The Older Men’ Network, Age Concern Central Lancashire, Prof. Alan Sinclair, Dr Jay Chillala of Foundation for Diabetes Research in Older People have recently launched a set of posters aimed at reaching Older Men with awareness tips for Diabetes.
Following a survey carried out by the Network it was obvious that Older Men are really bad at noticing changes to their body or even choose to ignore them because of a fear of the unknown.
The posters are aimed to give the men a better idea of what to look out for and some simple lifestyle changes which could help.
The posters are available in Hard Copy
from the Network or can be sent via e mail.
New research suggests men over 50 are nearly twice as likely to have undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes than their female counterparts, warns Diabetes UK .
Published in the journal Diabetic Medicine, a nationally representative study of 6,739 52- to 79-year-olds found 502 to have diabetes. Of the men with diabetes, 22 per cent did not realise they had the condition before the study, compared to 12 per cent of the women.
“Diabetes is extremely serious and the longer it is left undiagnosed and untreated, the greater the risk of developing devastating complications such as blindness, stroke, kidney failure, amputation and heart disease,” said Simon O’Neill, Head of Care, Information and Advocacy at Diabetes UK.
Around half already have complications by time of diagnosis
“Type 2 diabetes can go undetected for more than 10 years, which means that around half of people already have complications by the time they are diagnosed.
Men at greater risk of Type 2 diabetes than women…
“Men are generally worse at looking after their health than women. We already know that middle-aged men are twice as likely to have diabetes than women and that, consistently, more men are overweight than women and so at greater risk of Type 2 diabetes. This research suggests this pattern is the same for men over 50 who don’t realise they have diabetes.
“It’s vital men of all ages take better care of their health and are made more aware of the risk factors and symptoms of diabetes. Older men, especially if they are at risk of diabetes, should have regular check-ups with their GP.
… but women should not become complacent
“Women should not become complacent, though. They may tend to develop Type 2 diabetes later in life but the risk of death from heart disease associated with the condition is about 50 per cent greater in women than it is in men.”
Other factors linked to diabetes risk
The study also found people had a greater risk of having undiagnosed diabetes if they had a high Body Mass Index (BMI), a large waist, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Wealth, education, social class, ethnicity, age, and smoking status were not shown to significantly increase the risk.
‘Putting Prevention First’
Diabetes UK welcomes the Government’s NHS Health Checks programme as part of their recent commitment to ‘Putting Prevention First’.
The programme aims to assess and manage vascular risk in England and identify people at risk of prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes UK wants similar screening programmes to be established across the UK.
Type 2 diabetes overview
Type 2 Diabetes which used to be called non- insulin-dependent diabetes, is the most common form of diabetes.
More than 2.9 million people in the UK have diabetes – or over 4% of all over 17s in the country. Around 90% of diabetes diagnoses are for type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes UK estimates about 10% of the NHS budget goes on treating diabetes and its complications.
What is type 2 diabetes?
Unlike people with type 1 diabetes, people with type 2 diabetes produce insulin; however, the insulin their pancreas secretes is either not enough or the body is unable to recognise the insulin and use it properly. This is called insulin resistance. When there isn’t enough insulin or the insulin is not used as it should be, glucose (sugar) can’t get into the body’s cells.
When glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into cells, the cells are not able to function properly. Other problems associated with the build-up of glucose in the blood include:
Dehydration. The build-up of sugar in the blood leads to excess glucose in the urine because the kidneys can’t deal with the high sugar levels. The sugar in the urine draws water with it, causing an increase in urination. When the kidneys lose the glucose through the urine, a large amount of water is also lost, causing dehydration.
Diabetic coma (hyperosmolar hyperglycaemic non-ketotic syndrome).
When a person with type 2 diabetes becomes severely dehydrated and is not able to drink enough fluids to make up for the fluid losses, they may develop this life-threatening complication.
Damage to the body. Over time, the high glucose levels in the blood may damage the nerves and predispose a person to atherosclerosis (narrowing) of the arteries that can cause heart attack and stroke, and damage the eyes and kidneys.
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes can cause serious health complications. That’s why it is very important to know how to spot type 2 diabetes symptoms. Even pre- diabetes can increase the chance of heart disease just like type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
Talk to your doctor about preventative measures you can take now to reduce the chance of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
The symptoms of type 2 diabetes due to high blood sugar may include:
Increased hunger (especially after eating)
Unexplained weight loss (even though you are eating and feel hungry)
Fatigue (weak, tired feeling)
Loss of consciousness (rare)
Recurrent infections, including thrush infections
Seek medical advice if you have any type 2 diabetes symptoms or if you have further questions about type 2 diabetes. It’s important to get diabetes testing and start a treatment plan early to prevent serious diabetes complications.