Managing your Diabetes as you Age.

Did you know that diabetes is the fastest-growing chronic condition in Australia? Over the past year, over 120,000 Australians have developed the illness bringing its current total of people impacted to around 1.8 million. Throughout this blog, you will find helpful tips to help you or someone you love to manage the illness as they get older.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is an illness that can affect your whole body, this happens when your body can no longer maintain healthy levels of glucose in the blood. The pancreas can no longer produce insulin which is vital when it comes to converting glucose into energy. Our bodies use glucose as the main source of energy, therefore unhealthy levels of glucose can cause health complications. Those diagnosed with the illness will need to use insulin injections or a pump to replace the role of the pancreas due to this. There are three types of diabetes: type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. While the condition is not curable, it is possible to live a normal and enjoyable life by learning how to manage it correctly.

What causes type 1 diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes is when the immune system destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas due to an autoimmune reaction. The cause of this autoimmune reaction is unknown so sadly it cannot be prevented. However, type 1 can be managed by:
  • Using an insulin pump throughout the day.
  • Monitoring your blood glucose levels often or as recommended by your doctor.
  • Taking insulin injections throughout the day.
  • Maintaining a healthy diet.
  • Participating in regular physical activity.

What causes type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas is no longer able to produce enough insulin as a result of resistance to the normal effects of insulin. You can manage your type 2 by:
  • Eating a healthy diet.
  • Monitoring your blood glucose levels.
  • Exercising regularly.
  • Taking tablets depending on your situation.

Who is at risk of diabetes?

Your chances of developing type 2 diabetes depend on a range of factors such as age, race, family history etc. However, you are at an increased risk if you are but not limited to;
  • Over the age of 45 years old and overweight.
  • Over 55 years old.
  • Have had a family member with type 2.
  • Are from an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background.
  • Are not physically active.
  • Are from Asia.
  • Take medication to treat psychosis.
  • Have had a heart attack or stroke.
  • Have had gestational diabetes.
  • Have polycystic ovary syndrome.
If you have pre-diabetes, this means your glucose levels are abnormal and you will be required to undergo a yearly test. You are also at higher risk of developing type 2.

What are the symptoms of pre-diabetes?

In most cases, it does not cause any symptoms therefore it is important to visit your doctor if you are at risk. However, the following may be signs;
  • Blurred vision.
  • Urinating a lot.
  • Frequent thirst.
  • Feeling exhausted.

What are the symptoms of diabetes?

It is important to become familiar with the symptoms of diabetes as earlier diagnosis may reduce the risk of complications. Some people may not experience any symptoms at all and sometimes their symptoms may be overlooked as normal ‘ageing.’ Common symptoms include but are not limited to;
  • Passing more urine.
  • Always hungry.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Headaches.
  • Feeling dizzy.
  • Having cuts that heal slowly.
  • Weight loss.
  • Weight gain.

How can I prevent diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented, however, there are plenty of things you can do to prevent type 2 diabetes such as;
  • Regular exercise.
  • Not smoking.
  • Maintaining a healthy diet.
  • Managing cholesterol levels.
Diabetes type 2 is a disease that many people are unaware they are at risk of.

If you are interested in assessing your risk, you can use the Diabetes Australia risk calculator.

If you find that you are at high risk of developing diabetes, the state provides many services and programs to help support you.

How do I get checked out for diabetes?

If you are at high risk of developing diabetes, you may be required to undergo a blood or urine glucose test by your doctor. Your samples will then be analysed for any abnormalities in a pathology lab.

Tips to manage diabetes as your age.

As you age, it is important to learn how to manage your illness so that you can continue to live an enjoyable life. Here are some tips you could consider;
  1. Medication management: Ensure you are taking the recommended dosage of your medication at the right time.
  2. Monitor glucose levels: It is really important to monitor your glucose levels as this will help you keep levels within the target range.
  3. Healthy diet: Make sure you are maintaining a healthy diet or if you are unsure, visit a dietician who can help create a meal plan with you.
  4. Regular exercise: It is important to move your body as this will help lower your blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.
  5. Seek assistance: It is okay to need an extra pair of hands now and again. Chatting with your family or Care Manager can help relieve your stress.
Older people represent 85-90% of all diabetes cases in Australia. Therefore it is important to know that there is plenty of support available. Having low blood sugar can increase the risk of falls, so it is important to have a trusted support team to help lower that risk. At Oxley Home Care, we empower you to have more control with your Home Care Package and allow you to decide what support and services you want assistance with. Whether that’s medication prompting, meal preparation, personal assistance or cleaning we are only a phone call away. To learn more, feel free to give our expert team a call on 1300 230 369.

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Managing diabetes as you age.

Managing your Diabetes as you Age.

Did you know that diabetes is the fastest-growing chronic condition in Australia? Over the past year, over 120,000 Australians have developed the illness bringing its current total of people impacted to around 1.8 million. Throughout this blog, you will find helpful tips to help you or someone you love to manage the illness as they

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