Most people who know about diabetes are aware of the issues related to blood sugar, but there are other concerns, too. During National Diabetes Month it’s a good idea to make sure that you and your senior know as much about diabetes and the possible complications as you can.
She May Have Blood Pressure Issues
It might be surprising to realize that blood pressure can be a concern with diabetes, but it’s true. Your senior’s entire circulatory system is affected by blood sugar levels that are too high and those high levels can lead to heart problems down the line. Your senior’s doctor may recommend monitoring your senior’s blood pressure at home, just to keep an eye on it.
Cholesterol Levels Can Rise
Cholesterol levels are another potential problem area if your elderly family member has diabetes. Higher than recommended cholesterol levels interfere with your senior’s circulatory system and her overall health, so they’re important to keep in check. Your senior’s doctor may recommend a dietary change or even medication to help.
She May Have Oral Problems
Oral problems are always an area for concern, but diabetes ups the risks here. Any kinds of abscesses or sores may be more difficult to heal, and that leaves the door open for infection. Your senior is also less likely to be able to eat the healthy foods that she needs to be eating in order to keep her blood sugar under the best control possible.
Her Kidneys May Be Overworked
High blood sugar travels through your senior’s body and gets filtered through her kidneys. That causes a lot more work, and therefore wear and tear, on those already busy organs. If your elderly family member went years without knowing that her blood sugar levels were too high, that’s a long time that her kidneys were working way too hard. Eventually, those organs can stop working as well as they did, or stop working altogether.
Her Skin May Suffer
Your senior’s skin may be a lot drier now that she’s dealing with diabetes, too. She may find that small wounds are taking longer to heal and that her skin is a lot more fragile than it used to be. She may also start to develop nerve damage that can manifest as either numbness in some areas or burning pain. Some of these issues may be reversible or controllable, but they can become permanent.
It’s vital to work closely with your senior’s doctor to develop a care plan. Elder care providers can help with whatever your senior needs, including assisting with regular blood sugar testing.