Incidence Increases with Age

People with Type 2 diabetes produce insulin; however, either their pancreas does not produce enough insulin or the body cannot use the insulin adequately.  Glucose comes from carboydrate foods, and is the main source of the body’s energy.  Without enough insulin, glucose (sugar) can’t get into the body’s cells. When glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into cells, the body’s cells are unable to function properly.  (Normally, blood glucose levels increase slightly after eating.) 

The incidence of diabetes increases with age, as about half of all cases of diabetes occur in people older than 55 years of age.

 The following are some of the primary complications of diabetes:

  • Heart disease and stroke.  More than 65 percent of people with diabetes will die of heart disease or stroke, and they are likely to die younger than people who do not have diabetes. People with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have heart disease or suffer a stroke.
  • Blindness – due to diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes is the leading cause of new blindness among adults.
  • Kidney disease – due to diabetic nephropathy. People with diabetes who are over 65 years of age are twice as likely to be hospitalized for kidney infections compared with those without diabetes.
  • Nerve disease and amputations.  About 60 – 70 percent of people with diabetes have mild to severe forms of diabetic nerve damage, which can lead to lower limb amputations. Monitoring and properly managing this condition is very important.

What you can do?

Diabetics usually need to regularly check their blood sugar levels at home. There are a number of devices available, and they use only a drop of blood. Many times, our home care staff will assist with these in-home blood tests. Some are a simple as pricking a finger for a blood sample.  Self-monitoring tells how well diet, medication, and exercise are working together to control the disease.