How to Find Out if Your Aging Loved One Has Prediabetes

By Steve Hanson, 9:00 am on

The National Institutes of Health reports that up to 79 million people in the United States are living with prediabetes, also referred to as impaired glucose tolerance. The condition involves having slightly elevated blood sugar levels, which are not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes. If left undiagnosed and untreated, the condition can progress to type 2 diabetes within a decade. The conversion happens to approximately 11 percent of prediabetic people each year.

Prediabetes also leads to cardiovascular damage and other health conditions. Routine evaluations and reducing risk factors can help reverse the symptoms of prediabetes. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust in Rowlett, Texas, home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.

Prediabetes Testing

Prediabetes does not cause noticeable symptoms, which is why seniors should be tested periodically for the presence of the condition. Testing is necessary if there is a family history of diabetes. The fasting plasma glucose reading, taken first thing in the morning before breakfast helps determine prediabetes in aging adults. Normal blood glucose levels should be below 100 mg/dl, but seniors living with prediabetes may have blood sugar levels ranging from 100 to 125 mg/dl.

The oral glucose tolerance test was formerly performed in a clinical setting to check for gestational diabetes in pregnant women. The assessment involves fasting overnight and drinking a sugary beverage before the test. After two hours, a normal glucose reading is 140 mg/dl. However, in prediabetic people, the reading ranges between 140 to 199 mg/dl. 

The A1C or hemoglobin A1C test is often used to determine a diabetic’s blood sugar level for the past three or four months. Normally, the value should be 5.6 percent or lower. An A1C level between 5.7 to 6.4 percent is considered prediabetes in aging adults. 

Delay and Prevention

By reducing risk factors such as obesity, seniors can prevent or delay the onset of diabetes. Your aging loved one should include lean meats, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains in his or her diet. Losing 5 to 10 percent of excess body weight has been shown to help seniors maintain healthy blood sugar levels. 

Regular exercise provides cardiovascular benefits and helps seniors reduce or maintain their weight. Healthcare providers typically recommend 30 minutes of moderate exercise such as walking, cycling, and swimming, three to five times a week. Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Rowlett seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.

Lipoproteins are necessary for the body to function properly. However, an abundance of the wrong types of lipoproteins can raise the risk of prediabetes. Older adults should have their lipid levels checked every five years or sooner. The values that require monitoring include LDL and HDL cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels. Seniors can increase their HDL levels by using avocado, canola, or olive oils, which contain monounsaturated fats. 

If your senior loved one smokes, encourage him or her to stop and help him or her choose deterrents or stop-smoking aids. 

According to the latest research, type 2 diabetes may be a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s can be challenging for seniors to manage without assistance, and it can be just as challenging for families who do not have experience in providing Alzheimer’s care. For trusted Rowlett Alzheimer’s care, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our proprietary Cognitive Therapeutics Method was designed to help seniors with Alzheimer’s and other memory-related conditions live happier and healthier lives. To learn about our high-quality senior care plans, call one of our friendly Care Managers at (972) 722-7833 today.

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