Dealing with Diabetes

By November 3, 2014Aging in Place

Diabetes is a metabolic disease that causes high blood sugar levels in the body. This creates a myriad of other complications such as frequent urination, increased thirst, and increased hunger. However, if left untreated, diabetes will cause serious damage to the body such as kidney failure, heart complications, and even eye damage. Currently, according to Diabetes.org, 20% of adults over the age of 65 suffer from diabetes. Unfortunately, due to the natural aging process (weight gain and a sedentary lifestyle) most older adults do not properly control their blood sugar levels. Below please find a few tips to deal with diabetes.

Healthy Diet
What you eat is very important for controlling diabetes. However, the “one size fits all” method does not apply here. People’s bodies react differently to different types of foods, so it’s important to find what fits best for you. Nevertheless, it’s always a good idea to divide your plate into portions. Starchy or leafy greens should make up the majority of your plate. Vegetables contain important nutrients for controlling your blood sugar level. Another important part of your plate are grains. Rice, whole-grain bread, and whole-grain pasta are perfect for a balanced diet. It’s also important to make sure you’re eating enough protein. This makes up the last portion of your plate. Focusing on your greens, limiting your grain intake, and making sure you eat enough proteins is a great way for staying healthy with diabetes.

Exercise
Much like a healthy diet, exercise does not fit under the “one size fits all” method. People’s bodies gain strength at different paces, and it’s important not to push yourself over your limits. Exercise is still a great way to control your glucose levels; walking is the perfect startup exercise. You can move at your own pace, yet you’re still getting your heart rate up. It also helps your body use insulin which controls your blood sugar, burns body fat, and improves blood circulation. Make a list of all the exercises you wish to do, then run it passed your doctor. If he or she gives you the okay, then it’s time to start working out!

Tracking Glucose Levels
This seems like an obvious step, yet people still don’t do it. They go by how they’re feeling, as opposed to actually knowing what their glucose levels are. This is a bad idea, because by the time your body notices a low or high level of blood sugar it may be too late to do anything. You may be forced to the hospital where only trained professional doctors can treat the symptoms. If you have diabetes make sure you’re checking your blood sugar levels at all times. Diabetes is not curable at this moment, but it is very treatable.

Image Credit – http://maryandmikecare.com/file/seniors-and-nutrition.jpg

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