Common Ailments as You Age with Type 1 Diabetes

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Common Ailments as You Age with Type 1 Diabetes

 Since you are more prone to low blood glucose as you get older, controlling your diabetes as you age can be very challenging. It is important to keep your blood sugar up because low blood glucose can increase your risk of hypoglycemia and poor circulation, as well as stroke and heart attack. Type 1 diabetes is known to cause various ailments as you age, so be sure to look for any symptoms to treat the conditions promptly and prevent any further complications from occurring. Here are some commonly affected areas of type 1 diabetes as you age:

 Kidneys: Diabetes can cause damage to the kidneys which contain millions of tiny blood vessels that filter waste from your blood. Severe damage can lead to irreversible end-stage kidney disease or kidney failure, which would require dialysis or a kidney transplant.

 Cardiovascular System: Diabetes severely increases the risk of various cardiovascular problems, including heart attack, stroke, coronary artery disease, and the narrowing of arteries. People who have diabetes are twice as likely to develop stroke or heart disease.

 Nerves: Excess sugar can damage the walls of the tiny blood vessels that nourish your nerves, particularly in the legs. This can cause tingling, burning, numbness, or pain that generally begins at the fingertips or toes, and gradually spreads upward over several months or years. When left untreated, this condition can cause you to lose all sense of feeling in the affected limbs. Any damage to the nerves that is related to digestion can cause problems with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation and can lead to erectile dysfunction in men.

 Skin and Mouth: Diabetes may leave you more vulnerable to skin conditions, including itching, bacterial infections, and fungal infections. Additionally, gum infections may also be an issue if you have a history of poor dental hygiene.

 Feet: Insufficient circulation or nerve damage in the feet can increase the risk of various foot complications. If left untreated, cuts and blisters can become serious infections, which severe damage might require amputation.

 Bones and Joints: Diabetes may put you at risk of bone and joint problems such as osteoporosis.

 Eyes: Diabetes can damage the retina’s blood vessels which can lead to visual impairment. 

 There are also some conditions that are more common in seniors with diabetes. And worsen as a person ages.

 Pain: Elderly people with diabetes often suffer from undiagnosed or under-treated pain.

 Depression: The risk of depression is remarkably higher in elderly diabetics. They may have suffered the loss of other loved ones which leaves them feeling socially isolated.

 Falling: There is a higher risk of falling in elderly diabetics due to diabetes-related complications such as visual impairments, loss of sensation in the feet, and dizziness from low blood sugar.

 Urinary Incontinence: This is caused by low blood sugar or other correctable problems. Incontinence is generally more common in older women who have diabetes and should be treated by a medical professional.

 Memory Problems: Older diabetics may be incapable of remembering to check blood sugar on time or may forget to take medications.

 Here are some helpful tips to stay healthy and prevent some of these long-term complications of type 1 diabetes from developing:

 Eye care: Have your eyes checked by an eye doctor annually to prevent eye problems such as retinopathy that can lead to blindness as a result of diabetes. Treat problems early to avoid serious complications.

 Skin care: High blood glucose and poor circulation can lead to skin problems such as frequent infections or slow healing after an injury. Wash every day with a mild soap and lukewarm water, always use sunscreen, and treat any cuts or scrapes with proper cleansing and bandaging.

 Foot care: Diabetes can reduce sensitivity in the feet through poor circulation and nerve damage. It is important to regularly check your feet, searching for any sores, cuts, or blisters. Always keep your feet clean and dry and protect them by wearing socks made from natural fibers and comfortable shoes.

 

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