Aging with diabetes
There’s a huge connection between diabetes and aging. Having diabetes can age you an additional twenty years. There are many causes but also many things you can do for prevention. Because diabetes can take a toll on your body in many ways it’s important to fight back and early on too. Since it speeds up the aging process, you want to change that and slow it down.
Life seems to go by way too fast and you don’t want to help anything that makes life pass you by even faster than it normally would. There are a lot of measures we can take to help to control and reverse diabetes so that we can live a healthier and longer life. Sometimes we don’t think about how short life is until there’s a major bump in the road. Type 2 diabetes is a major bump that we must avoid and go around.
I feel that aging is not just what you see on the outside, although it’s what we and others obviously see first. But I think it’s important to stop the aging process that’s happening inside of us with diabetes. That obviously affects us on the outside as well. So, let’s talk about how and why diabetes affects aging and what lifestyle changes we can make to change that and be healthier, feel better, and extend our lives at the same time.
Declining with age, is also the ability of your body to process oxygen which is obviously vital to your health. This process is known as aerobic capacity and is somewhat estimated to be at between 60% and 70% from when you were much younger to the time you reach age 65. The most common factors seem to be from poor heart function, lung function, and blood circulation.
As the years pass your body does not perform the same with getting and using glucose from your bloodstream (glucose intolerance) as it used to and this is leading to the beginning stages of type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance is a factor that contributes to glucose intolerance where the tissues in your body tend to become less sensitive to insulin. The reason for this is your muscles don’t have the capability to use insulin because of too much body fat.
The aging process speeds up as a result of complications from diabetes such as macular edema, retinopathy, and cataracts which can make poor eyesight become worse. Any tissues in your body can age by cardiovascular disease diminishing the blood supply. And the function of your kidneys can decline faster because of diabetic kidney disease.
The elderly and hypoglycemia
Low blood sugar is serious and more so than hypertension or high blood sugar. There are many reasons that elderly folks are particularly prone to hypoglycemia as opposed to those who are not elderly yet. Let’s take notice here because your life is worth it!
If you’re elderly and taking multiple medications, some could cause hypoglycemia or interact with other medications that are for lowering high blood glucose. Some older folks could have a condition (impaired glucose counterregulation) where their body is not as likely to release specific hormones that usually are protecting them against low blood sugar levels by increasing them when they drop to dangerous low levels. This is NOT something to be overlooked at ALL!
The danger of this condition is that you may not be warned by experiencing the usual symptoms such as: dizziness, sweating, trembling, and headaches which would be a heads up to taking the necessary precautions to address and take care of it.
You may have a less than adequate appetite when you are an older person and could be skipping meals which is not good. If you have diabetic autonomic neuropathy you can have delayed stomach emptying as a result make you susceptible to hypoglycemia.
So you have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The most important thing you can do is to accept and take charge and action of your condition. This is not a dead end road at all. You DO have options. It’s vital to know what those options are and to take A-C-T-I-O-N! If you make goals and write them down and don’t take action, then those goals are just that goals, nothing else.
Let’s start by touching the surface. I’m sure that you will know what you have to do to control your diabetes, but let’s go over it briefly and then get into more detail afterward. No lecture here, but you know that you should be keeping your blood sugar under control and checking your numbers regularly. It’s also extremely important to keep your blood pressure out of the high range, floss your teeth, follow a healthy diet, lose weight, and E-X-E-R-C-I-S-E!
These are all vital to your health and to controlling your diabetes while at the same time helping to slow down the aging process caused by all the negative things you’ve done and choices that you made up until this point. Everything is important for your health. Everything. But the three most important issues are eating healthy, losing weight, and exercise. I cannot stress this enough as I’m sure you’re heard your doctor say many times.
What normally happens during aging is some wrinkles and some gray hair but these are just the ones that are noticeable and there’s a lot more going on inside your body. The rate at which the amount of energy your body expends at rest, or your basal metabolic rate will decline as you age. It’s estimated that your basal metabolic rate begins to decline by about 2% for each ten years beginning at age 20. This could be most likely due to the loss of the mass of muscle associated with aging.
