Be careful when caring for diabetes in old age

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diabetes in older
Take care diabetes in old age

Diabetes in old age is an increasingly common disease and its complications, especially cardiovascular complications, are important causes of death in these people. Type 2 diabetes mellitus increases with age, aged over 65 accounting for 18-20%. Elderly people are often subject to many coordinated diseases, the body organs have had a certain decline.

Diagnosis and treatment of diabetes in the elderly is more difficult than young people who require both physicians, patients and families to have a clear understanding of the disease. Therefore, it is necessary to have appropriate monitoring, care and treatment regimes for patients to manage blood glucose, prevent complications and achieve quality of life.

1. Harmful health effects of type 2 diabetes in old age

The number of people with diabetes increases with age, but in a recent survey, 1 in 5 ~ 6 people over the age of 60 were diagnosed with diabetes, which is a amazing number about the number of people with diabetes.

The reasons for increasing the incidence of diabetes in the elderly are changes in glucose metabolism, as insulin secretion and insulin resistance increases with age, as older people often have to take a variety of drugs, which affect blood sugar, due to a sedentary lifestyle and because they often have obesity or overweight.

take care diabetes in old age
Taking care of diabetes in old age needs more care than young people

In addition to the dangers that any diabetes patient has, elderly people with type 2 diabetes have to face age-related hazards:

– “Old age syndrome” appears in patients: Elderly people with diabetes also have a greater risk of developing old age syndrome: cognitive dysfunction, depression, visual and hearing disorders, hypoglycemia. .. These symptoms are often unnoticed by the patient or their family members, if for prolonged, untimely treatment, can cause serious problems, possibly even leading to death. Therefore, if detecting the manifestation of old age syndrome, it is necessary to immediately conduct screening and screening tests, thereby offering an appropriate treatment plan.

– When accompanied by cardiovascular disease, stroke, the disease is very serious and life-threatening in the elderly.

– Neurological and microvascular complications can also lead to disability which is also a regular threat: Retinal complications, ophthalmic hemorrhage, cataracts are the cause of blindness in the elderly, and diabetic peripheral and vascular complications of diabetes often cause necrosis, when the level becomes serious, amputation, causing lifelong disability or death.

– The elderly are often associated with impaired hepatic and renal function, metabolic disorders. So there may be complications caused by drugs that lower blood glucose.

2. The problem of blood sugar control of diabetes in older patients

Good control of blood glucose is still the core issue in the treatment of diabetes. Strict control of blood glucose is a top goal, but is at risk of hypoglycemia. Treatment goals for elderly diabetic patients in general are: fasting blood glucose levels near normal levels (<7 mml / l, HbA1c <7%), without hypoglycemia.

diabetics lower blood sugar
Blood sugar control is very important with Diabetics

However, in elderly patients, with many comorbid chronic diseases, single, life expectancy is no longer long, the goal of treatment must be more realistic, the goal may be to reduce the signs and symptoms of Hyperglycemia (such as drink a lot of water, fatigue, weight loss) is more realistic than trying to achieve normal blood glucose.

Because, in the elderly, the liver’s ability to resolve drugs or the kidney’s ability to eliminate drugs, the drugs that lower blood sugar are more effective than expected. Hypoglycemia is usually more serious in the elderly. If autonomic nerve function and cognitive function decline with age, it may also be difficult to recognize symptoms of hypoglycemia.

In addition, along with the increase of age, elderly diabetics often have atherosclerosis. Severe hypoglycemia can cause a heart attack or cerebral infarction. In fact, studies have shown that people with low HbA1c tend to have higher mortality rates.

Hypoglycemia increases other risk such as consciousness disorder, coma, stroke or fracture. Severe hypoglycemia can also damage the brain, leading to cognitive impairment, in which case the ability to become bedridden.

To prevent hypoglycemia, patients need to know what medication they are taking. Insulin drugs, sulfonylureas (SU) and drugs that stimulate the release of fast-acting insulin (Glinide) often cause hypoglycemia. If you regularly use these drugs, when you eat less, want more or exercise more vigorously than usual, your blood sugar will be easily lowered.

