Diabetes Management 101 for Seniors
Living with diabetes at any age can be a challenge, no matter how manageable it may seem. As you get older, complication risks may increase, so it’s important that you stay on top of your long-term care if you or someone you love is dealing with diabetes in their older adult years. If not correctly taken care of, diabetes can cause a series of severe health problems such as:
- Increased risk for infections and injuries
- Accelerated muscle loss
- Damaged kidneys
- Increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease
- Increased risk for heart attack or stroke
- Vision loss
- Persistent pain
- Nerve damage
- Limb amputation
Not to worry though, with these tips and an active effort to monitor your or your loved one’s condition, these risks can be dramatically decreased. So, what steps should you be taking for basic diabetes management? Amicus has you covered with all the right information.
Good Nutrition is Vital
Good nutrition is so important to its management with any health issue that you may have to face in life. For example, when dealing with Type 2 diabetes, your body produces insulin, but your cells become insulin-resistant. Because of this, Type 2 diabetes requires both a diet and lifestyle change that includes frequent exercise and weight loss.
One of the key tips to controlling your Type 2 diabetes through your diet is making sure you’re monitoring your carbohydrates by staying around 135 grams per day, eating healthy fats (like avocados, nuts, and olives), and increasing your lean protein (beans, poultry, fish). It’s also important to stay away from sugary beverages like lemonade, sweet tea, and juice.
Filling your plate with more nutrient-dense foods is key to diabetes management. Need a simple breakdown? Here’s a cheat sheet of what you can eat:
- Lean protein: beans, poultry, fish, and leaner cuts of beef.
- Good carbohydrates: whole-grain foods, legumes, and sweet potatoes.
- Fiber: fruits, legumes, oatmeal, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Good fats: avocados, nuts, olives, and canola oil (good for higher heat cooking).
- Fruits and vegetables: Green vegetables, spinach, asparagus, and broccoli. As well as fruits like tomatoes, grapes, apples, and oranges.
Monitor Your Sugar
This is one of the most challenging parts of adjusting your diet for Type 2 diabetes, but it doesn’t have to be! Low-sugar diets and recipes don’t have to taste as bad as they sound. It’s recommended that those looking to manage diabetes only consume about 25g of sugar a day based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Sometimes the switch is as simple as opting for an artificial sweetener you love. You can also search Google and Pinterest for some delicious diabetes-friendly recipes that may become your new favorite meal.
Preventing Foot Health Risks
Over time, diabetes may cause nerve damage, infections like gangrene, or cause rare issues like Charcot’s foot. Charcot’s foot can cause your feet to have an odd, rounded shape at the bottom. So how do you stay on top of your feet preventative care? It’s important to come up with a plan with your primary doctor, as well as a podiatrist like Dr. Seth Minsky. Dr. Minsky is a proud Amicus doctor that specializes in diabetic podiatry. With their specialized help, you can stay on top of your foot care necessary when managing diabetes.
A few tips on things you can do daily to keep your feet healthy include:
- Wash your feet every day
- Make sure you smooth corns and calluses gently
- Trim your toenails straight across
- Wear shoes and socks at all times to protect your feet from hot and cold temperatures
- Keep an eye on the blood flow in your feet and make sure it’s steady at all times
- Get a foot check at every health care visit
Medication management is one of the most critical steps to diabetes management. This is something you should be in constant communication with your primary care doctor about. Your primary care doctor will be able to discuss all the options with you and see what your best fit will be. It’s important to note that you should always let your doctor know if you begin to experience any negative side effects.
Stay Active Physically and Mentally
Staying physically and mentally active is important for every human being, but it’s essential to those trying to manage diabetes. When your body and mind are active, it helps prevent many adverse reactions and negative side-effects you may have to deal with due to your diabetes diagnosis. It is recommended that patients complete at least a 30-minute physical and mental exercise per day.
Working out is not your thing? Try grabbing a friend and going for a walk around the block. Or, go swimming with your grandkids! Exercise isn’t one-size-fits-all, and you can find an activity that you love and find engaging. If you need more ideas or help, simply consult with your primary doctor. Our Amicus doctors specialize in diabetic management for older adults and are always here to help you live your life to the fullest, no matter what. Discover the Amicus difference today by booking an appointment online.