November is American Diabetes Month. As declared by the American Diabetes Association, this year’s theme is “We Stand Greater Than Diabetes.” The association chose this theme to highlight that when we stand together to support the research efforts, legislation, and a healthy lifestyle, we can be greater than the threat of diabetes.
There are three main types of diabetes: Gestational, Type I, and Type II. Type I and II are the most common. Most of the time, patients can successfully manage their diabetes, no matter which kind. Managing this condition can be done through diet and exercise, and in some cases (always, in the case of Type I), medication.
But what is the difference between Type I diabetes and Type II diabetes?
- Type I Diabetes: With this type, the body doesn’t produce insulin at all. This type cannot be prevented but can be addressed with medication and insulin therapy. A healthy diet and regular exercise can help manage Type I as well.
- Type II Diabetes: Though Type II is preventable, it is the most common type. It often occurs in aging adults. Someone who has Type II diabetes can produce insulin, but their body doesn’t use it properly. One can manage this type successfully with diet and exercise, but in some cases does require medication.
While there’s no cure for diabetes, managing the disease can ensure most people diagnosed will live long, healthy lives. However, complications from the disease can arise if it is not taken care of properly. If left unchecked, this disease can lead to underlying conditions that cause further complications and stress on the body.
Some of these complications are seen frequently in older adults and can require regular medical attention and care.
When diabetes is not managed appropriately, neuropathy (a condition affecting the nerves that can cause a loss of feeling and weakness in the area affected) and poor circulation can occur. This can quickly lead to diabetic wounds and ulcers, often seen on the feet and lower extremities. Not only that, but uncontrolled diabetes can cause other, severe conditions. Examples are heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, issues with vision, and some skin conditions. And of course, some of these can require frequent hospitalizations and multiple new medications.
If you have diabetes, there are things you can do to prevent further complications.
You must keep track of any prescribed medications or insulin therapies. Ensure you’re tracking your blood sugar regularly, if necessary. And of course, maintain a healthy diet and get as much exercise as possible. If your diabetes has already caused complications, it might be a good idea to reach out to an in-home care company that can help you manage a healthier lifestyle. Having caregivers in your home can help ensure that you’re following a proper diet, can help with medication reminders, and, in some cases, medication management. You can also have the peace of mind of having oversight to address any further complications that might emerge.
If you’re an aging adult with diabetes or know someone who could use assistance managing the disease process, reach out to us today. Our professional and trained caregivers can help.