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Preventing Type 2 Diabetes

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NJ Senior Health

Americans 60 and older have the highest rate of type 2 diabetes among all age groups.  However, before type 2 diabetes occurs, the body develops pre-diabetes, a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not yet at the level for a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.

With pre-diabetes, the pancreas is usually producing enough insulin, but the body cannot use that insulin effectively – a condition called insulin resistance. With this condition, blood sugar gradually increases, often slowly enough that you don’t notice any symptoms.

Common symptoms include feeling tired or ill, unusual thirst, frequent urination (especially at night), weight loss, blurred vision, frequent infections, and slow-healing wounds. These symptoms happen over time, so many people don’t see them as warning signs.  The American Diabetes Association says one-third of people who have diabetes don’t realize they have the disease.

A Harvard School of Public Health study found that nearly 5,000 people (with an average age of 73) who were less likely to develop diabetes  (a 90 percent lower risk, in fact) had several traits in common. They included the following:

  • were physically active
  • ate more fiber and polyunsaturated fats
  • ate fewer sugars, starches and trans fats
  • didn’t smoke
  • used alcohol moderately
  • maintained a healthy weight

Older adults with pre-diabetes can still prevent full blown diabetes and those that have diabetes can still improve the quality of their lives.  Here’s how:

  • Assuming your doctor says you are overweight, lose 5 to 7 percent of your body weight (which is approximately 10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound adult)
  • Participate in physical activity for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Brisk walking will cover this.
  • Eat a healthy diet, limiting calories and fat.

Posted by: Frank Esposito, Vice President of Expert Home Care.  New Jersey’s Expert Home Care provides professional and reliable home health care and companion care for NJ elderly, helping them with their daily living activities since 1984. Please call us toll free at 800-848-2336 when you have home care related questions or need assistance for a loved one. Get a Free Home Care Assessment (a $375 value!) when you mention this post.

Expert Home Care

Frank Esposito has 33 years experience in the field of non-medical home care and home health care in the state of New Jersey (NJ). As an operations manager he has delivered over 65 million hours of service to 8,000 + clients. He is sought after nationwide as a consultant and trainer.

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