Diabetes Information for Older Adults

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 12,808
    Barbara Resnick of the American Geriatrics Society explains what older adults need to know about diabetes.

    Barbara Resnick: Hi! I am Barbara Resnick, President of the American Geriatrics Society and today I will be talking about how diabetes can affect you. Type II diabetes develops when the amount of sugar in your blood becomes too high, even because your body doesn't make enough insulin, or because your body doesn't respond to insulin which is a hormone your body needs to process sugar. Type II diabetes usually occurs in people over the age of 40. Type II diabetes makes up about 90% of the cases of diabetes in the United States. Though the pancreas still produces insulin, it's not enough or your body fails to use it properly. This causes diabetes to develop. Some patients can manage this type of diabetes in early stages simply with lifestyle changes that includes exercise and diet. Others may need to take an oral diabetes medication and some must take insulin. An estimated 23.

    6 million people in the United States, about 7.

    8% of the population have diabetes. Risk factors for diabetes include having a family history of diabetes, being overweight, not getting enough exercise. Age also plays a big part. Older adults are especially prone to type II diabetes, because as we age, our bodies become less tolerant of sugars. More than 40% of all cases of diabetes in the United States occur in people age 65 and older. Unfortunately, some ethnic groups such as African-Americans, Latinos and American-Indians are at much higher risk than Caucasians for type II diabetes and its complications. Changes in your lifestyle will be needed to control your diabetes and to decrease you risk for complications. These lifestyle changes include weight loss for obese patients, eating a balanced carbohydrate low fat diet, exercising regularly, not smoking, and monitoring your blood glucose and blood pressure levels. Older persons with diabetes tend to have higher rates of disability and other illnesses and they may have problems with depression, memory loss, urinary incontinence, falls, poor vision and persistent pain. While diabetes can't always be prevented, it's essential to adapt your lifestyle to keep it under control. For more information, check out our other videos or visit americangeriatrics.