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Does Blood Sugar Increase With Age

High Blood Sugar Linked To Aging And Disease

High Blood Sugar Linked To Aging And Disease

Advanced glycation end products And Antioxidants Is it possible that by eating too many metabolically active dense carbohydrates, you are much more likely to accelerate aging and disease? Here’s why Each time we eat a meal containing carbohydrates, blood glucose levels increase. According to the insulin sensitivity theory, as we age blood glucose levels tend to increase and insulin becomes less and less effective at bringing them down. Sustained high levels of sugars in the blood ultimately cause proteins to stick together thereby damaging the function of the proteins. For example, excess blood sugar is more likely to react with proteins such as collagen in the skin which can lead to brown splotches or "age spots" as well as loss of elasticity and premature wrinkling. These sugar-damaged, very dangerous cross-linked proteins are called advanced glycation end products, or AGE! According to one of the world’s leading antioxidant researchers, Lester Packer, Ph.D., "the acronym AGE is quite appropriate, since a high number of these damaged proteins can…wreak havoc on virtually all other body tissues…and lead to premature aging."1 Some examples If excess blood sugar damages proteins in the lens of the eye, cataracts and eventual blindness can result. If collagen in the arteries suffers damage from the protein/sugar complex called AGE, fatty plaques are more likely to form. Similarly, if the collagen in our connective tissues becomes cross-linked as a result of AGE, arthritis could occur. The process of glycation (sugar damaged proteins) has even been linked as a "likely culprit" in the destruction of nerve cells in the brain that can eventually lead to Alzheimer’s and other neuro-degenerative diseases.2 Furthermore, glycation accelerates the formation of damaging f Continue reading >>

Older Women With Unusually High Blood Sugar Levels Run Increased Risk Of Frailty

Older Women With Unusually High Blood Sugar Levels Run Increased Risk Of Frailty

Latest Research Frailty is a condition associated with aging that boosts risks of poor health, falls, disability and death. Signs of frailty include weakness, weight loss, slow walking speed, exhaustion and low activity levels. Frailty seems to involve problems or "dysfunctions" in many body systems. Research has shown that health problems such as heart disease, obesity, and diabetes can all boost risks of frailty. People with diabetes have dangerously high levels of glucose, a form of sugar, in their blood because their bodies can't use the sugar properly. Unfortunately, growing numbers of older adults are being diagnosed with diabetes, which contributes to many health problems, including frailty. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease. Unhealthy eating habits, overweight, a sedentary lifestyle, and other "risk factors" can boost the odds of developing type 2 diabetes. If you have pre-diabetes, you have blood sugar levels that are higher than normal, or mild hyperglycemia, but not high enough to be classified as "diabetes." At a higher level of blood sugar, that is, a higher level of hyperglycemia, you have actual diabetes. New Research in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society To find out whether hyperglycemia, like diabetes and pre-diabetes, is associated with frailty in later life, researchers studied more than 500 women, aged 70 to 79. The women had volunteered to participate in two large studies called the Women's Health and Aging Studies I and II. The women filled out questionnaires about their health, and had medical exams in which healthcare providers, among other things, measured their blood sugar levels and checked for five symptoms of frailty: weight loss, weakness, exhaustion, slowness and low physical activity. Using data from these Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes In Seniors: Symptoms & Care

Type 2 Diabetes In Seniors: Symptoms & Care

My career working with older people began 25 years ago at Community Services for the Blind, where friends, staff, volunteers and clients had lost their sight due to complications from diabetes. Some died at an early age. Today we know much more about the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of type 2 diabetes than we did then. Nevertheless, the disease has reached epidemic proportions in the U.S., afflicting more and more people at younger and younger ages. Type 1 diabetes affects 5% of all people with diabetes and occurs mostly in people under the age of 20. In this condition, the pancreas produces insufficient insulin to maintain normal glucose (blood sugar) levels. The vast majority of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes, which is characterized by hyperglycemia (excess blood sugar) and insulin resistance. It can cause not only vision loss, but kidney failure, nerve damage, cardiovascular (heart and other artery blockage) disease, as well as increased infections and slowed healing, sometimes resulting in the need for amputation. Type 2 diabetes in seniors is particularly problematic. Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms The most common initial symptoms of type 2 diabetes are increased thirst and frequent urination. Excess glucose in your bloodstream sucks water from tissues, forcing you to want to take in more liquid. Type 2 diabetes is frequently asymptomatic for many years, before initial tell-tale signs of the disease emerge. These include: Flu-like Fatigue Feeling lethargic, tired or chronically weak can be a sign of type 2 diabetes. When your body can't process sugar properly, you'll have chronically low energy. Weight Loss or Weight Gain Because your body is trying to make up for lost fluid and fuel, you may eat more. The opposite can also happen. Even though you eat m Continue reading >>

