Diabetes is a serious disease that affects more than 25 percent of Americans over the age of 60. 400,000 individuals over the age of 65 are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes every year. Unfortunately, there are those individuals that have the disease and yet go undiagnosed until a complication brings it to the attention of their family and doctors. In many cases, the complications of diabetes are not reversible.
Know the Signs
As a family caregiver, knowing the signs of diabetes can help you determine when it’s time to call your parent’s primary health care provider. As with most diseases, the earlier the detection, the better the outcome. Uncontrolled blood sugar can lead to heart disease, stroke, blindness, nerve damage, and kidney disease, and even increases the chance of developing Alzheimer’s.
These are the hallmark signs of diabetes:
-Increasing urination. This is one of the main symptoms people experience that are on the verge or have diabetes. It is due to the increased activity of the kidneys as they try to get rid of the excess sugar in the blood. You will notice your parent going to the restroom with increasing frequency and unable to get through the night without having to get up and go. This symptom leads to the next one—excessive thirst.
-Excessive thirst. This symptom is due to your body’s attempt to regulate the excess sugar. The loss of fluid causes thirst—the body’s way of trying to replenish what has been lost. You may notice your parent drinking more beverages than usual or complaining of a dry mouth or skin.
-Itchy skin. This is a common sign of diabetes that often goes undetected. It may be the result of dry skin.
-Weight loss. Your parent’s kidneys are working overtime and their body is breaking down their muscles in an attempt to find energy. This leads to rapid weight loss. This same pattern is leading to excessive hunger, as the body craves needed fuel.
If you notice any or all of these signs, don’t delay in getting your parent an appointment with their physician. The earlier they can get on a diabetic-friendly diet, begin an exercise program, find ways to relieve stress, and stop smoking, the better their chances of leading a healthy and productive life.
These, of course, are lifestyle changes that would be good for your parent to adopt whether or not they have high blood sugar. As a family caregiver, you are in a unique position to help your family member begin healthy lifestyle choices now in order to fend off the many chronic diseases that are associated with poor lifestyle choices later.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering home health care in Norwalk, CT, please contact the caring staff at Sovereign Home Health today.
Call today (203) 642-1924
Sovereign Home Health is focused on caring for our clients throughout Connecticut.With two locations and services ranging from our personal care and companion care services to our 24/7 Never Alone Care, our specially trained and certified in-home caregivers can provide you with the care and freedom you or your loved one deserve.
Each of our clients has different care needs, and Sovereign Home Health provides a range of services that can be customized to fit their unique, individual client needs. To learn more about Sovereign Home Health or to set up a free comprehensive consultation, contact us today.
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