November is Diabetes Awareness Month. This widespread disease continues to affect the lives of many everyday people around the world, particularly older adults. According to 2021 figures provided by theInternational Diabetes Federation, it is estimated that as many as 537 million adults worldwide between the ages of 20 and 79 years old are living with this chronic condition.
This statistic includes millions of Americans and even closer to home, some of our own residents on campus. As a Life Plan Community, Montereau takes pride in ensuring that all residents have the opportunity to enjoy a happy and fulfilling retirement regardless of their stage in life. This loving environment, backed by our commitment to wellness and understanding of the latest and greatest scientific advancements, means we are here for you and your family.
Check out our Q&A about diabetes to help raise awareness about the disease. For those who have been diagnosed with this condition, know that diabetes in older adults can be properly managed by following the best practices to ensure you continue to live a full life.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic disease that impacts your body’s ability to turn the foods you eat into energy.When you eat and the food is broken down into glucose, it is released into your bloodstream causing your blood sugar levels to go up. Typically, this alerts the pancreas to produce and release insulin which is the hormone responsible for aiding your cells in absorbing the glucose so it can then be used as energy.
This typical process is disrupted in people who have been diagnosed as diabetics. The hallmark of diabetes is a consistently high glucose level in your blood, which happens from one of two ways:
Type 1 diabetes: This is the less common of the two and is a result of an autoimmune reaction where your body destroys the cells in the pancreas that are responsible for producing insulin resulting in high blood sugar levels. Your body fails to produce sufficient insulin and daily insulin injections have to be taken to manage this condition.
Type 2 diabetes: This is often referred to as insulin resistance and occurs when the body is unable to use insulin as it should and your blood sugar level remains high. While a healthy diet and exercise can help to manage or even reverse type 2 diabetes, some persons also require medication to manage the condition.
Many persons living with diabetes don’t know it and cannot seek the necessary treatment. Oftentimes they find out when they’re already seriously ill. That’s why it’s important to checkin with your doctor regularly especially if you are at risk for developing this condition.
What are the risk factors for diabetes?
As an older adult, your body undergoes a number of changes that may result in health complications.Therefore, even if you’ve never been diagnosed with diabetes, it can develop later in life so it’s important to understand the risk factors. This will allow you to create a more personalized plan when it comes to your healthcare and checkups.
Type 1 diabetes is a result of an autoimmune reaction so the leading risk factor is having a family history of type 1 diabetes. On the other hand, factors that put you at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes include:
While factors such as your genes and family history are out of your control, lifestyle and wellness decisions can help prevent type 2 diabetes or slow the course of the disease.Regular wellness visits can give you a baseline of your blood sugar numbers, offering insight on when it is urgent to correct course.
What does it feel like to have diabetes?
Now that you understand more about diabetes and the risk factors, let’s move on to the symptoms. Some may be dismissed or chalked up to another condition. Always listen to your body and pay attention to how you feel. Getting the necessary tests can lead to early detection which is one of your best defenses in fighting this and any disease.
The symptoms of diabetes include:
If left untreated, diabetes can lead to further health complications including:
How can I prevent or manage diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is a lifestyle disease and can be prevented or managed by making the necessary adjustment in your everyday life. Here are three recommendations from the NationalInstitute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
1) Lose weight: For those who are overweight or obese, it is recommended that you aim to lose between 5and 7 percent of your starting weight. Losing weight is just the first step, you then have to try your best to keep it off.
2) Move more: Try to move more by starting with small daily goals. Eventually, aim to get in at least 30 minutes of physical activity for 5 days every week.
3) Eat healthy foods most of the time: Your diet will vary every day but for the most part, aim to eat a healthy and balanced diet. Start with small changes and swaps such as water instead of sweetened beverages at times or also reducing your portion sizes.
How is Montereau here to help?
The top-of-the-line wellness team and world-class amenities at Montereau are here to help you to stay on track with your health goals and make all your dreams for retirement a reality. Our Vitality Wellness Program is also available and is intentionally designed to support the five dimensions of wellness to enlighten your mind, body and spirit.
Whether you’re looking to prevent or manage diabetes or simply become a healthier you, be sure to take advantage of the following on campus:
Enjoy life at Montereau
We take care of the finer details so you can focus on having a great time and doing more of what matters most. Enjoy maintenance-free living and have access to facilities and amenities that help you to stay in the best shape of your life. Call us at (918) 495-1500 to schedule a tour of our campus and come witness it yourself. It is truly a lovely place to call home.
Thursday, November 17, 2022
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