Navigating Prediabetes and Diabetes in the Elderly: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

by | Feb 9, 2023

As we age, our bodies go through many changes, and one of the most significant changes is the way our bodies process sugar. Our bodies do this through the bloodstream through a hormone called insulin.

Our bodies need insulin because it helps glucose get absorbed by the cells in our body. However, when we have too much glucose in our system and not enough insulin, prediabetes can occur.

In this article, we will take a closer look at Prediabetes, Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes in the elderly, including symptoms, diagnosis, treatments, and the importance of caregivers and home care.

The Difference Between Type 1 And Type 2 Diabetes

When someone has Type 1 diabetes, their body cannot produce insulin. Type 1 diabetes is typically starts in young individuals and often requires regular insulin treatments to maintain proper health. In contrast, Type 2 diabetes is characterized by the body’s inability to effectively use insulin or not producing enough of it. This form of diabetes is often associated with lifestyle choices like being overweight or inactive and can be managed with exercise, dietary changes, and medications if needed.

Early Symptoms Of Prediabetes And Diabetes

Prediabetes, Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes can sometimes go undiagnosed for many years. It is important to be aware of the early signs of these conditions so that you can seek medical attention if necessary.

Some common early signs of prediabetes include excessive thirst, hunger or fatigue, slow wound healing and frequent urination. In advanced cases, you may experience blurry vision, unexplained weight loss or tingling in your hands and feet. If any of these diabetes symptoms are present it is important for you to call or make an appointment with your physician.

Symptoms Of Diabetes

It is estimated that more than 50% of adults over 65 have prediabetes and upwards of 33% of adults 65 or older have diabetes. Common symptoms of prediabetes include:

  • Increased thirst and urination
  • Tiredness
  • Constant hunger
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Blurred vision
  • Slow healing of sores or cuts
  • Frequent infections

Symptoms of type 1 diabetes typically occur more suddenly and may include: extreme thirst, frequent urination, nausea, vomiting, stomach pains, fatigue and suddenly losing weight due to complications with the digestive system. Symptoms of type 2 diabetes tend to develop slowly over time and may include increased thirst and urination, blurred vision, slow healing sores or cuts, itchy skin, increased hunger and fatigue. Call your doctor if you are experiencing these symptoms of type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes can be a scary prospect, but understanding your risk factor and the signs to look out for is an important part of managing it. If you are experiencing symptoms of prediabetes or diabetes, it’s essential to act quickly and speak with your doctor.

While there is no cure for Prediabetes, Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes, lifestyle modifications such as exercising regularly and eating healthy can help manage the condition over time.

Benefits Of Acting Quickly

When early symptoms are identified, here are some of the benefits of acting quickly if you have signs of diabetes complications.

Lower risk of health problems in the long-term

The longer Prediabetes, Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes go undiagnosed and untreated, the more serious their effects become on various organs in the body. Diabetes can cause nerve damage, blindness, coronary heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and other problems that can reduce a person’s quality of life and even lead to death. Even if you don’t have all the symptoms of diabetes, it’s important to be aware of them and take action as soon as possible if any appear.

A diagnosis from a doctor is key in managing prediabetes or diabetes effectively. A doctor will be able to monitor your levels and prescribe medications if necessary. Diet and exercise are important for management too; however, knowing your numbers through a doctor’s care can provide insight into what dietary changes may work best for you specifically.

Acting quickly at the first signs of Prediabetes, Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes allows you to get the treatment you need early on so that further damage can be avoided – ultimately leading to better health outcomes in the future.

Prevention of further damage to organs

When dealing with Prediabetes, Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes, it is important to act quickly in order to prevent further damage to organs. Diabetes and prediabetes are both serious, chronic conditions that can damage different parts of the body if not properly managed in the long-term.

If you experience symptoms – such as increased thirst and urination, unintentional weight loss, fatigue and blurred vision – it’s important to get tested for diabetes so that a doctor can monitor your levels and perform any necessary treatments. This will help ensure that any further damage to organs from the disease will be avoided.

Also, identifying lifestyle modifications that may help manage or even reduce symptoms is key for prevention. Diet and exercise are two components of this; however, depending on your specific case it’s best to get advice from a health care professional who can monitor your progress over time.

It may also be beneficial to try alternatives like relaxation techniques, prayer and exercise when dealing with stress related to diabetes management.

Taking control of one’s health with effective medical care and lifestyle modifications is key when looking at avoiding further organ damage due to Prediabetes, Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes in the long run.

Ability to monitor blood sugar levels

Early detection of Prediabetes, Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes is essential in order to avoid any long-term damage to vital organs such as the heart. You can also decrease your chances of kidney disease.

