You hear about the people who just got more and more tired as they got older, and then you hear about those who are lively, upbeat, keep walking and gardening, and some even become bodybuilders later in life. Yes, your body does break down as you age, but that doesn’t mean that these are necessary or
typical ways of aging. Some
typical signs of aging are actually typical signs of diabetes.
With over 8 million Americans unaware that they are suffering from diabetes as estimated by the American Diabetes Association, those who are 45 years old or older are at the highest risk. Melissa Joy Dobbins, MS, registered dietitian and diabetes explains,
A lot of people have prediabetes or diabetes for quite some time before it gets diagnosed……you could feel perfectly fine and have diabetes. This is especially true if you’re discounting things as just normal signs of aging. You should watch out for:
Hearing Loss or Blurred Vision
Some people will start to lose their hearing and sight gradually with age, but there are also cases where it’s not age. You don’t have to suffer through it. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that those with diabetes are twice as likely to experience hearing loss than those who do not have diabetes.
Part of what diabetes does is it damages blood vessels and nerves, and this includes those in the ears and eyes. Dobbins tells us,
When the blood sugar is higher than what’s normal, that damages your circulation. This could lead to problems with hearing and sight loss.
Low Energy and Irritability
Older people have less energy, but at the same point, you see some senior citizens who are still quite active. This isn’t unexplained. Type 2 diabetes can explain exhaustion and the irritability that often comes with it. Dobbins says,
Our body needs fuel in order to function. The body prefers glucose, and so when we don’t have enough of that – – it’s staying in our circulation and it’s not getting into the cells where it’s needed – then we are going to feel tired, hungry, and low energy, because that fuel pathway isn’t working the way it’s supposed to. In short, the calories you get from food aren’t being processed into energy, and the glucose just goes out with your urine.
Frequent Urination and Extreme Thirst
Some people urinate more as they age, and it could be because of diabetes. For those with diabetes, sugar can’t get into the body, instead going out with the urine.
The only way to get the sugar out of the body is to flush it in the urine, and that dehydrates you and makes you really thirsty. Naturally, if you’re more thirsty, diabetics will try to drink more orange juice, milk, soda, and other sugary drinks, which perpetuates the problem.
Unexplained Weight Loss
I have seen some elderly people who lose fat and muscle as they age. In some cases though, it might be diabetes. Dobbins notes,
But any sort of unexplained weight loss – – if somebody is not trying to lose weight – – really needs to be looked at. You can’t just brush aside unexplained weight loss, even if it’s not diabetes.
There are other symptoms you might notice with diabetes such as tinglin and numbness for example. It’s a complicated disease. As you age though, it is essential not to simply write these types of potentially serious symptoms off.