Diabetes management in older peopleDiabetes is a disease related to the metabolism of the human body. It has to be understood with regards to our food intake and the way in which our body processes digested food in order to provide growth and energy. Mostly, our daily food intake is broken down into glucose which exists in our blood in the form of sugar. When food is digested in our body glucose passes through the blood from where it is used by the relevant organs to provide energy. In order to break the glucose down, however, the body requires a certain amount of a substance called insulin which is in essence a hormone produced by the pancreas.
In people afflicted with diabetes however the problem is that there is little or no insulin produced because of which there is a buildup of excess glucose in the blood, which then overflows into the urine and passes out of the body through the channel of urine itself. The body therefore loses its main source of energy despite the blood containing large amounts of glucose.
The three main types of diabetes are, type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease which results when the body’s system for fighting infection (the immune system) turns against a part of the body. A person who has type 1diabetes must take insulin daily to live. The most common form of the disease however is type 2 diabetes. This is mostly found in associations with old age, obesity, a chronological family history of the ailment, physical inactivity, and certain ethnicities. About 80 per cent of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight.
The third type of diabetes is gestational diabetes which is found in pregnant women. The following assignment will focus largely on type2 diabetes, the basic issues regarding self management of the disease in old age and the methodologies that should ideally be used in research seeking to put forward a solution the issues identified. The first problem that can be identified with regards to diabetes regulation in old people is with regards to diet and exercise. A number of factors that ultimately result in a diabetic condition that can include low income, poor vision, poor appetite due to decreased taste and smell, arthritis or tremor, making preparation of food difficult, poor teeth or dry mouth and depression which affects the appetite.
A related issue is the usage of exercise as a cure to diabetes. Many are of the opinion that exercise can be a controlling factor where diabetes is concerned. The second issues that assume major relevance with regard to diabetes management in older people is that of eyesight, urinary and sexual issues.
The first and arguably the most important issue with regards to the problem is the fact that these people are highly susceptible to issues like cataracts, macular degeneration, and open-angle glaucoma in addition to diabetic retinopathy. The problem can seem a personal one but is hardly so because it affects not just the patients but also people who are related to the patient especially a spouse. The issue therefore is the impact of the ramifications of the family and the ways to deal with it.