Part of the food you eat is broken down into sugar (glucose) and released into your bloodstream. Your pancreas manages this process by releasing insulin to address the increased glucose level. Insulin allows the blood sugars into your body’s cells where it is used for energy. Diabetes is a chronic (long-lasting) disease that affects how you manage this process.
If you have diabetes, you mismanage the process. Either your body doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t properly use the insulin it makes. When we don’t have enough insulin our cells stop responding to insulin and too much blood sugar stays our bloodstream. Over time, that may cause serious health problems like impaired vision, kidney disease, and heart disease.
Types of Diabetes
There are two main types of diabetes that effect seniors: type 1, and type 2.
In type 1 diabetes your body does not make insulin. The cause is thought to be an autoimmune reaction, which occurs when the body incorrectly signals antibodies and immune cells to attack the body’s own healthy tissues. This stops your body from making insulin. About 5% of the people who have diabetes have type 1. Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented.
In type 2 diabetes, your body doesn’t properly regulate the production of insulin. You can’t keep blood sugar at normal levels. Type 2 diabetes develops over many years and is fairly common in seniors. Symptoms may not be easily noticeable, so it is critical to get your blood sugar tested. About 90% of people with diabetes have type 2. The good news about diabetes type 2 is that exercise and healthy diets can prevent or delay the disease. Making lifestyle changes like eating healthy, losing weight, and moving makes a difference.
CarePlanIt classifies every issue into one of five key areas: health, housing, finances, end-of-life chores & family communication. Once done, the CarePlanIt framework allows you to create an optimized process of addressing the challenge. You minimize your family’s time and costs while maximizing your chance at reaching an ideal solution. Although all five categories work together, it’s important to make an initial categorization.
Diabetes is a “Health” issue. CarePlanIt’s classification of health issues can help you better understand the impact of Diabetes on your life. In short, someone that isn’t actively managing their diabetes is likely to require increased levels of help. We can help you navigate issues relating to the need for assisted living or nursing in our Health and Housing Sections.
To Stay In Your Home
Great references for Diabetes
Mayo Clinic – click here
Diabetes Research Institute – click here