People who have prediabetes have blood sugar levels that are
higher than they should be but have not yet reached the levels required for a
diabetes diagnosis. Older adults who have prediabetes are at high risk for
developing full-blown type 2 diabetes. In addition, damage to the heart,
kidneys, and blood vessels caused by diabetes can start during prediabetes.
Knowing if your aging relative is at risk for prediabetes can help them to make
lifestyle changes to prevent it.
Prediabetes Risk Factors
Doctors don’t know what makes some people develop
prediabetes. They do know that the bodies of people with prediabetes don’t use
sugar the way they should. As a result, sugar builds up in the blood instead of
being used to fuel cells. While the exact cause of prediabetes is unknown,
there are several known risk factors, such as:
Weight: Carrying excess pounds is one of
the chief risk factors for prediabetes. Fatty tissue causes cells to be
resistant to insulin. This is particularly true in people who carry their
weight around their waistline. Women with a waistline larger than 35 inches and
men with a waistline larger than 40 inches are at greater risk for developing
Diet: People who eat a lot of red meat,
processed meats, and drink sugary beverages are at greater risk.
Lack of Physical Activity: The more time
your older family member spends inactive, the more at risk they are for
prediabetes. Exercise helps the body to use up sugar and increases the body’s
sensitivity to insulin.
Age and Race: Prediabetes is more likely
after the age of 45. It is also more common in people of some races, such as
African Americans, Native Americans, and Hispanics.
Family History: If the senior has a
sibling with type 2 diabetes or if one of their parents had it, they are at
greater risk for prediabetes.
Lifestyle Changes to Prevent Prediabetes
The same lifestyle choices that prevent other kinds of
diseases, like heart disease, can also help your aging relative to prevent
prediabetes. Some lifestyle changes to make are:
Eat a healthier diet that includes plenty of
fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Increase physical activity. Aim for 150 minutes
of activity per week.
Keep blood pressure and cholesterol in check.
If your aging relative is at risk for prediabetes, senior care can help them to make the necessary changes to prevent the condition. A senior care provider can prepare healthy meals that limit red and processed meats and include lots of plant-based foods. Senior care providers can also help the older adult to be more physically active by taking them for walks or doing activities with them at home, such as gardening.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Senior Care in Big Timber, MT please contact the caring staff at AdvoCare Home Care Services today at 406-582-5402.