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Diabetes includes a number of conditions that involve issues with the production of the hormone insulin. Your pancreas releases insulin to help your body store and use the sugar and fat you eat. In people with diabetes, their pancreas may produce very little to no insulin, or the body does not respond to insulin properly.
According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), there are 1.4 million new cases of diabetes diagnosed each year. Approximately 26 percent of seniors 65 years of age or older have diabetes. This is equivalent to 11.8 million seniors.
Type 1 diabetes is typically known as juvenile diabetes as it mostly affects children. Only 5 percent of all people with diabetes have Type 1. Type 2 diabetes means your body is not using insulin properly. Left unmanaged, the effects can be devastating and even deadly for seniors. Here are some signs and symptoms of diabetes in seniors:
It is not exactly known what causes diabetes, but there have been some risk factors associated with the disease. Risk factors of type 2 diabetes include:
There are a couple different tests that a doctor will perform to confirm a diabetes diagnosis. The most common test to diagnose diabetes is the glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test. This is a blood test that will show your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months.
If the A1C test results are inconsistent or the test was not available, a doctor may order one or more of the following tests:
There is no cure for diabetes, but there are lifestyle changes you can make as well as treatment methods to make sure you still have a high quality of life with the disease.
Here is a list of the treatments for diabetes in seniors:
Yes, there is! Medicare can help those with diabetes pay for certain supplies and services through the Medicare Part B plan. Although a doctor’s prescription is needed, assistance can come through:
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Untreated, diabetes can affect teeth and gum health poorly. With higher blood glucose levels, your saliva is much more prone to hosting harmful bacteria that can cause plaque, leading to tooth decay or cavities if left unchecked. Learning all you can about diabetes treatment options can go a long way!See All Answers »