Age And Glucose Intolerance

Age And Glucose Intolerance

Effect of fitness and fatness The fact that glucose intolerance increases with age has been apparent for over 30 years, leading to the suggestion at one time that the diagnostic criteria for diabetes be amended to account for this inevitable consequence of the aging process (1). However, these earlier findings did not differentiate the effects on the plasma glucose response to an oral glucose challenge of age per se from those due to the impact of a number of age-related variables (2). In this context, the article by Imbeault et al. in this issue of Diabetes Care (3) provides additional information concerning the effect of body fat on glucose tolerance, as apparently healthy volunteers grow older. However, the potential effect of differences in fitness, an age-related variable of comparable magnitude, was apparently not considered in their study. Maneatis et al. (4) quantified the impact of differences in age-related variables on the plasma glucose response to a mixed meal in healthy volunteers between the ages of 47 and 90 living in a retirement community. When adjusted for differences in body weight and physical activity, they found no significant correlation between age and plasma glucose response in men, and differences in age could account for no more than 6% of the variability in glucose response in women. Similarly, when adjusted for differences in weight, physical activity, and use of diabetogenic drugs, age only accounted for 6% of the variance in plasma glucose response to an oral glucose challenge in men and 1% in women in a study of 732 Italian factory workers aged 22–73 years (5). Perhaps the most definitive information in this regard is the results of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (6), performed in 743 healthy individuals, comparing glucose t Continue reading >>

Aging Well: Keeping Blood Sugar Low May Protect Memory

Aging Well: Keeping Blood Sugar Low May Protect Memory

There's a growing body of evidence linking elevated blood sugar to memory problems. For instance, earlier this year, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that higher glucose may be a risk factor for dementia, even among people without type 2 diabetes. So the question is, at what point does the risk of cognitive decline set in? Or in other words, should we be aware of creeping blood sugar, even before it gets to levels that doctors call pre-diabetes? Well, researchers, writing this week in the journal Neurology, have some new data that suggest that even modest increases in blood sugar among people in their 50s, 60s and 70s can have a negative influence on memory. The study included 141 healthy older people, all of whom had blood sugar in the normal range. All of the participants were given recall tests where they were read a list of 15 words and then asked to repeat back as many as they could remember. The researchers found that if a person's hemoglobin A1C (the AIC test is a common blood test that reflects a person's average blood sugar level over a two-to-three month period) went from 5 percent, which is in the normal range, up to 5.6 percent, which is edging closer to what doctors classify as pre-diabetes, this was associated with recalling fewer words. This association suggests the effect isn't huge. But researchers says it's significant. So, what's actually happening in the brain when blood sugar levels are chronically elevated? Study author Agnes Floel of Charite University Medicine in Berlin says there may be a couple of things at play. It's possible that blood vessel effects can damage memory. "Elevated blood sugar levels damage small and large vessels in the brain, leading to decreased blood and nutrient flow to brain cells," explai Continue reading >>

Does Age Make Diabetes Harder To Control?

Does Age Make Diabetes Harder To Control?

It seems that the older I get, the harder it is to control my diabetes and keep my A1C down. Right now, it is an unhealthy 9 percent. When I was younger, it used to be in the 7 range. Is it my age that is making my diabetes so hard to manage? Continue reading >>

Hba1c Increases With Age

Hba1c Increases With Age

HbA1c levels in the elderly rise but not in precise relationship to glucose tolerance…. In this cross-sectional analysis of adults with known diabetes, impaired glucose tolerance and HbA1c levels increased with age, even after adjusting for covariates including race, BMI, waist circumference, sagittal abdominal diameter, triglyceride/HDL ratio, and fasting and 2-hour plasma glucose levels assessed by an oral glucose tolerance test. The specificity of HbA1c-based prediabetes diagnosis decreased substantially as age increased. "For the same level of blood glucose, HbA1c is higher in the elderly, suggesting a decreased specificity for the diagnosis of diabetes with increasing age. Given that glucose levels may be normal, basing a diagnosis on HbA1c will result in more risk for hypoglycemia with treatment; on the other hand, one wonders whether the higher HbA1c reflects decreased clearance that may also apply to tissues damaged by glucose, rendering them more susceptible to damage in the presence of ‘normal’ glucose levels," said the researchers. Examining the measures of sensitivity, specificity, and negative and positive predictive value based on HbA1c criteria using the OGTT as gold standard, the researchers found a remarkable decrement in performance, predominantly sensitivity, with age. This is an issue superimposed on the well-recognized problem that the sensitivity of HbA1c for diagnosis of diabetes compared with OGTT is quite limited, clustering in most populations around 50%. Researchers concluded that in two large datasets, using different methods to measure HbA1c, the association of age with higher HbA1c levels was consistent and similar; was both statistically and clinically significant; was unexplained by features of aging; and reduced diagnostic specific Continue reading >>