3. Treatment measures to care patients of diabetes in old age

Treatment and basic control indicators in the elderly are the same as for young people. However, in the course of curing and living with the disease, attention should be paid to changes in psychology and body due to aging in the elderly. Next, are the summaries of the elderly’s treatment and care notes.

type 2 diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes is increasing in worldwide

3.1. Food therapy to diabetic patients

Diet therapy for the elderly with diabetes in old age is the cornerstone of treatment.

Low calorie diet, low in fat. The recommended diet for the elderly with diabetes is a calorie-reducing diet: fat <30% calories, carbohydrates> 50% calories. Enhance fiber, vitamins. Drink enough water. Divide meals into small meals throughout the day.

Protein is especially important in the diet. Protein rich foods like fish, meat, soy and soy products. If you can’t eat them because your teeth are weak, you can choose eggs, eggs are also a good source of nutrition. In the past, people thought that eggs should be limited because eggs were high in cholesterol, but now there are many drugs that help lower cholesterol, so the high cholesterol caused by eating eggs is no longer a cause for concern. So: “Can eat 1 egg a day”.

egg is healthy breakfast for diabetes
Egg is a healthy breakfast for diabetics

》》》Learn more:

Be Careful with diabetic diet to stabilize blood sugar level. What should Diabetics eat? 

3.2. Excercise therapy of people with diabetes in old age

Appropriate exercise regimen: Walking, cycling, Tai chi excercises. If a person stays on exercise for a few months, they will increase muscle strength and increase their basal metabolism as well as improve the effectiveness of insulin, which in turn will have an impact on the glycemic index. High levels, help improve blood sugar control.

tai chi excercise for diabetes
Tai chi excercise for diabetes will help improve balance for diabetics

In the elderly, there are many people who have problems with cardiovascular function, or knee pain. When the patient begins to exercise unreasonably, inadvertently leads to other diseases (such as angina, heart failure, arthritis, etc.). Note cases with associated cardiovascular disease should be consulted by their doctor with their comorbidities.

3.3. Drug treatment

When the body functions decline with age, the elderly need more time to metabolize and excrete drugs and drugs that will remain in the blood for a long time. If you continue to supply a dose of medication to the body while the previous drug remains in the bloodstream, hypoglycemia may occur. To avoid such hypoglycemia, when the elderly start drug treatment, they should start with less than the prescribed amount, then will adjust the increase or decrease depending on the reaction in the body.

In addition, when there are many complications, more drugs will be needed, the doctor will not be able to predict the possible side effects. Therefore, to help with the treatment of the physician, the patient himself should bring the medication he or she used at the time of first visit and give it to the doctor. In addition, when starting a new medication, attention should be paid to changes in functional symptoms and examination indicators, and to notify the treating physician as soon as possible.

drug diabetes treatment
The drug should be complied with Doctor’s prescription

3.4. Treatment and care of comorbidities and complications of diabetes

Need to treat well coordinated diseases. Complications that need to be considered:

Diabetic foot: Foot care is important for diabetes in the elderly, especially the elderly because it is often difficult for them to do it on their own. People with long-term diabetes often lose feeling in their feet, so if you do not take care of them will appear sores in this position. Caregivers should regularly check the feet, toes to detect cuts, sores or wounds for prompt treatment. This should be done with daily foot hygiene.

– Infections in the feet are a very dangerous complication not only in young people but also of diabetes in the elderly that can quickly spread to the bone, leading to osteomyelitis.

– Hypoglycemia: Early detection and timely management of hypoglycemia in patients is required. Guide patients and family members the signs of hypoglycemia and emergency management of hypoglycemia.

– Coma due to hyperglycemia: Early detection of consciousness disorders in patients is required for timely treatment.

– Retinopathy: Complications can lead to blindness. Routine eye examination for patients.

diabetes in older aldults
Care of diabetes in older aldults with complications

Type 2 diabetes in the elderly is a condition that requires strict treatment and management because this is a high-risk patients. In order to improve the quality of life of patients.

》》》Learn more:

Safe breakfast for diabetics to fight diabetes

Top 10 BEST Vegetables Cure Diabetes for unexpected effect

 

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