Signs & Symptoms of Diabetes in Older Adults

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 8,928
    Barbara Resnick of the American Geriatrics Society lists the symptoms of diabetes older adults may exhibit.

    Barbara Resnick: Hi! I am Barbara Resnick, President of the American Geriatrics Society. I would like to talk about how diabetes is diagnosed. About 13% of people over the age of 70 years are known to have diabetes. Unfortunately, about 11% of all people between 60 and 74 years of age have diabetes, but don't know it because type II diabetes can lead to serious health complications. It's really important to be aware of the different warning signs for diabetes and to get tested for diabetes if you have any of these signs or symptoms. Increase thirst or appetite, frequent urination, unusual weight loss or weight gain, fatigue, foot sores, numbness or tingling in the feet or hands, confusion, depression, sexual dysfunction or a dry mouth. Finding diabetes early is essential to your health. The sooner you begin treating it, the easier it will be to avoid serious problems later on. If your healthcare provider thinks you may be diabetic, they will test your blood sugar. The fasting blood glucose test is the easiest and least expensive method. This test is done by either pricking your finger or drawing blood. To prepare for this test, you cannot eat anything for at least eight hours. The postprandial glucose test is another method. During this test, blood sugar is tested without regard to the time since your last meal. You are not required to abstain from eating prior to this test. Your healthcare provider will also check a hemoglobin A1c. This provides an overview of how well your sugar is controlled over a whole three-month period. Individuals with diabetes have their hemoglobin A1c level checked usually about every three to six months. This is a very helpful way to determine how well the treatment is working. Understanding symptoms of diabetes can help lead to early diagnosis and treatment and a lifetime of better health.