We already know that diabetes has a huge impact on Americans, with nearly 10% of the population officially diagnosed and more than 25% more suspected cases that are not yet diagnosed. And managing the disease is a lifelong, sometimes complicated process. But there’s now a new twist being unraveled in the lives of diabetics that’s causing additional concern: the link between diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.
Since one of the many potential effects of diabetes is damage to blood vessels, it leads to reason that this damage can result in blocked or reduced blood flow to the brain – and thus, dementia. Researchers have also discovered similar brain changes in those with diabetes as in those with Alzheimer’s disease, resulting in the hypothesis that the two diseases could be piggybacking off the damage caused by each other.
Because of this connection, among all of the other complications that can result from diabetes, such as stroke, heart disease, damage to nerves, kidneys, and eyes, it’s imperative for diabetics to carefully and consistently manage their disease. The following tips are recommended to optimize health and keep diabetes under control:
- Monitor blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels according to the doctor’s recommendations.
- Maintain a healthy diet and weight.
- Incorporate at least half an hour of exercise into each day’s routine.
- Be sure to take all medications exactly as prescribed.
- Check feet for sores or other problems each day.
Following these and any other guidelines outlined by the doctor can drastically impact health for those with diabetes – and those hoping to avoid it. In fact, a recent study documented a full 50% reduction in the development of type 2 diabetes in pre-diabetics who exercised regularly and kept their weight within a healthy range.
If sticking to a healthy lifestyle is challenging for yourself or a senior loved one, partnering with a trusted family member or friend for support and encouragement can make a big difference. Compassionate Nursing Services is also available to help provide the motivation to engage in healthy choices by planning delicious meals that adhere to a prescribed dietary plan, providing transportation to exercise classes and programs, offering friendly companionship to keep spirits lifted, and so much more.
Contact us any time to learn more by calling 314-432-4312, and discover how our St. Louis home care professionals can help improve quality of life for those with chronic diseases such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease, or any other condition of aging, with our full range of customized senior care services.