Senior Sweethearts: Unveiling the 4 Key Differences in Diabetes Management for Elders

Senior Sweethearts: Unveiling the 4 Key Differences in Diabetes Management for Elders

The elderly are the main force among the diabetic population. When the house leaks and it rains all night long, elderly people with diabetes often suffer from diseases such as high blood pressure, dyslipidemia, coronary heart disease, and cerebral infarction. The body's metabolic capacity also deteriorates, and their eyesight and legs and feet are also less flexible. Therefore, in the view of our doctors, elderly people with diabetes are the key targets of protection and must be closely monitored. On the road to fighting against the devil, they are different from ordinary adult diabetic patients.

One of the differences - eating: no need to deliberately lose weight

Many elderly people with diabetes believe that they are too fat and their blood sugar is too high because of food, so they control their diet extremely harshly, causing their bodies to lose weight day by day. At this time, they are secretly happy, after all, "it is hard to buy old age to lose weight." !

Yes, diet control is indeed one of the ways to lose weight and lower blood sugar. But it must be known that as age increases, human body muscle mass gradually decreases. After entering old age, if you deliberately go on a diet to lose weight without adequate energy and protein nutritional intake, you are prone to sarcopenia - a syndrome caused by muscle loss and loss of muscle function, which manifests as fatigue, unsteady standing, and easy falling. , affecting daily life.

Therefore, elderly patients with diabetes do not need to excessively restrict energy intake to lose weight like young adults. Even if they are overweight or obese, they only need to maintain a stable weight. Note that this does not mean that you can eat and drink excessively. You still need to determine a reasonable diet plan under the guidance of a doctor.

In addition, proper intake of protein () plays an important role in maintaining muscle quality. The protein source should be mainly high-quality animal protein, and compound α-keto acid preparations can be supplemented when necessary.

Usually for diabetic patients with normal renal function, protein intake can account for 15% to 20% of the energy supply ratio, ensuring that the proportion of high-quality protein exceeds one-third. The recommended protein intake is about 0.8g·kg-1·d-1. Excessive protein intake (such as >1.3 g·kg-1·d-1) is associated with increased proteinuria, decreased renal function, cardiovascular and It is related to an increased risk of death. Protein intake below 0.8 g·kg -1 ·d -1 cannot delay the progression of diabetic nephropathy. The protein intake of patients who have started dialysis can be increased appropriately.

Difference 2 - Exercise: Improper exercise is bad for health

Regular exercise is a good helper to control blood sugar and prevent complications. Elderly patients with diabetes often suffer from various cardiopulmonary diseases, osteoarthritis and diabetic complications. Excessive exercise, such as football, basketball, fast running, etc., can easily increase the burden on the body and worsen the disease.

Elderly people with diabetes should engage in moderate to low-intensity aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, Tai Chi, cycling, table tennis, badminton, and golf. During exercise, the heartbeat and breathing will be accelerated but not rapid. After exercise, they will feel relaxed and happy, and their appetite and sleep will be reduced. Good. Fatigue and muscle soreness will disappear after a short rest. If you feel that you cannot tolerate it, you need to reduce the intensity of exercise and ask your doctor to adjust the exercise plan. Exercise time can be set to 30 minutes each time, 5 days a week. To prevent sarcopenia, safe resistance exercise is also a good choice. Doing it twice a week can basically meet the body's needs. Exercise methods include dumbbells, going up and down stairs, rowing, etc.

Difference 3 - Control: Blood sugar targets can be relaxed appropriately

How well your blood sugar is controlled over the long term is usually measured by the ruler of glycosylated hemoglobin. Generally speaking, patients with type 2 diabetes should have a glycosylated hemoglobin of less than 7%. So, do older patients need to work in this direction?

No! Some elderly people are prone to hypoglycemia under strict blood sugar control, which will bring adverse effects. Therefore, the blood sugar target can be relaxed according to the situation:

The patient is in good physical condition, has an expected life span of more than 10 years, has no complications, and the glycosylated hemoglobin should be less than 7.0%;

The patient is in good physical condition, has an expected life span of more than 10 years, has minor complications, and is likely to have hypoglycemia. The glycated hemoglobin should be relaxed to less than 7.5%;

The physical condition is average, the expected life span is more than 5 years, there are moderate complications, and the possibility of hypoglycemia is high, and the glycosylated hemoglobin should be relaxed to less than 8.0%;

The patient is in poor physical condition, has an expected life span of less than 5 years, has lost the ability to perform daily activities, and has a glycosylated hemoglobin of less than 8.5%.

Difference 4 - Defense: Beware of the "weird" manifestations of the body

The function of the nervous system of the elderly has declined, coupled with the damage of diabetes, the signals sent by the body of elderly people with diabetes may not be typical in certain emergencies, but may behave very "weird".

For example, when ordinary people experience hypoglycemia, they often experience palpitation, trembling, hunger, sweating, and pale complexion. However, elderly people with hypoglycemia may only feel dizzy, prone to falling, hemiplegia, etc., or suddenly behave abnormally. , if not recognized as early as possible, it is likely to induce coma and endanger life;

Another example is that the typical symptoms of myocardial infarction are sudden chest tightness and persistent squeezing pain in the chest, but the elderly may only show fatigue, palpitation, edema, etc. What's worse is that when faced with these sudden illnesses, the elderly may not show any discomfort, and by the time they are diagnosed, it is too late.

Therefore, elderly people with diabetes should be more vigilant about abnormal manifestations of their bodies. If they appear "weird", they should check their blood sugar first. If the blood sugar is lower than 3.9mmol/L, it means hypoglycemia. Eat sweets and snacks quickly, and then go to the hospital for further examination.

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1 comment

Valuable insights for seniors managing diabetes. Practical differences that make all the difference.

Richard Evans

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