World Diabetes Day 2022: Access to diabetes care.

What is diabetes ?

Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood sugar, also called blood sugar, is too high. With diabetes, your body doesn’t produce enough insulin or can’t use it as well as it should. When there is not enough insulin or cells stop responding to insulin, too much blood sugar remains in your bloodstream.

Over time, this can lead to serious health problems, such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease. Type 1 diabetes is usually detected at an early age, and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes is more common in older people.

The chronic effect of diabetes can be managed with the right treatment and lifestyle modification. The glucose level can be controlled. The diabetic patient must be ready to manage it in the long term without giving up a normal life.

Common symptoms of diabetes?

Polydipsia of the 3 Ps, polyuria and polyphagia (increased thirst, urination and appetite). Other symptoms are unexplained weight loss, fatigue, irritability, and slow healing of injuries, among others. Paying attention to all symptoms and not ignoring them is crucial to detecting diabetes early and starting treatment right away.

Symptoms of diabetes in the elderly?

The onset of diabetes in the elderly is usually manifested by vague and nonspecific symptoms, such as dehydration, dry mouth, confusion, fatigue, lethargy, weight loss, and an increased tendency for genito-infections. urinary.

Most older people with diabetes have at least one other comorbid condition such as high blood pressure or/and LDL hypercholesterolemia. Other comorbidities of type 2 diabetes in the elderly include cognitive impairment, disability, depression, apathy, urinary incontinence, polypharmacy, hearing and visual impairment, falls and fractures. These are usually called geriatric syndromes.

What are geriatric syndromes?

Geriatric syndromes include a number of conditions typical, if not specific, of aging, such as dementia, depression, delirium, incontinence, vertigo, falls, spontaneous bone fractures, growth retardation, neglect and abuse. With advancing age, malnutrition, physical inactivity and unwanted weight loss become more common.

Additionally, elderly diabetic patients are more likely to suffer from severe or unconscious hyperglycemia or severe hypoglycemic episodes and major adverse cardiovascular events.

Therefore, a comprehensive geriatric assessment including screening for microvascular complications, cardiovascular risk factors, and geriatric syndromes should be performed at the initial diagnosis of diabetes in elderly patients.

Atypical symptoms of diabetes in the elderly?

If an older person experiences confusion, falls, growth retardation, neuropathy, coronary artery disease, visual symptoms, or coma, they should be evaluated for diabetes.

Why are older people more prone to diabetes?

Factors that contribute to the high prevalence of diabetes are age-related changes in glucose metabolism, obesity, sarcopenia (insulin resistance), reduced physical activity, poor diet, polypharmacy, coexisting diseases, autoimmune phenomena, genetics and longevity.

Does uncontrolled sugar speed up the aging process?

Yes, uncontrolled blood sugar leads to several complications and affects many organs resulting in an accelerated aging process.

About Antoine L. Cassell

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