The risk for developing type 2 diabetes goes up as a person gets older. That means the disease is more common in older adults. Diabetes is a controllable condition, but it can also be quite dangerous if it isn’t diagnosed and treated. While the symptoms of diabetes can indicate when a person has type 2 diabetes, knowing whether they are at risk in the first place can help you to reduce their chances of getting it.
Risk Factors for Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the cells in the body become less sensitive to insulin. The pancreas cannot make enough insulin to overcome the insulin resistance. That causes blood sugar levels to rise. Doctors are uncertain exactly what causes the development of diabetes. However, there are several risk factors that increase the chances of a senior getting the disease. Some of the risk factors for type 2 diabetes are:
- Weight: Fat contributes to insulin resistance, so people who are overweight or obese are at higher risk for developing diabetes. However, not everyone that gets diabetes is overweight.
- Lack of Exercise: People who lead a sedentary life are at higher risk. Being physically active helps the body to use up sugar and helps cells to respond better to insulin.
- High Blood Pressure: Having high blood pressure, a reading of 140/90 mm Hg or higher, raises your aging relative’s risk for diabetes.
- Cholesterol: Those with low HDL (“good”) cholesterol are at greater risk.
- Race: People of African American, Hispanic, American Indian, and Asian American descent have a higher risk than some other races.
Controlling Risk Factors
Many of the risk factors for type 2 diabetes can be controlled, thus preventing the disease. Some ways to control diabetes risk factors are:
- Lose Weight: Losing excess weight is an important part of preventing diabetes. Even losing a small amount of weight can make a difference.
- Exercise: Seniors should try to engage in physical activity for at least 30 minutes per day on most days of the week. Some good forms of exercise include a brisk walk, swimming, or riding a bike.
- Follow a Healthy Diet: Eating a balanced diet that is low calorie, reduced fat, and high in fiber can help prevent diabetes. Focus on vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
A home care provider can help your aging relative to develop and stick to healthy habits that reduces their chances of getting diabetes. For example, a home care provider can plan and cook meals that are balanced, nutritious, and delicious. In addition, a home care provider can help the senior to be more active by going for walks with them, driving them to an exercise class, or monitoring them for safety while they exercise at home.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care in Quincy, FL, please call the caring staff at Hopewell In-Home Senior Care today at 850-386-5552. Providing Senior Care Services in North Florida.
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