The normal blood sugar index of the elderly when fasting is about 90-130 mg/dL, below 180 mg/dL after eating 1-2 hours and before going to bed is 110-150 mg/dL.
The American Diabetes Association recommends screening for type 2 diabetes every three years for people after age 35. People over the age of 65 have a higher risk of developing type two diabetes. According to the US National Statistics Report on Diabetes 2020, more than 20% of people diagnosed with the disease are 65 years of age or older, higher than any other age group.
Blood sugar management goals for people over 65 are less stringent than for younger people to help limit the risk of hypoglycemia. Diabetes management plans can also vary.
Older adults develop hypoglycemia when blood sugar is less than 70 mg/dL. Symptoms such as trembling, nervousness, anxiety; sweating, chills; irritability; confusion; arrhythmic heartbeat. Dizziness, fatigue, weakness, blurred vision, headache, clumsiness, convulsions are also signs of low blood sugar.
Hypoglycemia is common in older adults with diabetes. This could be due to other health problems such as chronic diseases, malnutrition or taking many medications. The risk of diabetes complications increases with age.
Hypoglycemia can also be caused by taking too much diabetes medication. Overtreatment of diabetes is common in the elderly.
Elderly people need to monitor their blood sugar regularly with a blood glucose meter, especially should check their blood sugar before meals and before going to bed.
Diet and medication are two ways to control diabetes. However, maintaining a healthy diet can be a challenge for some older adults, as common digestive ailments put them at risk of undernutrition. These problems can include difficulty swallowing, loss of appetite, indigestion and bowel problems, eating less but getting full quickly. Older adults may need to add nutritional therapy to their diabetes treatment plan such as supplements, proteins or liquid calorie boosters to maintain weight, loosen food restrictions, and more.
Medications used to control blood sugar, which may interact with other medications or supplements. The doctor will help the elderly to balance the effectiveness of medication with the risk of hypoglycemia and drug interactions.
(According to Verywell Health)