What is Diabetes?
Diabetes occurs when the:
• Insulin production of his system is inadequate
• If the cells of his body does not respond properly to insulin released by his pancreas
• A combination of both of these factors
In such a situation, the quantity of glucose in his blood increases because his body cannot use the former properly. The beta cells in the pancreas produces insulin, a hormone that plays several roles in the metabolism of the human body, such as regulating how the body stores and uses fat and glucose. Quite a few cells of the body depend on insulin to draw glucose from the blood for energy. This hormone also controls the blood sugar level from getting too high or too low.
Different types of diabetes
There are two different types of diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune ailment in which the pancreas produces a small amount of insulin or does not produce insulin. In such a situation, the patient is entirely dependent on administration of insulin through external means, such as injections.
Type 2: The body cannot utilize insulin properly, also referred to as insulin resistance. Initially the pancreas creates sufficient insulin to make up for it, but is unable to keep up with this production over a prolonged period, leading to increased levels of glucose in the blood. This is the commonest form of diabetes. This leads to complications such as kidney failure, blindness, and heart attacks.
Diabetes in senior citizens
Elderly citizens are often frail and consequently more susceptible to illness. As a person ages, their basic rate of metabolism, or the amount of energy his or her body burns up while resting, decreases. Apart from this, their body becomes less adept in withdrawing glucose from their bloodstream and using it. This condition, known as glucose intolerance (the cells of their body becomes sensitive to insulin at a continuously decreasing rate), typically sets the stage for `type 2′ diabetes. Obesity also plays a huge role in causing diabetes, since the extra fat interferes with the ability of their muscles from using insulin.
Other factors that increase the chances of diabetes in elderly citizens:
Many senior citizens consume multiple drugs. While quite a few of these drugs are directly responsible for causing hypoglycemia (high blood sugar levels), some of the other drugs may cause hypoglycemia by interacting with diabetic drugs. Impaired glucose counter regulation is another reason leading to diabetes in elderly people. In such a situation, there is a decrease in their body’s ability to release specific hormones, which prevents low blood sugar levels from forming by increasing that level, when it falls dangerously low. Headaches, dizziness, trembling, and sweating are some of the typical symptoms that herald the onset of hypoglycemia.
How senior citizens should tackle diabetes
Senior citizens can control diabetes easily by following the steps outlined below.
• They should monitor their blood sugar levels every day, and note down the information on a chart. This will help their physician to determine the effectiveness of the current treatment plan and make changes, if required.
• They should control their diet and avoid carbohydrate rich food that can directly affect their blood sugar levels. Apart from avoiding food rich in saturated fat and carbohydrates, they should include an abundance of vegetables in their diet, specifically those that are low in starch. If necessary, they should consult a dietician to prepare a diet chart for them, and follow the same religiously.
• Simple physical activity such as swimming, walking, and cycling are extremely essential since it improves their physical mobility, helps burn down calories, and decreases the level of blood sugar by increasing the glucose utilization of their body. It is important that they should seek the help of a doctor to determine which exercises are suitable for them.