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What is Diabetes?

November was proclaimed “Diabetes Awareness Month” in order to spread awareness and knowledge about the different types of Diabetes and their risks. Let us now learn to understand the signs and symptoms of Diabetes and become aware of treatments available for those who have the condition.

 

Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose/blood sugar, is excessively elevated. Blood glucose is your core source of energy and derives from the food you eat. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that converts glucose from food into energy. In some cases, your body does not make sufficient amounts of insulin or does not use insulin well. Glucose then remains in your blood and is unable to reach your cells.

 

Types of Diabetes

 

The three main types of Diabetes:

  • Type 1 – Over one million Americans suffer from Type 1 Diabetes, and several thousand more are predicted to be diagnosed within the next year. Type 1 Diabetes occurs when an individual’s blood sugar is extremely high. Often their immune system fails, attacks, and destroys the cells in the pancreas that produce the body’s insulin. This form of diabetes can be developed in people of any age, or size.

 

  • Type 2– The most common form of Diabetes is Type 2. Over 30 million In the USA alone are estimated to have it. With this type of diabetes, the person’s body does not use insulin properly. This type of Diabetes is more common after the age of 45, though it is still possible for younger ones to develop Type 2 Diabetes.

 

  • Gestational Diabetes (GDM)– This type of diabetes develops in pregnant women who did not previously have Diabetes and can often be controlled by diet and exercise. If not controlled, this can lead to a high chance of complications for both mother and child. GDM usually goes away in time after birth but women affected are at heightened risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life.

 

Signs and Symptoms

 

The signs of diabetes are not always obviously recognized as signs and can also be confused with other conditions. Here are some of the most common symptoms:

  • Frequent urination
  • Feeling thirsty
  • Blurred vision
  • Cuts and bruises are slow to heal
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Tingling, or numbness in hands and feet

 

If you or a loved one have concerns that you may be experiencing some of these symptoms, it may be time to look into getting tested for Diabetes.

 

Treatment Options

 

Treatment:

  • If you have been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, a doctor may advise you to monitor your blood sugar regularly, take insulin, eat healthily, and exercise consistently.

 

  • If you’ve been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, a doctor will assess whether you need medications to treat it, in addition to adjusting your diet, increasing your exercise, and making other needed lifestyle changes.

 

  • If you’ve been diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes, your doctor will discuss the best foods for you to eat, an exercise routine that is safe for you and your unborn child, and an insulin regimen, if needed.

 

 

If you’d like to learn more about caregiver resources or need assistance caring for a family member or friend, complete the form on our Contact Page.

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Dementia

‘Dementia’ is a term used to describe a wide range of symptoms of cognitive impairment. Witnessing dementia in a parent is one of the hardest things we might face as adults. As we see our parents become dependent and disabled, we confront the vulnerability of someone who at one time we viewed as strong and powerful. There are many types of dementia and managing dementia can be overwhelming. We must balance worry and the realization that roles have changed. To make dealing with this challenge somewhat less difficult, let us get acquainted with three of the most common types of dementia and their symptoms.

3 Common Types of Dementia:

 

Alzheimer’s disease

 

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is the most common type of dementia, affecting many Americans over the age of 65.

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease

The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease often mirror signs of common stress, and it can be easy to overlook symptoms for a while, not realizing a bigger problem could be at hand. Though symptoms such as not being able to focus, forgetfulness, and negative attitude, are symptoms that could result from something as simple as not getting enough sleep at night, these are also common indicators of early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Other symptoms of the illness include:

  • Inability to recall numerical sequences like phone numbers and addresses
  • Difficulty planning and solving problems
  • Trouble completing or remembering to do everyday tasks like self-care and chores
  • Forgetting material that you just watched or read, as well as misplacing things often
  • Withdrawing from social situations and changes in personality

Vascular Dementia

Vascular Dementia is a type of dementia that involves impairments in cognitive function caused by damage to blood vessels caused by multiple strokes. Some specialists favor the term “vascular cognitive impairment” (VCI) to “vascular dementia” because they feel it conveys the concept that vascular thinking changes can range from mild to severe.

Symptoms of Vascular Dementia:

The symptoms of vascular dementia depend on the part of the brain affected and the extent of the damage. Similar to Alzheimer’s disease, the symptoms of vascular dementia are often unrecognizable for a long time. They may include:

  • Confusion
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • The decline in the ability to analyze a situation, develop an effective plan and communicate that plan to others
  • Memory loss
  • Significant slowness of thought

 

Lewy Body Dementia

Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) is a progressive brain disorder in which proteins, called alpha-synuclein, accumulate inside certain brain cells. These accumulated proteins, called Lewy bodies, cause damage to brain cells in areas of the brain that affect mental capabilities, behavior, and movement.

Symptoms of Lewy Body Dementia

Symptoms of LBD may resemble the symptoms of other neurological disorders. For instance, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Yet, cognitive symptoms tend to show earlier in dementia with Lewy bodies than in Parkinson’s disease dementia. The effects of LBD show in each person differently and vary in severity.

Common symptoms of LBD include:

  • Movement disorders
  • Poor regulation of body functions (autonomic nervous system)
  • Cognitive problems
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Depression

 

While cures for dementia continue to baffle the medical world, that does not stop us from learning about different dementias and adjusting our ways of dealing with those who have it. We want to love and care for those we know with dementia to the best of our abilities.

https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/what-is-dementia

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Biggest Fears of Retirement – “Staying Healthy and Affording Health Care”

As a retiree, you expect to spend a large sum of money on health care. Still, many don’t plan appropriately for it. Without a job affording the health care you need could seem near impossible. If you take good care of your health now, you’ll be able to have a quality life and there will be a financial advantage. Your yearly expense will be far less if you are healthy.

Health Decline

Declining health is something we all will have to face in life sooner or later. Although genetics plays a part in health during old age, one important thing that affects your health is how you’ve lived throughout your younger years. If you smoked, the consequences in later life have a chance of being lung cancer, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), heart disease or even vision loss. Poor diet is an additional cause of poor health in the elderly. Overeating can cause diabetes, heart problems, and many other illnesses. Many cannot afford to eat properly, still, even if it is within their means, some disregard the importance of keeping a proper diet. This makes them far more susceptible to disease. There are many things you can do to take care of your health while you grow older. Eat smart, the digestive system slows down with age, so eating foods high in fiber would be a good thing to do. Seniors can more easily become dehydrated. Make sure to drink plenty of water to keep your energy up. Always get enough sleep. This can be difficult with restlessness and waking throughout the night which is common among seniors. What can help? Dimming the lights in the evening will encourage drowsiness and keep your bedroom cool, quiet and comfortable. This can help provide you with an atmosphere whereby you can sleep more peacefully.

Affording Health Care

No matter how much you prepare, it’s hard to foresee certain expenses leading up to retirement. Being able to afford good healthcare is a thought that brings worry to those on the brink of retirement. The fear of losing health insurance can keep you from leaving your job or make you want to put off your retirement. There aren’t a lot of Americans who are mindful of the huge burden upcoming health care costs present. Having emergency funds that can take care of expenses for at least half a year would be extremely helpful. This should help cover the cost of some unexpected events that can occur. Do your best to maintain good health, look into a good quality health insurance plan, and think of medical costs while you prepare for retirement, this will help you ultimately. Maybe even moving to a place with good healthcare options would be of interest to you.

*Disclaimer: The information provided is not intended to replace professional medical advice or to diagnose or treat.