• National Diabetes Month

    Posted on November 8, 2010 by in Featured

    November is National Diabetes Month

    Diabetes is a disease that is estimated to impact  23.6 million people in the US.  17.9 million Americans have been diagnosed with the disease and another 5.7 million are unaware that they are diabetics.  November is National Diabetes month.  The American Diabetes Association has a national movement this month to Stop Diabetes. In recognition of this, The Aging Suite will be discussing issues that affect older individuals with diabetes.  Diabetes impacts the entire body including a person’s sensation and vision.  The Aging Suite hopes to help empower people by educating them about diabetes and its effects on the body.  While having diabetes can impact someone’s ability to age in place, it doesn’t have to stop it.

    Type I Diabetes:

    Insulin is a hormone needed to change carbohydrates and other foods into energy.  When someone has diabetes, their body doesn’t produce or correctly use insulin.

    It’s estimated that 5-10% of the US population has Type I Diabetes.  Type I Diabetes is a chronic condition that occurs when the body does not produce insulin.

    Symptoms of type I diabetes can include:

    • Blurred vision
    • Fatigue
    • Weight loss
    • Extreme Hunger
    • Increased thirst and urination

    Type II Diabetes Mellitus

    Type II Diabetes is a chronic condition and the most common form of diabetes.  It occurs when there is an excess of sugar in the bloodstream and the body becomes resistant to insulin or when the pancreas doesn’t produce sufficient amounts of insulin to maintain a normal glucose level.  Diabetes can impact all of the body’s organs.

    Symptoms of type 2 diabetes can include:

    • Weight loss
    • Excessive thirst and urination
    • Blurred vision
    • Fatigue
    • Frequent infections and/or slow healing sores

    Having a family history of the disease, excessive body weight, and inactivity increases the likelihood of getting the disease.  Also, American Indians, Asian Americans, African Americans and Hispanics, have a higher incidence of the disease as do adults over the age of 45.

    According to the American Diabetes Association:

    • There is a greater risk for stroke among people with Diabetes, as much as 2 to 4 times higher
    • Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness for adults ages 20-74
    • Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure
    • Diabetes can result in  nerve damage
    • The incidence of amputations is 10 times greater for individuals with diabetes than for non diabetics
    • Its estimated that  one-third of people with diabetes have severe periodontal disease
    • Having diabetes makes you more susceptible to other illnesses

    People with diabetes may face challenges to aging in place, but they can still do so successfully and safely.

    Sources: The American Diabetes Association and MayoClinic.com