Healthstyle tips to keeping young
* Eliminate the sugar- Getting rid of the excess sugar is one of the main issues with diabetes. Sugar can not only spike your sugar levels, it damages your skin and can rob you of your youthful looks. Fructose and glucose will wreak havoc on your skin and its elasticity and will begin to appear dull and aging. So avoid sugar like the plague!
* Fruits and vegetables- As good as vegetables are for you and you should be eating them, it’s the leafy green ones that are loaded with antioxidants that fight cancer such as kale, spinach, and romaine lettuce. These will help prolong the wearing down of your DNA. Berries are the best fruits you can eat because they are anti-aging super foods.
* ZZZZZZ’s- We all basically need 7-8 hours sleep each night. First of all, if you don’t sleep well, you will feel it the next day and will be fatigued and just not be able to function. While you are sleeping your body is working to regenerate and repair itself and get rid of toxins when you urinate in the morning. Were you aware that getting even one less hour of sleep each night will increase your cortisol levels by as much as ten times! This will lead to oxidative stress and sugar levels that are out of control. This takes the youthfulness out of you. That’s how important sleep is!
* Smoking- I never smoked but I do know that smoking is one of the worst habits you can follow and it certainly speed up your aging process. We all know how bad smoking is for you, so quitting is an excellent decision all around!
* The sun- Nothing can age you and your skin more than too much sun. It’s a must to use sunscreen and I wouldn’t use less than 30 SPF. You can still benefit from the sun and get your vitamin D without the ultraviolet rays doing any damage to your skin and making it look like shoe leather. And always wear your sunglasses to protect your eyes. I can’t go out in the sun without mine.
* Olive oil- The monounstaurated fat in olive oil is good for you. Replace margarine and butter with olive oil. You will decreases your risk of heart disease, help to lower your cholesterol levels, and improve your levels of insulin.
* Processed carbs- Carbohydrates have been shown to be factors in aging. They are known to damage the collagen of your skin which will cause your skin to lose its elasticity. Stay away from bread, pasta, and baked good.
* Red wine- Red wine contains resveratrol which is an antioxidant that speeds up the mitochondria or your cell’s energy and prevents diseases. Careful though, just have in moderation because you don’t want to overdo it.
* Supplements- You can normally lose important minerals and vitamins as you age through your diet. That’s where natural supplements can help.You want to use a supplement that will provide benefits for cell repair and for your heart.
* Tea- Tea can help fight aging with its antioxidants that prevent free radical damage to your cells. Teas that are beneficial for you are white, black, oolong, and green tea which is my favorite that I have everyday.
* Protein- So what is the connection between protein and aging? First of all, protein helps in the slowing down of your insulin levels. You want these to be controlled and balanced and also to avoid weight gain, increasing risks of disease, and the spiking of blood sugars.
Protein can help make sure that your cortisol levels are right and promote blood glucose levels that are stable which in turn reduces stress levels. Collagen aids in strengthening your hair, skin, and nails and prevents your skin from sagging and it’s one of the most beneficial proteins in your body.
* W-A-T-E-R- How important is water? I’m don’t even have to say because we all know without it we would not live. But you need to drink plenty of it to stay hydrated and to also help your skin which is where our aging shows. Each of us has different requirements for the amount of water we need but generally 6-8 eight ounce glasses should be sufficient daily.
* Stress- I’d like to add that having your levels of the stress hormone cortisol being too high can possibly lead to diseases that are dangerous and possibly life threatening. You can develop asthma, gastro issues, heart problems and diabetes that will put wrinkles on your skin and rob you of many years off your life.
* Move fast- Walk, now faster, faster, faster! Get in a run regularly or at least something that gets your heart pumping. Walk a minimum of 20-30 minutes a day at least 5, but preferably 7 days a week. This will help in preventing heart disease and add years to your life.
* Inflammation- Inflammation can really take a toll on your body by causing joint pain and stiffness and make you age quicker too. Try eating foods that are alkaline rich such as vegetables, fruits, and greens that make up about 80% of your diet and the remaining 20% can be carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and starches.
We’re all obviously aging at this moment. But doing the things that we can to prevent aging and living longer are not that hard to do and they will give us longer years. Sugar and high blood sugar levels are killers when it comes to your health and aging. So anything that you can do to control your blood sugar is going to slow down the aging process.
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