By Serena Gordon
FRIDAY, March 29, 2019 (HealthDay Information) — When you could have kind 1 diabetes, preserving observe of your blood sugar ranges might be difficult. However new analysis means that seniors would possibly actually have hassle avoiding low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia.
Actually, many sufferers over age 60 might expertise as much as 100 minutes of a day with low blood sugar and never even comprehend it, the research researchers mentioned.
The underside line: “Older adults with kind 1 diabetes do spend a substantial period of time in hypoglycemia,” mentioned research writer Dr. Anders Carlson. He is medical director of the Worldwide Diabetes Heart in Minneapolis.
“Hypoglycemia can result in quite a lot of extreme penalties — lack of consciousness, accidents, falls, hospitalizations and ER visits. Older adults have the next threat from hypoglycemia by way of arrhythmia [irregular heartbeat] that can lead to greater cardiovascular issues,” Carlson defined.
“Hypoglycemia can take a toll on individuals. It’s a must to be prepared and capable of deal with hypoglycemia at any given second,” he added.
Any blood sugar studying under 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) is taken into account low blood sugar. When blood sugar drops under 54 mg/dL, you are in danger for extra critical signs.
As blood sugar ranges dip, you start to expertise signs reminiscent of shaking, sweating, headache, starvation, fatigue and blurred imaginative and prescient. As blood sugar drops decrease, it’s possible you’ll really feel weak and have hassle concentrating. Chances are you’ll be confused or have adjustments in your persona. Finally, untreated low blood sugar can result in seizures, unconsciousness and even demise, in response to the U.S. Nationwide Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Illnesses.
Individuals who’ve had diabetes for a very long time or who’ve had repeated low blood sugar are liable to growing hypoglycemia unawareness. These individuals now not really feel the uncomfortable warning signs of hypoglycemia, in response to the American Diabetes Affiliation (ADA). This places them at even better threat of experiencing critical low blood sugar.
The research checked out 203 adults older than 60 who had kind 1 diabetes. Greater than 90 p.c had been white, and simply over half wore an insulin pump. Their general diabetes administration averaged throughout the vary really helpful for older adults by the ADA.
The members wore a “blinded” steady glucose monitor (CGM) for 3 weeks. Utilizing a particularly skinny sensor inserted beneath the pores and skin, CGMs usually present practically fixed entry to blood sugar readings for the affected person. The research units, nonetheless, solely gave that data to the researchers.
The research discovered that the volunteers spent a median of 72 minutes a day with blood sugar ranges of lower than 70 mg/dL and 24 minutes a day at lower than 54 mg/dL. These with hypoglycemia unawareness spent much more time with low blood sugar ranges.
The researchers did not discover a distinction between day and evening readings of low blood sugar.
Dr. Joel Zonszein is director of Montefiore Medical Heart’s Medical Diabetes Heart in New York Metropolis, and was not concerned with the analysis. “I am not stunned by the research. That is what we see on a regular basis now that CGM is turning into extra accessible,” he famous.
Zonszein mentioned older individuals haven’t got the identical counter-regulatory responses from the physique that youthful individuals do. That often implies that administration of diabetes in older individuals needs to be much less aggressive, he mentioned.
“Frequent low blood sugars needs to be a wake-up name to rearrange the diabetes routine,” he mentioned.
Carlson agreed that it was essential for remedy to attempt to decrease hypoglycemia.
Carlson offered the findings this week on the Endocrine Society annual assembly, in New Orleans. Analysis offered at conferences is often seen as preliminary till it has been printed in a peer-reviewed journal.