Over 37 million Americans have diabetes. Of those people, an estimated 8.5 million have no idea. Your dad’s just been diagnosed with diabetes, and you’re not sure what that means for him. Here are the facts you should learn during American Diabetes Month.
People Over the Age of 45 Have a Higher Risk
Certain risk factors increase the chances of diabetes. Age is one of them. There’s a higher risk of diabetes after the age of 45. Some races and ethnicities have a higher risk. A family history, a sedentary lifestyle, and being overweight also increase the chances of developing diabetes.
Over 88 Million People Have Pre-Diabetes
More than 88 million Americans have pre-diabetes. That’s about one in every three Americans. While this isn’t diabetes, it could progress to that point. Pre-diabetes occurs when the sugar levels in the blood are higher than they should be.
Making changes to diet and exercise routines is important. So is losing weight if you are overweight. In fact, studies find that losing just 5% to 7% of your body weight reduces the risk of pre-diabetes becoming diabetes.
Older Adults Are More Likely to Have Type 2 Diabetes
There are two main types of diabetes. Type 1 occurs when the body doesn’t produce insulin. It’s more commonly diagnosed as a child. Type 2 occurs when the body starts having a harder time distributing insulin to the cells as it should. It’s likely the form of diabetes your dad has. His treatment plan will be linked to the type of diabetes he has and how well his body responds to diet and exercise.
Chronic Health Conditions Often Go Hand-in-Hand
Diabetics have a high risk of developing other chronic health conditions, especially if their blood sugar levels are poorly managed. Around 29% of adults with diabetes also have chronic kidney disease. Almost 12% lose their vision. Around 1.87 million adults end up in the hospital with cardiovascular disease.
Over 40% of adults with diabetes have high cholesterol. Almost seven out of ten adults with diabetes also have high blood pressure. Close to 90% are considered obese.
Exercise Is Important
No matter the diagnosis, your dad needs 150 minutes or more of moderate or strenuous activity. If your dad isn’t that active, undeniably, he needs to find exercise programs and activities that appeal to him.
Swimming is a great activity. It’s easy on the joints, but the resistance in the water helps provide a strenuous workout. To be sure, walking and riding bikes are other activities that your dad may enjoy that ensure he gets enough exercise. If he can’t go outside, a treadmill or stationary bike are options for ensuring he works out.
If your dad has diabetes and has a hard time with blood sugar management, arrange in-home care. The sooner someone helps him choose the right foods while shopping, and helps with medication reminders and meals, the easier it is. Call an in-home care specialist to make arrangements for him.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring In-Home Care in Encino, CA, please contact the caring staff at Home Care Help. Serving All of Los Angeles County. Call Us Today at (888) 989-7388.