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Aging with Diabetes—Maintaining Good Health

Diabetes disease can affect anyone from any walk of life. However, there are certain groups that are much more susceptible to getting the disease than others.

We are looking at some of the factors that can cause you to be of a  higher risk of developing diabetes. It is a known fact that having extra weight on your body can be the precipitating factor to getting diabetes.

Some medical experts believe that having a body that is obese is an indicator of diabetes.

Having a lot of extra weight around the midsection (stomach or waist) is even more of an indication that someone is at risk for the disease. A sedentary lifestyle can also be another problematic issue that can lead to one becoming a diabetic. Aging can be another predisposing factor, starting from age 45 although people over 65 are at an increased risk. If type 2 diabetes runs in your family, there is a strong possibility that diabetic problems could be an issue in your future if you don’t lead a healthy lifestyle.

Also if you had gestational diabetes during pregnancy, that could put you at future risk for developing type 2 diabetes. There are also certain ethnic groups that are at a higher risk of developing diabetes  They include people of African descents, Native Americans, Asian and Latinos.

Having high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure can also predispose you to be at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. As with most major medical condition, you can do a lot to prevent it by leading a healthy lifestyle which includes a healthy diet and regular exercise.

 Some symptoms that come with the diabetes disease

They include Excessive: thirst One of the first symptoms of diabetes is often excessive thirst that seems unable to quench.

Hunger: You are still hungry all the time even after you have eaten.

Frequent urination: Frequent urination is often noticed because you must wake up repeatedly during the night.

Fatigue: Tiredness and fatigue, possibly severe enough to make you fall asleep unexpectedly after meals, is one of the most common symptoms of diabetes.

Sudden weight loss Rapid and/or sudden weight loss (any dramatic change in weight is a sign to visit a doctor) Get tested if you are concerned.

If diabetes is diagnosed when those symptoms first start appearing, other more serious symptoms of advanced diabetes can often be prevented or have their onset significantly delayed through diet, exercise, and proper blood sugar management.

Other  less recognizable symptoms of diabetes Often the ‘minor’ diabetes symptoms are:

Blurry vision: Blurred vision may occur because diabetes can lead to macular degeneration and eventual blindness.

Numbness: Numbness and/or tingling in the hands and feet may occur due to peripheral neuropathy, one of the diabetes symptoms, causes nerve damage in the extremities) Slow-healing wounds is another telltale  sign

Recurrent yeast infections: Recurrent or hard-to-treat yeast infections in women are another sign of impaired immune function. Dry skin: Dry or itchy skin may result from peripheral neuropathy which affects circulation and proper sweat gland function. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms of a regular basis, or you recognize these symptoms in a child or relative, they may be signs of untreated diabetes.

 What happens during aging

As we age, we become aware of the visible signs of aging like our gray hairs and wrinkles, but as we age there are changes throughout the entire body. Our l metabolic rate for example — the amount of energy the body expends at rest — declines with age. It is estimated, our basal metabolism drops by 2% per decade starting as young as age 20. Some researchers believe that this decline is due almost solely to the loss of muscle mass that comes with age.

The body’s ability to process oxygen also declines with age. By some estimates, a person’s ability to process oxygen declines by 60-70% by age 65 (although the decline appears to be less in older people who exercise regularly). Poor lung function, heart function, and blood circulation is among the leading factors that are caused by aging

Aging also causes the body to gradually become less adept at taking up and using glucose from the bloodstream, this condition is known as glucose intolerance, which is the first stage of pre-diabetes and if not checked will become type 2 diabetes.

When a person is very obese the body fat interferes with the muscle ability to use insulin this condition is known as insulin intolerance the body tissues become less and less sensitive to insulin.

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The aging process also causes the  mineral content of bones to decline this  process weakens the bones making them more brittle

This condition may also be related to poor nutrition, deficient calcium absorption, inactivity, and, in women, hormonal changes after menopause.

Osteoporosis is caused by brittle or abnormally porous bones and is often the cause of fractures, which can be devastating for older people.

Aging is also of the cause of the cartilage around joints tends to break down and wear away over time, causing pain, swelling, and loss of motion of the joints.

It is a noted fact, that about half of people age 65 or older have x-ray evidence of osteoarthritis in at least one joint.

In the United States, where people tend to eat too much of the wrong foods and exercise too little, blood pressure tends to rise with age. Poor diet, inactivity, weight gain, and a slower metabolic rate all set the stage for circulatory problems and cardiovascular disease.

