Diabetes might be entirely different than expected in older adults. Let’s start with a case scenario. As a part of her medical check-up, a 73-year-old woman asks her doctor about her incontinence. She’s a bit confused about dates, and forgetful when trying to recall her birthday. Her doctor finds out she’s a bit dehydrated and orders a blood glucose test. Is he trying to spend her insurance money or is it really necessary? Trust your doctor in this one; the blood test is mandatory. In this article, you will learn how different diabetes symptoms can be when the onset is later in life, in older adults.
The same diabetes in a different organism
As we mentioned, diabetes in seniors does not often follow the expected pattern that younger patients experience. The usual signs and symptoms that give out diabetes are increased hunger, increased thirst, increased frequency and volume of urine, and a few others. But none of these symptoms are common in seniors with a newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes. It’s not because they are affected by another type of diabetes, but because their bodies behave differently. In other words, they do not follow the same rules as younger adults.
These symptoms are not common in seniors, and this is why:
No increase in frequency and volume of urine (polyuria)
The reason why younger patients have increased urination is that their blood glucose is high and their kidneys start to release glucose to the urine when it reaches a high concentration in the blood. The urine is concentrated with glucose, and the body drags more water to compensate. However, in seniors, this does not happen because the sugar threshold of their kidneys is higher, and this would only occur if their blood glucose is extremely high. In other words, it is unlikely.