Diabetes mellitus and older adults

It is one of the most frequent non-contagious diseases in the world. It's about the Mellitus diabetes , a group of metabolic diseases that have in common the presence of an increase of sugar (glucose) in the blood, due to an alteration in the secretion of insulin by the pancreas or to a lack of efficacy of its action on the tissues of the body.

Data from the World Health Organization reveal that the number of people suffering from diabetes in Latin America could reach 32.9 million by 2030. At this time and according to the available data, the highest rates of diabetes prevalence correspond to Belize (12.4%) and Mexico (10.7%). In our country, diabetes mellitus is a public health problem that occupies the first places of morbidity and mortality in the population.

Complications of health in the elderly

When diabetes mellitus is not diagnosed early or is not treated timely and effectively, the person who has it suffers from severe damage to several vital organs: it can cause heart disease, cerebrovascular accidents (strokes), blindness, renal insufficiency , complications during pregnancy and amputation of the lower extremities (diabetic foot).

According to specialists from the Mexican Institute of Social Security, diabetes mellitus occurs more frequently after age 50 and 3 out of 10 seniors 65 years old suffer from it, so they recommend the population to have a test to detect this condition. This consists in the extraction of a drop of blood from the fingertip, which is placed on a test strip that immediately indicates the level of sugar in the blood.

Pre-diabetes Many people suffer from what is called "pre-diabetes." This means they have higher than normal glucose levels, but not high enough to diagnose them as diabetes. People who have pre-diabetes have a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Pre-diabetes is a serious problem or condition, but there are measurements which can be taken to control it . For example, reducing weight through physical activity and maintaining a healthy diet can prevent or delay the onset of diabetes in older adults.