and you may have to fast at least eight hours before taking the test. 

  • Glucose Tolerance Test

This test is used to measure the sugar level as you take a drink before and after taking the liquid which contains the glucose. 

Before this test, you will have to fast, and before taking the test, you will drink the liquid. Then your sugar level would be checked after one, two, and three hours. 

After two hours, blood sugar level should be about 140 mg/dL or even lower than this would be considered normal. But if the sugar level is 140 to 199 mg/dL, you are suffering from prediabetes. A person with a sugar level of 200 mg/dl or even higher is prescribed as diabetic. 

  • Tests for Gestational Diabetes

This type of test is used to diagnose diabetes in pregnant women. You can go for this test between 24 to 28 weeks of your pregnancy. If you are expected to be a patient of gestational diabetes, you need to visit your doctor earlier. 

Keep in mind that the sugar level which is above the average grade is considered to be diabetic. If the blood glucose level in your body is high, you may have been suffering from type 1 or type 2 diabetes. 

  • Glucose Screening Test

The glucose screening test is used to measure blood sugar. For this test, you will have to drink a liquid containing the glucose, and then you will take this test. If you have diabetes, if your sugar level comes out to be 140 mg/dL or higher, you will have to go for a glucose tolerance test. 

How To Avoid Diabetes?

Anyone can reduce the risk of diabetes by taking very few precautionary measures. The following are the steps that can reduce the risk of diabetes:

  • Excessive body weight can be a reason for several diseases. Therefore you should reduce the body weight as soon as possible. 
  • A balanced and healthy diet is the best way to avoid this chronic disease. Avoid saturated and trans fats from your daily routine. Add more vegetables and fresh fruits to your daily diet. 
  • Add physical activities to your daily life. Do exercise regularly as it would help you reduce the body weight and keep you active. Above all, it keeps the glucose level balanced in your body. s
  • In addition to the above-described precaution, you should also avoid fats and other processed food from your daily routine. 
  • Quit smoking and limit alcohol consumption. Smokers are always at higher risk for developing diabetes as compared to non-smokers. In the same way, alcohol can also increase body weight, which could be a possible reason for diabetes. 
  • Along with a balanced diet, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle, you need to take all the physician’s precautions.
  • Always take precautionary measures and check your doctor regularly. It would help you to keep the sugar and cholesterol levels at normal. 

How To Manage Diabetes In Seniors

If you take special care of your older parents, relatives, or spouse, there is a high chance that they can manage diabetes. The following are the ways to keep your sugar level under control. 

  1. Practice the stress releasing or relief providing techniques. For example, yoga or medication can be a great help in this regard. 
  2. Take the medicines regularly. It would help the seniors to maintain their blood sugar level normal. 
  3. Take help from other diabetic patients as well. 
  4. The family members can be an excellent support for diabetic patients, so all the other family members should motivate other seniors with diabetes to follow a healthy lifestyle. 

Diabetes Costs

Diabetes is a chronic as well as costly disease in the world. Every year people used to spend a considerable amount on these diseases.  

The analysis shows that $1 from every $4 is spent on diabetes. Moreover, $237 billion is spent on direct medical costs and $90 billion on reduced productivity. 

In America, the total economic cost for diabetes was estimated to be $245 for the year 2017. The figure depicts shown a rise of about 26% in the coming years. So, as a result, this figure reached up to $327.

From these figures, one can quickly get an idea that how diabetes imposes a burden on society. Therefore, diabetes is very painful for our community. 

Diabetes Insurance

Health insurance is critical, especially if you have diabetes. It may surprise you that the expenses of diabetes are about 2.3% higher compared to other diseases. Therefore, it is crucial to find suitable and the best health insurance so that diabetic patients can manage and treat these chronic diseases. 

You can find different insurance plans for diabetic patients, which cover most of your expenses, including medication and other health care plans. 

Diabetes will never prevent the patients from getting the insurance policies. There are various health insurance service providers available in the market, and you can find the best health insurance policies. 

So, before you get an insurance policy, it is highly recommended to check all the possible options and check their prices. It is also essential to determine the coverage or benefits you can get from these insurance policies. 

You can find the best insurance policies at:

  1. Through an employer, in case if you are an employer.
  2. Through domestic partner’s employer
  3. Private health insurance or even from the health insurance marketplace

If you have had diabetes, you need to check for some health insurance plans to cover the medical equipment and other essential supplies, including the test strips, insulin, and other medications. These insurance policies can be a great help for you to manage, prevent and treat diabetes. 


Diabetes is a chronic disease, and a large population has been suffering from this disease worldwide. There are several possible reasons for this disease, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol level, obesity, and an unhealthy lifestyle. 

In diabetes, the body fails to produce insulin. The body shows insulin resistance; thus, the level of glucose in the body rises. To avoid diabetes, one should follow a healthy lifestyle is always recommended. 

If you also suffer from this disease, take all the possible precautionary measures to bring your blood glucose to an optimum level so that you can enjoy a healthy life. 

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