Living with diabetes can be a continuous struggle, especially for older adults. It’s estimated that 33 percent of adults aged 65 or older have diabetes. This statistic is quite concerning because the senior population is more at risk of developing complications due to diabetes, such as hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), kidney failure, and heart disease. But fortunately, diabetes doesn’t have to be a struggle. It is a manageable condition. Here are three things diabetic seniors can do to ensure they have Better Health.
Check Glucose Levels Every Day
The biggest threat to diabetic seniors is their glucose levels. It can quickly get out of hand and cause major complications if not monitored. As previously mentioned, older people with diabetes are at a greater risk of developing hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). This makes it so important to check your glucose levels regularly. Symptoms of hypoglycemia include confusion, dizziness, hunger, and sweating. Regularly monitoring your glucose can prevent a life-threatening diabetic ketoacidosis crisis that lands you in the ICU.
Live a Healthy Lifestyle
This is important whether you have diabetes or not. But for diabetic seniors, this is crucial. Watching what you eat can help to monitor your sugar levels. Pass on the fast and processed foods. Sure, they’re quick and easy, but they will do more harm than the convenience is worth. Eat a diet with lots of whole foods that are high in fiber. Fiber intake may reduce fasting blood glucose levels. Include fresh fruit and vegetables. And avoid adding sugar or salt for flavor. Instead, use fresh herbs and spices to enhance your dishes.
In addition to eating a healthy diet, you need to stay active. The American Diabetes Association recommends exercising 30 minutes each day, at least five days a week. Aerobic exercise, such as walking, biking, or swimming, can help you to control your glucose levels, manage your weight, and build strength.
Partner With a Caring and Skilled Provider
Diabetes is a chronic condition that must be monitored and managed. And optimal diabetes control comes down to a collaboration between you and your provider. Together, you and your physician can devise a treatment plan that works for you and your individual needs. Your provider can assist in creating a meal plan or exercise regimen to help you achieve Better Health with diabetes. They can check for signs of complications or things you should be monitoring.