According to the American Diabetes Association 2020 Standards of Care, 25% of patients over the age of 65 have diabetes and approximately 50% have pre-diabetes. Diabetes occurs when the body is unable to regulate sugar within the body. It is caused by a variety of reasons, but the most important is the body either cannot make insulin (Type 1) or the body becomes de-sensitized to insulin, and the body cannot make enough to compensate (Type 2). When diabetes is not controlled, there is risk for many complications including kidney disease, vision loss, and nerve pain. Blood sugar goals of 80 – 130 mg/dL in the morning and < 180 mg/dL after meals can help to slow the progression of complications. Medications for diabetes include metformin, sulfonylureas (glipizide and glyburide), and insulin. These are only a few examples of the large number of these medications available.
Kidney disease, vision loss, and nerve pain are all considered “long-term” complications of diabetes because the symptoms or body changes do not develop until there is years of damage from blood sugar levels that are not at the goals previously mentioned.[Read more…]