If symptoms such as increased thirst, urination, suddenly losing weight and blurred vision are experienced, it’s important to see a doctor right away for testing.

Along with medical treatments, lifestyle modifications such as diet and exercise are just as important when managing diabetes or prediabetes. Depending on the individual however, it’s best practice to get advice from a health care professional who can guide you in finding the most suitable plan for your specific case.

The correct blood sugar tools and techniques can make all the difference in helping one better understand their health and how to approach it with the right blood sugar treatments, lifestyle modifications, and dietary changes.

Regular testing of both fasting and post-meal blood glucose can help individuals evaluate their progress in terms of ensuring that their diet and receiving the necessary medication are doing its job properly. Monitoring glucose levels can also provide valuable insight into which lifestyle habits should be changed or adjusted to improve overall health management.

Home glucose blood sugar monitors are easy to use and relatively inexpensive when compared to being tested at a clinic each time; however, it is still extremely important for individuals to consult with a health care professional for personalized advice on how best to monitor high blood sugar levels in accordance with an individual’s personal condition.

By taking action early on – with both medication and changes in lifestyle– individuals living with diabetes or prediabetes can have an increased chance of avoiding further organ damage down the line.

Opportunity to identify and address lifestyle modifications

When living with Prediabetes, Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes, taking the opportunity to identify and address lifestyle modifications is key in order to reduce further damage to organs. Early detection is essential as well, in order to get tested for any treatments that may be helpful in preventing further damage from occurring.

With early diagnosis, medical treatments like insulin can be used to reduce risks; however, making changes in lifestyle habits should always be considered alongside medication. Diet and exercise will typically play an important role for diabetes management; however, consulting a healthcare professional for personalized advice is essential for finding a suitable plan for every individual’s case.

Alternative forms of therapy such as prayer and meditation can also help manage stress levels related to diabetes more effectively. Taking control of one’s health with effective care and lifestyle modifications is key when looking at avoiding any further organ damage from diabetes or prediabetes in the long run.

Reduce risk of damage to blood vessels

Prediabetes, Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes can have a severe impact on our blood vessels, weakening them and causing extensive harm. People with diabetes are at risk of having their arteries become narrowed and hardened, leading to high blood pressure and an increased chance of stroke and other cardiovascular problems. When blood vessels become narrowed due to diabetes, this puts added strain on the heart and prevents it from functioning properly. It is important for those with diabetes to be aware of healthy lifestyle habits like exercising and eating balanced meals, so as to help minimize damage to blood vessels.

Improved overall quality of life

Managing diabetes or prediabetes can lead to improved overall quality of life when both medical treatments and lifestyle modifications are addressed effectively. Early detection is important in order to get tested for any treatments that may be beneficial in preventing further damage from occurring.

Including diet and exercise into one’s daily routine is essential for maintaining healthy levels of blood glucose; however, consulting a healthcare professional for personalized advice is always recommended in order to find the most suitable plan for an individual’s case.

Destressing your life, spending time with family and a community of friends, as well as being a part of a faith community are other great options to consider when looking at managing stress better than with medication alone.

By taking control of one’s health with effective care, people living with diabetes or prediabetes will have the tools they need in order to improve their overall quality of life.

Diagnosis of Prediabetes and Diabetes

The diagnosis of Prediabetes, Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes is based on a blood test that measures the level of glucose in your blood. The American Diabetes Association recommends that anyone over 45 years old receive an A1C test every three years, or those younger than 45 who are overweight or have other risk factors for diabetes should receive an A1C test as well.

If the results of a fasting blood glucose (FBG) test or an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) indicate that you have higher levels of glucose in your blood than so-called normal range, it may mean that you have prediabetes or diabetes.

A doctor will typically recommend additional testing to make sure of a diagnosis before administering any treatment.

It is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of prediabetes and diabetes early, as this condition can cause serious long-term health complications if not treated properly.

Prediabetes and Diabetes Treatment

Treatment for Prediabetes, Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes in adults typically involves a combination of lifestyle changes, such as healthy eating and regular exercise, as well as medication. Eating a healthy balanced diet, nutrient dense food, and cutting way back on simple carbohydrates and added sugars can help to manage blood glucose levels.

It’s important to get regular exercise 3-4 times a week. Medications such as Metformin, GLP-1 receptor agonist, DPP-4 inhibitors, Sulfonylureas, and GLP-1 receptor agonist-insulin combination can be helpful in controlling blood sugar levels and preventing complications.

Some of the medicines are short acting and others long acting.

