A new study suggests that older diabetes patients may be working too hard to keep their blood sugar down.
The cardinal rule of diabetes maintenance is blood sugar regulation and this usually results in diabetics having a keen awareness of sugar and carbohydrate content of the foods they eat. Most of the time, this can be managed in a health way, particularly with medications that help you to cheat a little or let some of the caution go for one meal or more.
But a new study suggests that diabetics over the age of 65–who also have other health concerns–might be at a terrible risk for pushing their blood sugar levels to a dangerous low.
The study authors contend that this is particularly true for older adults who have might be dealing with multiple illnesses–and serious ones, at that–as well as functional limitations–which make everything that much more serious–who must manage their blood sugar. The study authors attest that for these people, the risk for hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) may actually outweigh the benefits of closely-watched blood sugar regulation.
Lead study author Dr. Kasia J. Lipska, of the Yale School of Medicine, comments, “Older people are more susceptible to hypoglycemia.” She goes on to say, “As people age, their kidney function deteriorates and drugs (like insulin) may not be eliminated from the body as efficiently.” And this can lead to low blood sugar, of course.
And unfortunately, people with low blood sugar do not always realize that they have it. Symptoms for low blood sugar include dizziness, double vision, blurred vision, rapid heartbeat, trembling, shaking, headache, sweating, hunger, fatigue, feeling faint, confusion, shaking, and difficulty sleeping, among other things.
These symptoms can signify so many other conditions.