Know the Signs and Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes in This Population to Improve Care
Jean, 78, has been experiencing urinary incontinence and showing signs of confusion. Her physician also notices she’s slightly dehydrated. When he suggests screening Jean for type 2 diabetes, she thinks this is a waste of time. After all, she isn’t experiencing frequent urination or excessive thirst, which she knows are telltale symptoms of the disease. But the truth is Jean’s symptoms are typical in elder patients newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
Elder patients often present with different signs and symptoms of diabetes, so it’s important for RDs to know what these are so they can help this patient population stabilize blood glucose levels with proper nutrition or refer them to a physician who specializes in geriatric diabetes care.
Different Signs and Symptoms
More than one-quarter of the US population aged 65 and older has diabetes, including type 1 and 2, and approximately one-half of older adults have prediabetes. In this population, age-related insulin resistance and impaired pancreatic islet function increase the risk of developing the disease.