Have you ever been confused about how your blood glucose might affect normal values as you age? Since blood glucose levels are key to overall well-being, blood glucose control helps maintain optimal levels. As it turns out, these vary for many reasons, which could lead to complications in healthy and aging individuals. What’s more, figuring all this out on your own can be a challenge, especially if you haven’t monitored your blood sugar levels before. So read on for a simple guide to understanding what blood glucose levels are considered normal in older-aged adults.
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What factors could affect normal values in old age due to blood glucose
Seniors who have difficulty maintaining healthy blood sugar levels need to closely monitor their numbers, activities, and daily diet. Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can cause fainting, memory problems and even death in some cases. However, high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) can also cause kidney, eye, nervous system and heart problems over time. For example, when people consume carbohydrates, blood sugar levels rise as the carbohydrates enter the bloodstream. In response to this rapid sugar, the body releases insulin from the pancreas, allowing cells to use the carbohydrates for energy.
Seniors with hypoglycemia may have released too much insulin or not eaten for too long. When the body doesn’t have enough energy to function, it shuts down quickly. Blood glucose levels below 70 mg/dL, for example, are considered hypoglycemic. Seniors with hyperglycemia often have diabetes accordingly. In this case, their body may no longer produce insulin (type 1 diabetes) or use insulin effectively for energy (type 2 diabetes). Because high blood glucose levels can damage various organs in the body over time, it is therefore important to keep blood glucose levels within a normal range.
Normal blood glucose levels for seniors
Normal ranges of blood glucose levels are between 70 and 130 mg/dL before eating, or when fasting. Diabetologists recommend that seniors maintain a blood glucose level of less than 180 mg/dL two hours after eating for this reason. However, not all elderly people have the same care needs. This means that they do not all need the same type of home care. In addition, seniors should make sure to focus on healthy lifestyle habits, such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and having strong social ties.
Controlling blood glucose levels
To maintain normal values through blood glucose as they age, older people with hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia should continuously monitor their levels with home blood glucose monitors. These monitors can be designed for single use or continuous use. With a disposable monitor, a senior places a test strip in the monitor and then pricks his or her finger with a lancet. Blood is applied to the test strip and the monitor gives a blood glucose reading within seconds. Those who have difficulty maintaining their blood glucose levels may need to use continuous glucose monitors. These monitors continuously check blood glucose and alert the user when levels are too high or too low.
Regardless of how you measure your blood glucose, you should keep a log of your fasting states, as well as before and after meals. The doctor can then use these numbers to formulate a treatment plan that is best for that individual. So, if you want to manage your health, consider keeping regular blood glucose monitoring. This will help you with a variety of daily tasks and give you the opportunity to focus on other personal tasks or take time off.
Maintaining a healthy blood glucose level.
You can keep your blood sugar levels stable by exercising, eating a healthy diet, and taking medications or insulin prescribed by your doctor. Here are a few tips for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels:
- Eat a healthy breakfast with fiber and protein within an hour of waking to prevent hypoglycemia.
- Always include healthy fats, proteins and fiber at every meal. This slows down the digestion process and the number of carbohydrates released into the bloodstream, keeping blood sugar levels stable.
- Exercise regularly to burn off extra blood sugar.
- Drink plenty of water and avoid sugary drinks such as colas, sports drinks and juices, as these quickly raise blood sugar levels.
- Keep a supply of candy on hand in case your blood sugar crashes. If you have hypoglycemia, have a sugary snack or drink as soon as possible and recheck blood glucose levels.
Maintaining a high quality of life can be a real challenge for some seniors. However, following a few healthy habits can help them achieve normal values as they age with unstable blood sugar. In addition, this can increase your chances of living a longer and healthier life.