Get the latest strategies on preventing diabetes and managing symptoms to take control of your health, avoid emergency care, and enjoy an active, independent lifestyle.
Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects more than 25 percent of people who are 65 years and older. Diabetes is characterized by having too much glucose, or sugar, in the blood. Some sugar in the blood is okay, but too much sugar is dangerous.
Our bodies get glucose – or sugar – primarily from the foods we eat. If our body works the way it should, glucose moves from our bloodstream into our cells where it is converted into energy. Insulin is a hormone that helps facilitate this process. Unfortunately, our body does not always work the way we want it to. Diabetes sets in when we don’t make enough insulin or the insulin does not do what it should, and too much sugar stays in the blood.
Diabetes can cause serious damage to the body if not managed properly, contributing to heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, blindness, kidney disease, and amputation. In fact, nearly 30 million people who have diabetes as a primary condition need emergency care, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It’s a disease that requires a tremendous amount of monitoring and self-care. Read more
The chances are very likely that you or someone you love will be affected by heart disease at some point in your life. Know the lifestyle habits that help you maintain a strong heart, prevent heart disease, and live well even after suffering a heart attack.
Our heart is a powerful organ that constantly works, never pausing to rest. The heart functions as a pump to supply blood and oxygen to all parts of the body through a system of blood vessels. It typically beats – or expands and contracts – about 100,000 times a day. Having a healthy heart gives us more energy, helps our organs function better, keeps our bodies stronger, and ultimately helps us live longer. The better care we take of our heart, the more physically and emotionally happy we will be now and in the future. Read more
Sometimes older patients show symptoms that do not occur at all in younger patients.
The symptoms of thyroid disease are so wide-ranging, particularly in seniors, that doctors often overlook thyroid disorder as the cause and, instead, focus on common illnesses that occur with age, such as heart failure, high cholesterol, or dementia.
In general, hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid) leads to symptoms as diverse as depression, hair loss, weight gain, dry skin, and feeling cold and continually tired. Hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid) can make you lose weight and feel nervous, anxious, warm, and hungry all the time.
Sometimes older patients show symptoms that do not occur at all in younger patients, such as:
- Sudden rise in cholesterol level
- Congestive heart failure
- Change in bowel movements
- Psychiatric problems like dementia
- Problems with balance
The American Association of Endocrinologists estimates that 13 million Americans have thyroid disorders – and more than half are undiagnosed. The incidence of thyroid disease increases with age. By age 60, as many as 17 percent of women have an underactive thyroid, according to Georgetown University Medical Center.