Prediabetes is a condition in which a person’s blood sugar levels are elevated but not yet to the point where they are diabetic. 86 million people in the United States are prediabetic, though some of them may not know it. While having prediabetes isn’t a good thing, older adults should see it as an opportunity to make healthy choices that keep them from moving from prediabetes to diabetes.
People who have prediabetes are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. In fact, the damage caused by diabetes could already be starting in their bodies, such as damage to the blood vessels, kidneys, and heart.
Typically, prediabetes doesn’t have any symptoms. However, people with it might notice that the skin in creases of their body, like the neck, armpits, or elbows, is darker than in other parts of their body. Though there aren’t any symptoms, there are some risk factors that make prediabetes more likely, such as:
• Being Overweight: Carrying excess weight can cause insulin resistance and is the key risk factor for prediabetes.
• Eating Habits: Eating an unhealthy diet full of processed meats, sugary drinks, and fatty red meat can lead to prediabetes.
• Age: The chances of developing prediabetes grow after age 45.
• Family History: Having a close relative with diabetes makes having prediabetes more likely.
• Lack of Exercise: Being physically active helps to keep weight down and uses glucose, which can increase cells’ sensitivity to insulin.
Fortunately, if your aging relative has prediabetes, it doesn’t have to mean they’ll get diabetes. By making some lifestyle changes, they can avoid getting diabetes. Some changes they can make are:
• Weight Loss: Losing even a little bit of weight can help lower blood sugar levels. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, losing only 5 to 7 percent of total body weight (that’s just 10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person), can make a big difference.
• Physical Activity: Aim for 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week. That’s only 30 minutes per day on 5 days of the week. And, exercise doesn’t have to be done in 30-minute chunks. If 30 minutes is too much for the senior, try having them exercise for 10 minutes 3 times per day.
• Eat a Healthy Diet: A healthy diet is one that includes generous amounts of fruits and vegetables. It also includes lean proteins and healthy fats.
Elderly care can assist your loved one to make lifestyle changes to prevent diabetes. An elderly care provider can encourage the older adult in their weight loss journey and celebrate successes with them. Elderly care providers can also help them to be more active by going for walks with them or driving them to an exercise class or gym. Elderly care providers can also cook meals that use more fruits and vegetables and avoid unhealthy fats and sugar.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Elderly Care in Jasper County, MO please contact the caring staff at Adelmo Family Care today at (417) 206-4576.