Taste Buds, Blood Sugar And Aging: Is There A Connection To Diabetes?

Taste Buds, Blood Sugar And Aging: Is There A Connection To Diabetes?

It is known that 25% of Americans over the age of 65 (11.2 million) are living with diabetes. The study’s leader investigator, Chee Chia, MD stated, “The reduced number of taste buds with advancing age might be linked to the increase incidence of type 2 diabetes among older adults. Dr. Chia is a medical officer at the National Institute of Aging (NIA) in Baltimore, MD. He presented the study's findings during the joint 16th International Congress of Endocrinology and 96th Annual Meeting of The Endocrine Society held in Chicago in June 2014. The results from the National Health Interview Survey, showed less than 1% of people in the 18-24 age group reported taste impairment. In people age 85 and older taste impairment was reported at 1.7%. Furthermore, studies have shown that people with a first-degree relative with type 2 diabetes had impaired sweet taste. According to Dr. Chia’s presentation, people with a first-degree relative and type 2 diabetes needs a glucose solution to be twice as sweet before they can perceive/taste sweet. The investigators analyzed data from 353 adults who participated in the NIA’s Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging between 2011 and 2014. This is an observational study of community volunteers. The study (ongoing) counts the number of taste buds on the tip of the tongue after the tongue is stained with blue food dye. “Taste cells are present in the taste buds on the tongue. A taste bud is like an onion-shaped structure consisting of between 15 to 100 taste cells,” Dr. Chia illustrated. Researchers at the NIA found the hormones contained with the taste cells on the tongue in mice to be glucagon and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1). These are the hormones that help the body regulate sugar. Glucagon increases glucose levels, GLP-1 regu Continue reading >>

Diabetes: Blood Sugar Readings

Diabetes: Blood Sugar Readings

www.CardioSmart.org What is a blood sugar reading? A blood sugar reading shows how much sugar, or glucose, is in your blood. A test of your blood sugar may be done to: • Check for diabetes. • See how well diabetes treatment is working. • Check for diabetes that occurs during pregnancy (gestational diabetes). • Check for low or high blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia). What are normal blood sugar readings? There are several types of blood sugar tests. Normal results can vary from lab to lab. Talk with your doctor about what any abnormal results might mean, and about any symptoms and other health problems you have. Normal values for adults who do NOT have prediabetes or diabetes Less than or equal to 100 When you have not eaten (fasting blood sugar): Less than 140 if you are age 50 or younger; less than 150 if you are age 50 to 60; less than 160 if you are age 60 and older 2 hours after eating (postprandial): Levels vary depending on when and how much you ate at your last meal. In general: 80 to 120 beforemeals or when waking up; 100 to 140 at bedtime. Random (casual): Target values for nonpregnant adults who have prediabetes or diabetes 80 to 130When you have not eaten (fasting blood sugar): Less than 1802 hours after eating (postprandial): What causes abnormal blood sugar? High blood sugar can be caused by: • Diabetes or prediabetes. • Certain medicines, such as corticosteroids. Low blood sugar can be caused by: • Certain medicines, especially those used to treat diabetes. • Liver disease, such as cirrhosis. Rarely, high or low blood sugar can be caused by other medical problems that affect hormone levels. Prediabetes and diabetes Blood sugar helps fuel your body. Normally, your blood sugar rises slightly af Continue reading >>

Blood Glucose Control Before Age 55 May Increase Your Chances Of Living Beyond 90

Blood Glucose Control Before Age 55 May Increase Your Chances Of Living Beyond 90

