Growing up during The Great Depression, Bill often went to bed hungry. Even when there was money for meals, sweets were a luxury. So, given the chance, Bill ate all he could. That “eat now because there may be nothing later” mentality followed him into adulthood. A big man, Bill enjoyed large portions, all-you-can eat buffets, and sweets after every meal. Family members often joked about how much food he put away at one sitting.
Then, on a routine doctor visit, the 80-year-old found out he had diabetes; He would need daily insulin shots to control his blood sugar. Bill’s doctor warned he was at risk for serious health problems if he didn’t make some lifestyle changes.
Bill’s children took the warning seriously and put Bill on a strict diet. He began eating more whole grains, fruits and vegetables and less processed food. Bill’s son, who is his caregiver and responsible for the shopping and cooking, made sure his dad cut way back on his “super-sized” portions. Sweets were no longer kept in the house. Bill was also encouraged to be more active and go for a walk every day.
As we age, our chances of developing Type-2, or adult-onset, diabetes increase. According to the American Diabetes Association, 1 in every 4 people over age 60 has diabetes. It can lead to problems like heart disease, stroke, vision loss, kidney disease, and nerve damage. Symptoms can be so minor that they often go unnoticed -- many people may not even realize they have the disease!
Some of the warning signs you may be diabetic:
Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands or feet
Slow healing cuts or bruises
If this sounds familiar, talk to your doctor. Your doctor can help determine if you have diabetes, and if so, help you manage it before its too late.