A person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases with age because it’s difficult for an aging body to properly respond to insulin. Since untreated diabetes can cause issues such as nerve damage or infections, being able to notice the key signs of type 2 diabetes in a senior is essential. The La Mesa home care experts at Coast Care Partners advise to look for these top six warning signs your elderly loved one might be developing type 2 diabetes.
1. Frequent Thirst and Urination
When glucose builds up in the blood, the body instinctively tries to regulate it by essentially watering down blood. Since all the fluid in the body is being pulled out of cells and into blood vessels, seniors may feel thirstier than normal. They may also urinate more because the body tries to flush out the excess blood through the urine stream.
2. Slower Healing and Increased Infection Rates
Without the ability to metabolize sugar for energy, the body cannot properly regulate its healing and immune system processes. Seniors may get infections from minor scratches, causing wounds to worsen instead of healing, and they often get bruises from even minor injuries. In addition to difficulty recovering from injuries, seniors are more likely to get frequent infections because the immune system cannot function properly.
The glucose in food is an important source of energy, so it can cause issues if the body is no longer metabolizing it. Seniors who have diabetes often report feeling sluggish and tired no matter how much they sleep. This fatigue may lessen slightly after a snack, but it rarely goes away when living with diabetes.
4. Blurred Vision
Seniors often make the mistake of dismissing this important symptom as simply being an effect of aging, but diabetes can cause vision issues. Type 2 diabetes can make vision look blurred because its ability to disrupt fluid balance in the body can temporarily remove liquid around the eye and warp the lens used to properly focus vision. Seniors may notice this symptom comes and goes.
5. Mood Swings
When glucose builds up in the blood instead of properly energizing the brain, it can cause dramatic mood swings. During times of excessively high blood sugar, seniors may act confused or distracted, and when their blood sugar drops to low levels, they may become sad, grumpy, or even aggressive.
6. Weight Loss
Type 2 diabetes is more common in seniors who are obese, but it can end up causing unexplained weight loss because the body cannot process glucose, so it doesn’t get any calories or nutrition from carbohydrates. Over time, this can cause weight loss even if a senior continues to eat enough calories to sustain his or her current weight.
If you suspect your senior loved one has type 2 diabetes, the first step is to see a doctor for a thorough physical examination. If diabetes is diagnosed, managing the disease can be much easier with the assistance of professional in-home care. For reliable, compassionate senior care, La Mesa families count on Coast Care Partners. Our highly trained caregivers help seniors with a wide range of tasks, including medication reminders, preparing healthy meals, and exercise. To learn more about our dedication to service, call one of our friendly representatives at 619-354-2544 today.