Elderly diabetic population a special group of patients says Expert

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NewZNew (Chandigarh) : As many as 100 Senior Citizens attended an interactive health talk on ‘Management of Diabetes in the elderly’ at Max Super Specialty Hospital (MSSH), Mohali today.

Speaking during occasion, Dr S K Mathur, Sr. Consultant, Endocrinology, MSSH said that diabetes was a major lifestyle disease in India that has affected over 60 million people. The disease was a leading cause for heart attack, brain stroke, kidney failure and limb amputations. However this could be prevented by living a healthy lifestyle which included physical activity, healthy diet, refraining from alcohol and junk food.”

The special precautions were needed while treating diabetes in elderly. There was a golden rule , ‘start low and go slow’. In another words , while starting treatment in elderly one should start treatment with small doses of anti diabetics. However the doses should be escalated slowly later on . This was important to avoid low blood sugar. Low blood sugar has a risk of increasing heart attacks and heart failure. This has been shown in large studies in last two-three years, he pointed out.

He informed further, diabetes in elderly were due to sudden fall of blood pressure and nervous imbalance. This situation could lead to sudden loss of consciousness, fall and injury. This should be carefully looked out among those who have long duration of diabetes besides who were on treatment with drugs that would increase urine output. This would also lead to low level of electrolytes in our body causing unconsciousness.

“Elderly diabetic population was a special group of patients. The blood sugar targets were also different hence the treatment in this group of patients should be individualized depending on the other medical conditions which he or she might have.”

To simplify the tips for successful diabetes management, one should consider the situation in totality including status of heart, kidneys and nerves along with blood sugar. Diabetes should never be neglected because it was a slow killer disease. Regular monitoring of blood sugar could prevent the complications of diabetes. Regular checkup with doctor could give proper advice regarding lifestyle management and medication. It was our moral duty to educate our society about diabetes so that we could contribute towards diabetes prevention and healthy India, he asserted.