Experts from the CDC believe around 25 percent of all seniors have type 2 diabetes. However, those who catch the early signs of this disease can delay its onset. Here are five of the most common signs of prediabetes and a few steps that can be taken to prevent this health condition.
1. Sudden Weight Loss
Seniors who lose more than a few pounds in a week should immediately schedule an appointment with a doctor. Sudden weight loss is not only a sign of prediabetes, but it can also be caused by other health problems such as cancer. Losing too much weight within a short time increases the risk of nutritional deficiencies, chronic fatigue, and depression. Keeping a food journal can help you monitor your loved one’s daily calorie intake and track changes in his or her weight.
Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality professional home care. Lancaster families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.
2. Numbness and Tingling Sensations
Excessive glucose levels in the bloodstream can damage the nerve endings in the arms and feet. Before the nerves are permanently damaged, many seniors feel unusual tingling sensations or numbness in their hands and feet. Seniors with prediabetes should consider switching to healthy diets and wearing compression clothing to prevent nerve damage. Some seniors also benefit from wearing therapeutic shoes that protect the feet without cutting off the circulation.
3. Frequent Urination
When there is too much glucose in a person’s bloodstream, the kidneys will increase the production of urine. While frequent urination is not always caused by type 2 diabetes, seniors should not take this symptom lightly. When left untreated, it can result in secondary complications such as kidney stones and chronic dehydration. Seniors who experience frequent urination should avoid diuretics such as coffee, tea, and alcohol.
Older adults with limited mobility may require assistance with daily activities such as toileting and bathing. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite home care. Lancaster seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.
4. Excessive Thirst
One of the most common signs of prediabetes is dry mouth. Many diabetic seniors claim they can’t satisfy their thirst no matter how much water they drink. According to a recent study published by the Institute of Medicine, seniors should try to drink at least eight full glasses of water per day to keep their organs healthy. Those who are relatively active might need to drink up to 15 glasses of water every day.
5. Regular Infections
Many different types of bacteria feed off sugar, which is why diabetic seniors have much higher rates of bacterial infections. These infections often occur at the bottom of the feet and other areas of the body that are difficult to clean. Caregivers should regularly carry out full-body inspections to look for wounds or sores that are not healing properly.
Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease have beta amyloid plaques in their bodies, which prevents the brain from functioning properly and may have an impact on insulin production. Some of the symptoms of diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease are similar, and you should consult your loved one’s doctor about checking for both of these conditions. Seniors with Alzheimer’s have much to gain when their families opt for professional Alzheimer’s home care. Lancaster, PA, families can rely on compassionate and dedicated caregivers to help their elderly loved ones manage the various challenges of Alzheimer’s disease so they can enjoy a higher quality of life. To learn about our high-quality senior care plans, call one of our friendly Care Managers at (717) 540-4663 today.