I have recently read an interesting study by Yashin and colleagues (2009) at Duke University’s Center for Population Health and Aging. (The full reference to the article, and a link, are at the end of this post.) This study is a gem with some rough edges, and some interesting implications. The study uses data from the Framingham Heart Study (FHS). The FHS, which started in the late 1940s, recruited 5209 healthy participants (2336 males and 2873 females), aged 28 to 62, in the town of Framingham, Massachusetts. At the time of Yashin and colleagues’ article publication, there were 993 surviving participants. I rearranged figure 2 from the Yashin and colleagues article so that the two graphs (for females and males) appeared one beside the other. The result is shown below (click on it to enlarge); the caption at the bottom-right corner refers to both graphs. The figure shows the age-related trajectory of blood glucose levels, grouped by lifespan (LS), starting at age 40. As you can see from the figure above, blood glucose levels increase with age, even for long-lived individuals (LS > 90). The increases follow a U-curve (a.k.a. J-curve) pattern; the beginning of the right side of a U curve, to be more precise. The main difference in the trajectories of the blood glucose levels is that as lifespan increases, so does the width of the U curve. In other words, in long-lived people, blood glucose increases slowly with age; particularly up to 55 years of age, when it starts increasing more rapidly. Now, here is one of the rough edges of this study. The authors do not provide standard deviations. You can ignore the error bars around the points on the graph; they are not standard deviations. They are standard errors, which are much lower than the corresponding standard deviatio Continue reading >>

Older Diabetics May Be Pushing Blood Sugar Too Low

Older Diabetics May Be Pushing Blood Sugar Too Low

(Reuters Health) – Older diabetics may sometimes do too good a job at keeping their blood sugar down, according to a new study. Regardless of age, people with diabetes are taught to keep their blood sugar below certain target levels. But many diabetics over 65 who have other health concerns may be at risk for pushing it too low, according to a new study. Particularly for older adults with multiple serious illnesses and functional limitations, the risks of low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, may outweigh the benefits of tight blood sugar control, the authors write. “Older people are more susceptible to hypoglycemia,” said lead author Dr. Kasia J. Lipska of the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut. “As people age, their kidney function deteriorates and drugs (like insulin) may not be eliminated from the body as efficiently,” which can lead to low blood sugar, she told Reuters Health by email. Often, people with low blood sugar don’t realize they have it. Symptoms can include double or blurry vision, rapid heartbeat, headache, hunger, shaking or trembling, sweating, tiredness or weakness or feeling faint, trouble sleeping, unclear thinking, and other problems. Severe low blood sugar can cause seizures and brain damage. Intense diabetes treatment, which the study showed many older people are doing, increases the risk for hypoglycemia two to three fold, Lipska said. Her team used data on 1,288 diabetics age 65 or older, from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys from 2001 through 2010. Based on their ability to complete activities of daily life, about half of the participants were generally healthy, 28 percent had “complex or intermediate” health and 21 percent had “poor” health. To see how tightly these patients were controllin Continue reading >>

Effects Of Age On Plasma Glucose Levels In Non-diabetic Hong Kong Chinese

Effects Of Age On Plasma Glucose Levels In Non-diabetic Hong Kong Chinese

Go to: Subjects and methods In this survey, performed in the period between April 1996 and August 1997, we recruited 17 242 adult subjects from the community of Hong Kong. The methodology has been reported before (6). Volunteer participants came to the United Christian Nethersole Community Health Service (UCHCNS) Centers for health assessment. UCNCHS is a self-funded, non-profit organization with the objective of health promotion through primary health care and education. Participants came from different districts all over Hong Kong. All of them gave verbal informed consent before the examination was performed. Participants were interviewed and examined by a nursing officer and a clinician. Demographic data, and past and present medical history were collected. Demographic data, including height and weight (measured to the nearest 0.1 kg) and blood pressure, were obtained following the standard protocol, with the subject in light clothing without shoes. Blood pressure was measured on the right arm with a standard mercury sphygmomanometer. The Korotkoff sound V was taken as the diastolic blood pressure. Blood specimens were taken from all participants. The timing of blood taking varied depending on the availability of the patient. According to the time of blood sampling, there were three types of plasma glucose samples. Fasting plasma glucose was measured after overnight fasting for at least 10 hours, 2-hour post-prandial plasma glucose glucose was measured 2 hours after a meal of usual quantity, and random plasma glucose was collected in the time periods other than fasting or 2-hour post-prandial. Plasma glucose was measured by a hexokinase method (Hitachi 911, analyzer Boehringer Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany). The intra-assay coefficient of variation (CV) of glucose was Continue reading >>

