What Can You Do as a 50+ Diabetes Patient to Prevent Complications?


The age of 50 is when a lot of diabetes patients are forced to face the complications of their lifestyle. While you may have been diagnosed earlier, this is the age when you’ll truly start to feel the effect of the disease on your body.
And unless you are truly committed to taking precautions and giving yourself the care that you deserve, you’re bound to face a lot of diabetes complications at this age. A healthy commitment towards learning more about your disease, and having the spirit to take an active part in your disease management, can help you avoid these, and to stay healthy.
Keep reading to know about what you can do at this point to stay healthy, and manage your conditions effectively. 

Observe your diabetes symptoms closely

As you get older, diabetes symptoms can change. For example, hypoglycemia episodes may now sneak up on you, because its symptoms have changed. Earlier, it might have been indicated by irritability or hunger, but now you might not realise it impacts until you feel more severe symptoms like shakiness or dizziness.
In cases like this, it is important to stay aware of all the possible symptoms that could be problematic for you. You should also ensure that your doctor is made aware of these changes in your symptoms that you are experiencing.

Watch out for other disease risk factors.

Older diabetes patients, especially above the age of 50 are at increased risk for developing other lifestyle diseases. This includes cardiovascular diseases, kidney damage, or even stroke.  So it’s important that you keep tabs on your overall health, and not just diabetes. Make sure to track all the necessary vitals like blood pressure and cholesterol levels. If these are not managed well, make sure to take the necessary steps to change your lifestyle, and to discuss treatment plans with your doctor.

You could become severely hypoglycemic

Low blood sugar is something that most patients have faced, after being diagnosed with diabetes. In a lot of patients, these episodes occur as a side effect of certain diabetes medications. As you grow older, your kidneys might not be able to properly remove these drugs from your system and can increase the risk of your blood pressure dropping too low.
If you’re taking multiple diabetes medications, not eating on time, or have kidney disease, your risks may be higher than most people your age. Staying aware of your hypoglycemia symptoms and discussing your medication dosage in detail with your doctor, can help you prevent this.

Woman exercising and eating healthy to battle hypertension

You will have to put in extra work to lose weight

After a certain age, we’re all aware of the fact that our metabolism slows down. For those over the age of 50, especially with type 2 diabetes, weight loss can become one of the hardest things to achieve. Since your cells become more resistant to insulin with age, you will also tend to gain more weight after this age.
While weight loss might not be easy for you, you can still work hard by controlling your intake of empty carbohydrates, and by being more mindful of your nutrition and exercise. If you’re worried about doing it all on your own, this might be the time to get the help of a nutritionist.

Taking care of your foot is more important than you’d think

Diabetes is a condition that has the capability to affect your nerves and circulation over a long time. Diabetic foot disease and nerve pain are some of the most frequently observed complications. Those who are not well informed about this can ignore symptoms like foot ulcers, boils or tissue damage on the foot, which can become a severe problem in the long run.
As you get older, make sure that you pay enough attention to your foot care. Make sure you keep your feet dry, clean and protected. In case you observe any infection such as blisters or ulcers, reach out to your doctor immediately. Foot infections can eventually lead to serious complications if left untreated.

Your healthcare team is your best friend

While diabetes might start off as an isolated condition, it can eventually affect your entire body. Your expert care should not be limited to a physician or a diabetologist. It is necessary for a diabetes patient to check-in, at least once or twice a year, with a team of dedicated specialists. This can include an endocrinologist, ophthalmologist, podiatrist, nephrologist, cardiologist, and a mental health expert. 

You have to commit to living a healthy lifestyle 

While there may not exactly be a cure for diabetes, there are still a number of things that you can do to stay as healthy as possible. This includes strict adherence to your medication, as well as making a commitment to a healthy lifestyle.  Some of the best things you can do for this is:
– Stay consistent with your treatment plan – set alarms to get medicine reminders, if needed.
– Exercise regularly – logging at least 30-60 minutes of activity on a daily basis can help manage diabetes better.
– Ensure that you stay hydrated, even if you don’t feel thirsty.
– Commit to practices that help you reduce your everyday stress, such as yoga or meditation.
– Keep a tab on your weight, and work hard to remain within the ideal range for your height and age

Winding Down…

While there are no miraculous solutions for becoming younger or curing your diabetes, you do have the control to manage your disease. Staying alert, and taking an active role in your healthcare, after the age of 50, can prevent a large number of complications. With proper management, you can continue to live a healthy and full life, even with diabetes. 

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