10 Fast facts about diabetes as you get older

10 Fast facts about diabetes as you get older

Keeping your diabetes in check as you get older is not only possible, but important. Here’s what you need to remember.

  1. Diet is vital: be sure to eat as balanced a diet as possible. Not eating the right kind of food or often enough can result in low blood sugar. Drinking plenty of water is also important.
  2. The average HbA1c in the elderly population in SA is within national guidelines at around 7.3. What’s yours?
  3. Be prepared and always have at least 3 days of supplies on hand for testing and treating your diabetes.
  4. Hypos (low blood sugar) are a risk, especially in Type 2 diabetics who are on SUs (sulphonylureas). Severe hypos can result in comas, so it’s important to know how to treat them.
  5. Always keep a glucagon pen on hand for hypo emergencies (and make sure you’ve told someone close to you how to use it).
  6. Controlling Type 2 diabetes with Glucophage or Galvus can have a life-changing effect.
  7. It’s important to have regular blood pressure and cholesterol tests, and annual kidney, eye, teeth and feet check-ups.
  8. It’s a good idea for any diabetics over 65 years old to have a pneumonia vaccine shot. An annual flu shot is also beneficial.
  9. Keep active as it helps with mobility, balance, strength, mental wellbeing and insulin sensitivity.
  10. Studies show that older diabetics are more compliant than teenagers, the newly diagnosed, and even pregnant diabetics.
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