Common Health Conditions of the Elderly – Section 4 – DIABETES:

Curantis Home Carers are experienced in the caring involved for diabetes patients. Here is an article explaining diabetes in the elderly.

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Diabetes in the Elderly is a long-term condition caused by too much Glucose (Sugar) in the blood.
There is no such thing as ‘mild’ diabetes. Diabetes is always serious and if left untreated or not well managed, the high levels of blood glucose associated with diabetes can slowly damage both the fine nerves and the small and large blood vessels in the body, resulting in a variety of complications.
These include heart disease, blindness, amputation and kidney failure.

There are two main types of Diabetes in the Elderly:

Type 1 Type 2
The body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce Insulin.

As no Insulin produced, glucose levels increase which seriously damages the body’s organs.

The body doesn’t produce enough Insulin or the body’s cells do not react to Insulin – this is known as Insulin resistance.

Causes:

Type 1 Type 2
The exact cause of Type 1 diabetes is unknown.
The body’s own immune system which normally fights harmful bacteria and viruses mistakenly destroys the insulin-producing (islet, or islets of Langerhans) cells in the pancreas.
Genetic
Type 2 Diabetes develops when the body becomes resistant to insulin or when the pancreas stops producing enough insulin.

Exactly why this happens is unknown, although genetics and environmental factors, such as excess weight and inactivity, seem to be contributing factors

 

Common signs & symptoms:

  • Unusual thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Unusual weight loss
  • Extreme fatigue or lack of energy
  • Blurred vision
  • Frequent or recurring infections
  • Slow healing cuts & bruises
  • Boils and itching skin
  • Tingling and numbness in the hands or feet.

Treatment:

Type 1 Type 2
Treatment aims at maintaining normal blood sugar levels through regular monitoring, insulin therapy, diet, and exercise. Treatments include diet, exercise, medication, and insulin therapy.

Curantis Home Carers

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