Older adults are at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. As such, it’s a good idea for family caregivers to know what the signs and symptoms of diabetes are, so they can get the older adult the necessary medical care.
When diabetes first begins, the symptoms are seldom noticeable. Unfortunately, this can mean that by the time the older adult has noticeable signs, their body has already been damaged by the disease. However, even if this is the case, getting the disease under control can mean preventing further damage and allow the senior to live a longer and healthier life.
There are many symptoms that can be caused by type 2 diabetes. Below are some of the early signs that can indicate your aging relative has the disease.
Increased Fatigue and Hunger
The body relies on glucose to provide fuel for the cells. Glucose comes from food when it is broken down in the body. To use glucose, cells need insulin. However, people with diabetes either don’t make enough insulin or their cells can’t use insulin properly. As a result, an older adult with diabetes may feel very tired because of a lack of energy. They may also be hungry all the time because their body is telling them they need food to convert into glucose for more energy.
Most people urinate 4 to 7 times in a day. If your aging relative has diabetes, they may go much more often. This is because the kidneys may be unable to reabsorb glucose effectively because of high blood sugar. As a result, the body produces more urine than normal. Because producing urine requires more fluids, the older adult will also be thirstier than usual.
To make more urine than normal, the kidneys will draw more water out of body tissues. That can make the older adult’s skin dry. Because of the dry skin, they might also feel itchy. The extra use of fluids can also lead to dehydration, leaving the mouth feeling dry.
The change in fluid levels in the body caused by diabetes can also affect the eyes. The lenses of the eyes, which are crucial to clear vision, can swell and change shape. This can make it harder for them to focus, causing blurry vision.
When an older adult has diabetes, elder care can assist them with managing the disease. Elder care providers can remind your aging relative to test their blood sugar and take medications. Elder care providers can also prepare healthy meals that conform to the guidelines suggested by the doctor or dietician.
If you or an aging loved one are considering in elder care in Charlotte, NC, please call the professional staff at Caring at Heart today at (704) 379-7510. Serving Charlotte, Statesville, Ballantyne, Mooresville, Huntersville, Matthews, Concord, Gastonia, Pineville and Indian Trail
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