Diabetes has become a common chronic condition in the aging population. It is often associated with which is a growing concern in .
Learning to manage diabetes will require some as well as frequent both by periodic scheduled fasting which are referred to as an or and by a frequent self-testing routine.
is a complex chronic condition that can have some very individualized results.
Once your loved one receives the or has been noted to have , it’s important to learn about the disease and to keep track of how your loved one’s body reacts to foods, exercise, diet, and medications prescribed.
One of the best ways to help with your loved one‘s is to make sure to attend MD appointments with your loved one and ensure the doctor has all of the necessary paperwork from your loved one so that you can ask, and get answers to, questions.
Make a list of questions for each doctor‘s visit to be sure you’re getting the information you need. Some possible questions you will need to discuss with the physician include:
There are two major . One is which used to be referred to as insulin-dependent diabetes. This used to be thought of as the type that mainly children and young people get diagnosed with.
Through extensive research, it has been learned that in , the beta cells in the no longer produce any insulin and the person with this must take insulin injections routinely. It can be diagnosed at any age.
The other is in which the body continues to produce some, but not , and may or may not have developed some resistance to the insulin the body produces. Over time, the beta cells diminish and the body produces less and less insulin. In this way, it is diagnosed most often in those over 30. Oral medications can be used to manage , but in some cases, supplementary insulin may become necessary as well.
, it is essential for your loved one to make pertaining to their diet, activity and exercise levels, glucose testing, and medication management.
It is not known why some people get diabetes and others do not. There is a known link to a of diabetes or to having during pregnancy.
Persons who are obese and especially those who carry the majority of their weight in their abdomen are at a of developing diabetes.
There has been a major focus of research by the ( ) for many years. There have been several breakthroughs in diagnosing and , but there is no cure.
Very tight adherence to the prescribed
plan can result in some and reduced which can lead to a lowered need for medication.
Blood sugar, also known as , is the main sugar found in your blood. This sugar comes from the food you eat, such as and sugars that provide your body's main source of energy. The blood in your body carries this glucose to all of your body's cells for them to use for energy.
Insulin is released into the bloodstream to manage the sugar within an acceptable range. When the body doesn’t produce any insulin (
) or or has ( ), the blood sugar must be managed by medications, exercise, and a diet lower in and sugar.
When the body ingests too much sugar and or doesn’t produce enough or any insulin, the blood sugar will rise.
Symptoms of , also known as , include increased thirst, frequent urination, blurred vision, headache, and fatigue. Your mom likely had some of these prior to her diagnosis.
Low blood sugar, also known as hypoglycemia, produces symptoms such as feeling shaky, becoming anxious or nervous for no apparent reason, irritability, a fast heartbeat, hunger, and feeling lightheaded or dizzy.
Ask the doctor how to treat either of these groups of symptoms as they can become an emergency if left untreated.
In order to best manage diabetes, your loved one is going to have to make some that might include more regular exercise and eating three balanced meals each day with lower amounts of sugar and .
Here are a few more tips for
Lean protein and fiber are important aspects of a diabetic diet.
Medications may also be necessary to manage .
Your loved one may also need to test their blood sugar before meals and at bedtime.
Keep in mind that keeping a log of your loved one’s daily along with their routine testing and will help the doctor adjust medications and prevent .
is a 90-day test that provides a window into the effectiveness of the management plan and her compliance.
testing can be done at home, or anywhere, one to four times a day with a simple finger stick.
A quick prick of the finger with a lancing device will produce a small droplet of blood that is applied to a testing strip inserted into a meter that reads the glucose level. Normal glucose levels fall between about 72 to 90 mg/dL (milligrams per ) fasting and up to 140mg/dL after eating.
Diabetics will often run higher. Ask the doctor how often to test and what parameters are acceptable for your loved one.
Some diabetics use a continuous
system in which a small wire is inserted under the skin every 10 to 14 days and is attached to a meter that can be read with a receiver or smartphone app. These are expensive devices and reserved for those who take insulin frequently or need more close monitoring.
Yes, routine testing will tell you the number of milligrams/ of sugar in your loved one's blood at the time of testing. Low numbers will alert to possible symptoms of hypoglycemia and high numbers will alert to .
Her doctor should have given you instructions for treating the symptoms and when to seek medical care.
At first, the doctor may not prescribe any medication and prefer to increase your loved one’s level of exercise and restrict their diet to see how their body reacts.
Glucose testing may or may not be indicated. If that alone doesn’t help manage diabetes, your loved one’s doctor may prescribe oral medications such as
. If necessary, insulin may be prescribed as well which you or your loved one will have to inject as prescribed.
Yes, but small amounts infrequently. Your loved one will need to adjust their
intake accordingly. Regularly testing blood sugar and taking medications as prescribed will help account for it.
The doctor’s office may have some reading materials available or they can refer your loved one to a diabetic nurse educator, dietitian, or to diabetic classes in your community or on the Internet.
Your loved one’s doctor may also refer her to a diabetic specialist known as an Endocrinologist to manage her diabetes and prevent complications.
The , the ( ), and the are all good sources of information and education on diabetes
Preventing complications from diabetes is of the utmost importance from the time of diagnosis.
Good and maintaining is the goal. Your loved one may be at a of developing conditions such as high and , high , and triglycerides, , and in their eyes due to general aging. If the loved one you're caring for is a woman, she may have had or even in her childbearing years which may have increased her risk for women’s health issues.
Additionally, having a of diabetes is a big . If your loved one has a of diabetes and you are related to the loved one you’re providing care for, you may also be at an . This applies to .
is possible. can be prevented or delayed with good weight management, a routine plan, and incorporating a healthy balanced diet. An additional note to keep in mind is that have a of developing diabetes.
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The information on this website, including text, graphics, images, and other materials, is intended for informational purposes only. No material on this webpage or any other page on this website is meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. For questions regarding medical conditions or the diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions, always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare professional or physician. Do not delay seeking nor disregard professional medical advice because of the information on this website.
Kathy Quan is a Registered Nurse with 40+ years of experience, focusing primarily on home health and hospice care in a variety of roles from Field Nurse to management. She has also written several books and blogs for healthcare professionals and caregivers. In addition, she teaches online courses for nurses and caregivers.
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