Older adults with diabetes may have difficulty managing their condition due to age-related declines in cognitive function, vision, and mobility.

One of the most significant dangers of prediabetes and diabetes in older adults is the increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Additionally, diabetes can cause damage to the nerves that control the heart, leading to a higher risk of heart attacks.

Living With Diabetes

Living with Prediabetes, Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes requires a number of lifestyle changes that can help prevent the progression of the condition. This includes monitoring blood sugar and blood glucose levels regularly, eating a balanced diet low in unhealthy fats and sugars, exercising regularly, quitting smoking, and limiting alcohol intake.

Managing anxiety and stress is also important, as they can both contribute to spikes in blood sugar levels. Your doctor may prescribe medication, if necessary, in order to keep the disease under control.

Finding support from family, friends, or online communities can help you manage symptoms better and stay on track with your treatment plan.

Ways To Prevent Prediabetes And Diabetes

Ways To Prevent Prediabetes And Diabetes

Eating a balanced diet with plenty of low glycemic fruits and vegetables, as well as limiting sugary drinks and processed foods can help prevent the onset of these conditions. Exercise also is important. Traditional diets in some cultures that are high in vegetables and low in fats often have very low incidence of Type 2 Diabetes.

It is also important to include regular check-ups with your doctor, especially if you have any symptoms that could be related to prediabetes or diabetes. Your doctor can take tests such as a fasting glucose test or an A1C test to assess your risk. This will allow them to tailor strategies specifically for you in order to reduce or eliminate your risk of developing these serious diseases.

What Your Should Know About Gestational Diabetes

Pregnancy-related diabetes is a form of diabetes that can occur during gestation and, if left untreated, can cause further health issues for both mother and baby. To prevent potential risks, it is important for expectant mothers to regularly monitor their blood sugar levels.

Lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy diet with nutritious foods, getting enough sleep and exercise on a regular basis, and avoiding stress should all be part of the gestational diabetes management plan. Mothers-to-be should also consult their health care provider for specific advice regarding monitoring glucose levels and what treatments may be necessary in order to maintain optimal health.

Gestational diabetes can have serious consequences; however, it can be successfully managed with the right tools, knowledge, and lifestyle modifications. By having the right information on hand, expecting mothers will have the best chance of achieving good health outcomes for themselves and their unborn baby.


Type 1 diabetes carries an additional risk of ketoacidosis—a potentially life-threatening complication caused by a buildup of ketones in the body—if insulin levels are too low or unable to be regulated properly.

Amputations are also a significant danger of diabetes, especially in the aging.

Ambulation issues, or difficulties with walking and mobility, are common among elderly diabetics due to a number of factors. This can lead to numbness and tingling in the feet and legs, making it difficult for older adults to balance and makes them at increased risk for falls. These injuries can go unnoticed and lead to infection, which can ultimately lead to amputations or sepsis.

Additionally, older adults with diabetes may have poor circulation, which can lead to muscle weakness and fatigue, making it harder for them to walk.

The Role of Caregivers

Older people with Prediabetes, Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes may have difficulty managing their condition due to age-related declines in cognitive function, vision, and mobility. This can make it difficult for them to follow their treatment plan and manage their diabetes on their own. Caregivers and home care can play a vital role in helping many older adults with prediabetes and diabetes manage their condition and maintain their independence.

Caregivers can assist with medication reminders, meal planning to maintain a healthy weight, and regular monitoring of high blood sugar levels to help reduce risks of strokes and kidney disease, along with diabetes.

Home Care Services

Home Care Services

Home care services such as bathing, dressing, and grooming can be helpful for older adults with diabetes who may have difficulty with these activities due to neuropathy or other complications. Home care services can also provide a sense of safety and security for older adults who may be at risk of falling or other accidents.

Home health care nurses can also provide wound care for older adults with Prediabetes, Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes who may have slow healing cuts and bruises. This can be important in preventing infections and promoting healing, as diabetic patients are at an increased risk of infection.

Prediabetes and diabetes are serious health conditions that affect millions of older adults. With the right treatment and support, older adults with Prediabetes, Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes can maintain their independence and live a healthy and fulfilling life.

Caregivers and home care services can play an important role in helping older adults manage things like digestive and kidney diseases. They also can help clients maintain their independence, and they can also provide a sense of safety and security for older adults who may be at risk of falling or other accidents. They also can help families keep an eye out for early signs of diabetes and manage high blood sugar.

If you would like to discuss how Cherished Companions Home Care may be able to assist you with care, please call our office at 440-484-5390 to have a free consultation and assessment. You can also contact us on our website.



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