Diabetes in Older People

Diabetes in Older People

Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects millions of people around the world. It is a condition in which the body does not produce enough insulin, or the cells do not properly use the insulin produced. This can lead to serious health complications, including heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and blindness. While diabetes can occur at any age, it is most common in older adults. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 25% of adults aged 65 and over have diabetes. There are a number of factors that can contribute to the development of diabetes in older adults. These include age-related changes in the body, such as a decrease in beta cell function and an increase in insulin resistance. Other risk factors include obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, and a family history. If you are an older adult with diabetes, it is important to manage your condition and take steps to prevent complications. This may include following a healthy diet, exercising regularly, taking medications as prescribed, and monitoring your blood sugar levels.

What is diabetes?

There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes, formerly called insulin-dependent or juvenile-onset diabetes, occurs when the body produces little or no insulin. Insulin is a hormone needed to allow sugar (glucose) to enter cells to produce energy. Type 2 diabetes, formerly called non-insulin-dependent or adult-onset diabetes, results when the body doesn’t make enough insulin or becomes resistant to the action of insulin.

Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes, accounting for 90 to 95 percent of all cases in the United States. People with type 2 diabetes often have one or more of the following conditions: obesity, high blood pressure, abnormal lipid (fat) levels in the blood, and impaired glucose tolerance (IGT). IGT is a condition in which blood glucose levels are high, but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. People with IGT are at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

In general, people with diabetes have twice the risk of heart disease and stroke as people who don’t have diabetes. Diabetes also can cause other serious complications, such as kidney disease, nerve damage (neuropathy), eye problems, foot problems, skin infections, and gum disease. Pregnant women with untreated gestational diabetes have a higher risk of miscarriage and stillbirth and a greater chance that their baby will be born large (macrosomia) and be

Prevalence of diabetes in older people

The prevalence of diabetes in older people has been on the rise in recent years. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the age-adjusted prevalence of diabetes among adults aged 65 years or older was 14.3% in 2011–2012. This is up from 10.5% in 1988–1994 and 11.8% in 2000–2002.

There are a number of reasons behind this trend. First, the population is aging. The number of Americans aged 65 years or older is projected to nearly double from 46 million today to over 84 million by 2050. With an aging population comes an increased risk for chronic diseases like diabetes.

Second, people are living longer with diabetes. Thanks to advances in treatment and care, people with diabetes are living longer and healthier lives than ever before. However, as people live longer with the disease, their risk for complications like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and amputations increases.

Finally, the obesity epidemic is a major contributor to the rising prevalence of diabetes in older adults. Obesity increases your risk for type 2 diabetes, and nearly one-third of Americans aged 65 years or older are obese (33%). While the prevalence of diabetes is increasing in all age groups, it’s especially concerning in older adults because of the potential complications that can occur as we age. If you are 65 or older, talk to your doctor about your risk for diabetes and ways you can prevent or delay

Risk factors for diabetes in older people

There are a number of risk factors for diabetes in older people. These include:

  • being overweight or obese
  • having high blood pressure
  • having high cholesterol
  • family history of diabetes
  • being of African, Hispanic, Asian, or Pacific Islander descent
  • having a sedentary lifestyle

Older people are also more likely to have other conditions that can increase their risk of developing diabetes, such as:

  • kidney disease
  • heart disease
  • stroke
  • fatty liver disease

Symptoms of diabetes in older people

Diabetes is a serious health condition that can lead to a number of complications. In older people, diabetes can cause a number of problems, including:

  • Fatigue
  • Increased urination
  • Thirst
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Blurry vision
  • Slow healing of cuts and bruises
  • Yeast infections
Diabetes in Older People
Senior holding an eyeglasses

Diagnosis of diabetes in older people

As we age, our bodies become less efficient at metabolizing glucose, which can lead to higher blood sugar levels and the development of diabetes. There are a few different ways that doctors can diagnose diabetes in older people.

The first way is through a fasting blood sugar test. This test is done after the person has not eaten for at least 8 hours. The doctor will take a sample of the person’s blood and check the sugar levels. If the sugar levels are higher than normal, it could be an indication of diabetes.

Another way to diagnose diabetes is through an A1C test. This test measures the average blood sugar levels over the course of 2-3 months. If the A1C level is high, it could be an indication of diabetes. If you have any symptoms of diabetes, such as increased thirst, urination, fatigue, or blurred vision, your doctor will likely order one or both of these tests to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment of diabetes in older people

As people age, their bodies become less able to process and use sugar (glucose) properly. This is called insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone that helps the body’s cells use glucose for energy. Older people with diabetes may need to take more than one type of medication to control their blood sugar levels. They may also need to exercise more and eat a healthy diet. If you have diabetes, it’s important to see your healthcare provider regularly. He or she can check your blood sugar levels and help you manage your diabetes.

Prevention of diabetes in older people

There are many ways to prevent diabetes in older people. One way is to maintain a healthy weight. Another way is to eat a healthy diet and get regular exercise. Additionally, older people can take steps to control their blood sugar levels and manage their diabetes.

Elderly couples eating some fruit


Diabetes is a serious health problem that can have a significant impact on the lives of older people. If you are over the age of 65 and have diabetes, it is important to take steps to manage your condition and stay healthy. There are many resources available to help you do this, so don’t hesitate to seek out help if you need it. With proper management, you can live a long and healthy life despite your diabetes diagnosis. For more daily health tips be sure to visit Centric Healthcare.






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