Blood Sugar

Blood Sugar

Checking blood sugar levels is a way of measuring how well the body uses glucose (GLOO-kose), a sugar that is the chief energy source for cells. After a meal, blood glucose rises. A hormone called insulin helps transport the sugar into cells, where it can be used as fuel. Blood sugar then gradually drops back to normal. Blood sugar levels that remain higher than normal signal two problems: (1) cells are “starving” because they are not absorbing enough glucose and (2) the extra sugar circulating in the blood can damage the eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart and blood vessels. Current guidelines establish two categories of higher-than-normal blood sugar: Prediabetes or “borderline diabetes.” Blood sugar is elevated but not high enough to meet criteria for diabetes. The formal terms for this condition are “impaired fasting glucose” or “impaired glucose tolerance,” depending on how blood sugar is measured. Those with prediabetes are at increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes in the future. Diabetes. There are two main types Type 1, in which specialized cells in the pancreas lose their ability to produce insulin. Type 1 diabetes is relatively uncommon and usually occurs in children and young adults. Type 2, in which cells throughout the body lose their ability to respond to insulin About 90 to 95 percent of individuals with diabetes have Type 2. The risk for Type 2 increases with age, although it is diagnosed with growing frequency in all age groups. Other risk factors for Type 2 diabetes include overweight, lack of exercise, high blood pressure, family history of diabetes, and being an African-American, Hispanic American, Native American, Asian American or Pacific Islander. Experts estimate many Americans with Type 2 diabetes have not been Continue reading >>

Management Of Diabetes In The Elderly

Management Of Diabetes In The Elderly

CLINICAL DIABETES VOL. 17 NO. 1 1999 These pages are best viewed with Netscape version 3.0 or higher or Internet Explorer version 3.0 or higher. When viewed with other browsers, some characters or attributes may not be rendered correctly. Jeffrey I. Wallace, MD, MPH IN BRIEF The management of older adults with type 2 diabetes requires careful consideration of the effects that advancing age and changes in health status can have on the competing risks and benefits of therapeutic interventions. Although tight glycemic control is not always an appropriate treatment goal, many older people with diabetes are undertreated and could benefit from improved glycemic control and more aggressive management of risk factors for macrovascular disease. The prevalence of type 2 diabetes, which represents roughly 90% of all diabetes, increases with age and affects 18–20% of people over age 65 in the United States (with a substantial percentage of these cases being undiagnosed).1Recent recommendations to screen all adults over 45 years of age for elevated glucose levels, with retesting every 3 years, should substantially reduce the number of undiagnosed diabetic patients.2 In addition to the 20% of the elderly population with frank diabetes, another 20–25% fit criteria for impaired glucose tolerance, a state that is associated with a twofold increase in the incidence of macrovascular complications.3 The average life expectancy for a 65-year-old woman and man in the United States is 19 years and 15 years, respectively. At age 75, it is 12 and 9 years, respectively.4 Because many older diabetic patients can be expected to live a decade or more after diagnosis, clinicians must carefully weigh the potential risks and benefits of available interventions on reducing the excess morbidity and Continue reading >>

Healthy Aging With Diabetes

Healthy Aging With Diabetes

“I can tell you one thing — growing old ain’t for wimps!” —gray-haired gentleman at Sterling Center YMCA in Beverly, Massachusetts It used to be said that having diabetes aged people an additional 20 years. Today, thanks to better tools for managing diabetes and preventing and treating its complications, people with diabetes have the opportunity to live longer than ever before. However, managing diabetes in the golden years presents a variety of challenges, ranging from increased insulin resistance to being on multiple drugs. Here is what you should know about the effects of diabetes on aging and vice versa, and what you can do to stay healthy and full of vitality well into old age. What happens during aging As you age, you may be most aware of your new gray hairs and wrinkles, but aging causes changes throughout the entire body. A person’s basal metabolic rate — the amount of energy the body expends at rest — declines with age. By some estimates, a person’s basal metabolism drops by 2% per decade starting at age 20. Some researchers believe that this decline is due almost solely to the loss of muscle mass that comes with age. The body’s ability to process oxygen — its aerobic capacity — also declines with age. By some estimates, a person’s aerobic capacity by age 65 is typically only 60% to 70% of what it was when he was younger (although the decline appears to be less in older people who exercise regularly). This decline may be due to several factors, including poor lung function, heart function, and blood circulation. With advancing years, the body gradually becomes less adept at taking up and using glucose from the bloodstream — a condition known as glucose intolerance, which sets the stage for Type 2 diabetes. One contributing factor to Continue reading >>

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