Diabetes in Seniors: Normal blood Sugar Levels
As we get older, we will develop many health problems. Diabetes is one of the most common diseases among seniors. Although many people experience a healthy and vibrant old age by choosing a healthy lifestyle, proper nutrition, exercise, and physical activity in younger years, diabetes is still a common problem in the 60s. According to reports, 10% of seniors over the age of 65 have diabetes. But what is a normal blood sugar ranger in seniors?
The following article will discuss normal blood sugar levels and diabetes in seniors and examine this issue in detail.
Diagnosis of Diabetes in Seniors
In routine tests, the blood sugar level indicates whether you have diabetes or not. You should do blood sugar tests on an empty stomach. If your fasting blood sugar level is more than 110 mg, you have diabetes.
Before you have a blood sugar test, you can find out having diabetes, according to some of the most common symptoms occurring in diabetes. Some of the symptoms include:
- Losing weight despite a normal diet
- Increased frequency of urination
- Thirst despite drinking a lot of water
- Hyperglycemia without eating
Signs of Hypoglycemia (Low Blood Sugar)
Hypoglycemia is very dangerous in seniors. Because it can make the person unconscious and send him into a coma. Some signs of hypoglycemia are as follows:
- Hardening of blood vessels and reduced blood flow
- Decreased temperature: This happens more in places where the ambient temperature is low.
- Dizziness and vomiting
- Feeling hungry
- Excess fatigue
Signs of Hyperglycemia (High Blood Sugar)
Just as low blood sugar is dangerous, and higher blood sugar can lead to severe side effects. Symptoms of hyperglycemia include:
- Excessive thirst and water consumption
- Dry mouth
- Higher Frequency of Urination
- Weakness and lethargy
- More sleep
- Weight loss
- Blurred vision
What Is the Normal Blood Sugar Level in Healthy and Diabetic People?
- Fasting state: for healthy people (less than 100 mg/dL), for diabetics (above 126 mg/dL)
- Before lunch and dinner: for healthy people (less than 110 mg/dL), for diabetics (between 70-130 mg/dL)
- Up to 2 hours after meals: for healthy people (less than 140 mg/dL), for diabetics (less than 200 mg/dL)
- Before bed: for healthy people (less than 120 mg/dL), for diabetics (less than 150 mg/dL)
If a person’s fasting blood sugar is between 100 and 125, he/she has pre-diabetes.
How to Control Blood Sugar
For diabetes management, you have to follow a series of do’s and don’ts and change your lifestyle. In the following, we will talk about the methods of controlling this disease.
Blood Sugar Pills
Eighty to ninety percent of seniors diagnosed with diabetes after age 60 can be successfully treated without insulin.
If you are worried about taking your medicine regularly, put the necessary daily or weekly tablets in a particular container available and easily taken.
The older you are, the more likely you are to take medications that may interfere with each other. Therefore, it is necessary to talk to the doctor about other medicines you are taking before receiving blood sugar pills.
Many seniors receive insulin injections and determine the amount of insulin needed to inject. However, some seniors have vision problems and slowness of movement. If it is difficult for an older adult to draw insulin into a syringe or inject it, doctors should prescribe the simplest effective insulin regimen. Dry joints limit the sites of insulin injection in the seniors.
If a diabetic senior can draw insulin into a syringe and inject it, it is sufficient to take care of the daily insulin intake alone, but if the diabetic elderly person is unable to inject insulin alone, the required daily or weekly dose should be injected by a nurse. Note, however, that if it is necessary to inject NPH and regular (crystal) insulin simultaneously as a mixture, the mixture can be injected and stored inside the syringe up to 15 minutes before the injection.
If the blood sugar level is not controlled with a single injection per day and it is necessary to inject twice a day, the syringe for each dose should be specified so that seniors can inject at the appropriate time. It will also help you to make sure that the injection has been done and that you haven’t forgotten about it.
People with diabetes should eat staple foods and snacks at certain times. They should increase the number of their daily meals to 6 units. Men should not consume sugary foods in the main meals from 4 to 5 units and women from 3 to 4 units.
Consumption of sugar-containing food groups between meals in both sexes, men and women, should not exceed 1 to 2 units. An overnight snack is best made from protein such as cheese or milk that comes with bread. They should also include the best fruits for seniors with diabetes in their diet.
Types of Diabetes for Seniors
Diabetes is divided into three main types:
Type 1 Diabetes
In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas cannot produce insulin and insulin production is very low or stopped. Type 1 diabetes usually begins in childhood or adolescence but can start at any age. Experts consider this type of diabetes to be an autoimmune disease and believe that hereditary factors and environmental factors are, to some extent, effective in causing it.
Type 2 Diabetes
In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas produces insulin, but the amount is insufficient, or the body is resistant to it and cannot use it. This type of diabetes is more common in the elderly (over 40 years).
People with type 2 diabetes can usually control the disease with proper diet, exercise and, if necessary, pills. Occasionally, when the pancreas becomes too lazy or in other special cases, a person with type 2 diabetes may also need insulin.
Sometimes our body cells do not respond to insulin as they should. This condition is known as insulin resistance. When the amount of insulin in the blood rises, the body’s cells collect blood sugar. As a result, blood sugar drops and accumulates in the body’s cells for use or storage.
But sometimes, for some reason, the cells responsible for collecting blood sugar do not respond to insulin. In other words, they become insulin resistant.
Eventually, the pancreas will not continue with this condition, and its cells will damage. A damaged pancreas reduces insulin production, and a lack of insulin results in no cells responding to this hormone, causing blood sugar to rise sharply.
When blood sugar exceeds its normal limit, type 2 diabetes develops. To prevent this problem, you can focus on reducing belly fat, exercise, quitting smoking, reducing sugar intake, eating healthy food, reducing anxiety and donating blood.
Care Measures for the Diabetic Seniors
High and low blood sugar in seniors with diabetes can be hazardous and cause serious complications. As a result, these people need special care.
People with diabetes in old age have been able to prevent diabetes in previous years by following a diet, proper nutrition in seniors with diabetes, and regular physical activity. Taking these steps when a person has diabetes can be effective in controlling blood sugar levels.
Excess sugar in seniors, especially women, causes urinary tract infections. If you feel that urine smell is unpleasant and intense, know that you need specific medications that a doctor must prescribe.
Another concern that you should be aware of is vision problems. Many people wear glasses as they get older, and their vision decreases. But this loss of vision is more dangerous in people with diabetes and requires more care. As blood sugar levels rise in people with diabetes, so does the pressure inside the eye. The result of these factors is a severe reduction in vision in people.
It has been observed that some people with diabetes have been forced to have their limbs amputated. Infections and wounds do not heal well in people with diabetes. These sores become infected and will gradually spread throughout the body. Seniors should pay attention to any sign of infection in their feet because it can lead to severe consequences.
Seniors should regularly have their blood sugar checked and take their medicine on time to prevent deterioration of diabetes symptoms.
The important conclusion is that it is possible to live a long and healthy life with any form of this disease. Take your medication as prescribed, check your blood sugar frequently, eat well, exercise, and limit stress are all key points.
Use this article only as educational material. You must consult your doctor and/or specialist prior to using it. Read more about this disclaimer.