Diabetes is a very challenging illness. It is an illness that can be quite life threatening when not managed properly by taking medicine for diabetes and maintaining a proper diet. But the danger of the sickness multiplies as one gets older. Along with diabetes, numerous complications can emerge. Here is what you should know about aging and the challenge of Diabetes.
Alzheimer ’s disease
In recent years, there researchers have recently discovered that diabetics are at a higher risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s is a degenerative neurological disease that causes dementia. This is particularly dangerous for Diabetics as the patient will be unable to recall if they have taken their medicine for diabetes, when or what they last ate or whether they have taken their insulin shots. This may lead to hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s although there are numerous clinical studies around the world trying to find a solution to this illness. Today, researchers are trying to find out if properly controlling one’s glucose level can affect stop or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s in diabetics.
If you ask people what is the one sense out of the five senses (sight, sound, touch, taste and smell) would they hate to lose the most, the majority will answer sight. But unfortunately for diabetics, the risk for eye problems increases. Cataracts are known to develop in the later years of life but did you know that being diabetic means that you are at a higher risk for one specific cataract condition above other types? It is called subcapsular cataract and it occurs at the back of your eye’s lens. Diabetic retinopathy is also a problem, which is when the retina’s capillaries are damaged, thus causing vision loss. Another complication caused by eye problems is simply the difficulty of being unable to see clearly. This can cause some confusion when it comes to medicine labels or walking down the stairs. For medication, have someone color code the doses instead of writing labels. If you are having difficulty seeing something, never hesitate to ask for help.
When we were children, one of the most difficult things to do is drink medicines. When one has become old, it can be quite difficult to drink medicine as well. It is a general assumption that as one ages, one’s number of medications increases. One difficulty about having multiple medical prescriptions is the possibility of forgetting the dosage and when to take it . This will be especially difficult for those who prefer to live on their own as there will be no one to remind them. Missing a dose of medicine is a big no and for diabetics, regularly missing their dosage can even be fatal (especially when have already started using insulin). To help you remember your medications, have someone or you yourself write down the hour and medicine on a several sticky notes. Place these notes in areas you frequent, such as the kitchen or restroom. Make use of the pill boxes with labels for time and day. If you have a mobile phone, set up alarms to remind you about your medication.
Recent studies have found a strong link between loss of hearing and diabetes. According to doctors, the majority of patients with diabetes related hearing loss are senior citizens. The reason why is still being studied but it is theorized that that the capillaries inside the ear are being damaged by diabetes, thus leading to deafness.
Hypertension and Cardiovascular Disease
As you age, you become more prone to high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. As a diabetic, your chances to have hypertension are also doubled. Diabetes affects the heart’s arteries, making them narrower and increasing your risk not only for hypertension but for cardiovascular problems like heart attacks. The only way to avoid these problems is to stop drinking alcohol, stop smoking, exercise, take your maintenance medicine and limit your salt intake.
Regularly visit your doctor to avoid further complications from diabetes combined with aging. Diabetes is never a disease to overlook. Eat a healthy diet and always take your medicines.