Meanwhile, visual ability also diminishes. There is difficulty seeing things up close and adjusting to changes in the level of light.

The hearing may become affected as well, the ability to hear sounds in the upper frequencies or to hear distinct sounds when there is a lot of background noise may diminish.

The sense of taste may be affected as well. and certain cognitive abilities, such as spatial ability, reasoning, complex problem solving, and working memory, all tend to decline somewhat with age.

Aging causes the body cells, tissues, and blood vessels become stiff and dysfunctional but with diabetes, the process is accelerated and contribute to diabetes complications, including cardiovascular disease, eye nerve, and kidney disease.

How aging may affect diabetes control

Aging can make diabetes more difficult to control. Not only is the insulin resistance increases and glucose tolerance decreases but the attention and being able to focus on the daily task of keeping healthy like managing our blood sugar and blood pressure levels planning healthy meals as well.

Because many elderly people take multiple drugs, some of which may directly cause hypoglycemia, and some of which may interact with diabetes drugs to cause hypoglycemia.

And with the declining in age a lot of other medical problems may be present such as liver and kidney function and a lack of appetite all this is likely to impede the function of any diabetic medication as well as there may be other medication that is being taken that will work against the diabetic medication

It is therefore important to be under a doctor’s supervision and to constantly monitored by a doctor, The doctor must be made aware of all medication whether it is prescribed or over the counter as one medication can work against another.


Counteracting the effects of aging — and diabetes

While there is no magic to keep us young, there are a number of steps you can take to counteract some of the debilitating effects of aging — and diabetes. Here are some of those steps:

Pay attention to your numbers

One important measure for ensuring health in later years is controlling blood glucose levels,  and blood pressure this will help in slowing down the effects of aging.

Stay physically active

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It is important as we age we remain active as much as possible. Inactivity will cause a decrease in muscle mass, slower metabolism and decrease flexibility


Aerobic exercise, can be very beneficial if done for at least 30 minutes per day and these include running, cycling, swimming, and walking, these have shown to help lower blood glucose levels in people with diabetes. Further, over time it increases stamina, aids in weight loss, and helps decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease these can be done in moderation.

Strength training also has numerous benefits as well. It not only helps in reducing a person’s cardiovascular risk by lowering blood pressure, aiding in weight control, and improving cholesterol levels. But by building muscle mass, strength training may also stave off the decline in energy expenditure that led to Type 2 diabetes in the first place.

Even more than aerobic exercise, strength training can increase bone density and help stave off osteoporosis. bone density decreases with age, and one in four women in the United States eventually develops osteoporosis.

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Strength training is one means of slowing the disease of osteoporosis. Resistance training may not be able to reverse arthritis, but the stronger the muscles, tendons, and ligaments around a joint are, the less stress, friction, and pain there will be

Exercise can give people a sense of well-being, and it may help alleviate the depression that sometimes accompanies aging and diabetes.

Seeing improvements in the strength of arms and legs and also making everyday activities easier, whether it’s carrying groceries, climbing stairs, or getting in and out of the bathtub improve their sense of well being.

Eat Healthily

Eating a healthy diet is beneficial to everyone but as a diabetic, it is best to eat foods carbohydrates from fruit, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and low-fat or nonfat milk. Choose healthy carbohydrates, such as fruit, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and low-fat milk, fish, skinless chicken and turkey fish, and eggs as part of your diabetes meal plan.

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Get A good night rest

Another key to maintaining your vitality throughout life is getting a good night’s sleep. Inadequate sleep not only can lead to feeling listless and unfocused, but it can directly affect your physical health. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation can lead to insulin resistance, which can make diabetes more difficult to control and may even raise the risk of heart disease.

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Mind your medicines

Take all your medications prescribed by your physician and it is best to make your doctor know if the medication is causing you some negative effect, and get regular checkups

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Stay physically and mentally active

stay physically active join a gym or ride a bike or walk in the park or a treadmill dancing is a very good exercise and be mentally active join a reading club start a blog  do puzzles or find a hobby just find something to keep your mind active


Aging is inevitable there is no fountain of youth — there is nothing you can do to turn back the clock. However, you do have some control over how you will spend your twilight years. By doing everything you can to take care of your body and mind, you can help stave off some of the debilitating illnesses associated with age and live a full, meaningful, and energetic and independent life.

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