The latest guidelines from the Endocrine Society concerning diabetes management and the elderly are unexpected, to say the least: lower blood sugar isn’t always best. And for individuals who’ve been maintaining a routine of finger pricks, insulin injections, and keeping careful track of food intake, this alteration may be a bit hard to swallow.
Known as de-intensification, geriatricians are now often taking the strategy with older adults that the benefits to be attained by aiming for rigid blood sugar control are not outweighing the health risks inherent with aging and illness. When A1c and blood sugar levels are held at low levels in the elderly, for instance, it may possibly result in an increased frequency of hypoglycemia and also kidney failure.
With up to one in … Read More »
Have you ever gotten out of bed and said, “It’s probably going to be one of those days!” Perhaps your alarm didn’t go off, the hot water heater decided to stop working, and the dog chewed up one of your favorite shoes overnight. Then imagine if every day were “one of those days!” For an individual living with a chronic disease (and that’s much of the elderly population), routine struggles and challenges can be a given.
However, there are many steps that older adults can take to realize and maintain a life of joy, even in the face of chronic illness. For instance:
Follow passions. Discovering purpose and meaning in each day is essential – and possible. Many seniors find gratification in assisting and supporting … Read More »
When it comes to chronic diseases, the elderly are usually the experts, hands down, with as many as three out of four older persons impacted by several conditions that are ongoing, necessitate extensive medical treatment, and put limits on activities. With the continuous barrage of bloodwork as well as other tests, doctors’ appointments and procedures, and medications, managing chronic conditions usually takes both a physical and emotional toll, and may very quickly become overwhelming.
Dr. Mary Tinetti, chief of geriatrics and internist at Yale School of Medicine, states, “Once you get three, four, or five and six diseases, several things happen: Number one, almost guaranteed, trying to get one of these diseases under control is going to make one of the other diseases worse. Number two: The more … Read More »
Besides helping to manage our mouse and rodent population, it may be hard to think of anything beneficial about snakes – especially poisonous ones. Yet there may be a surprising silver lining to slithery serpents: innovative cancer treatment options.
Just ask Steve MacKessy of the University of Northern Colorado. He’s been collecting and studying snake venom for decades, freeze-drying the venom to retain its properties. He still works with samples gathered as many as 40 years ago, sharing, “A lot of other protein drugs are inherently unstable, but venoms in particular are designed to be stable under bad conditions.”
Because the toxins in the venom bind very specifically to the receptors of its prey, they have the potential to target only the cancer cells themselves, unlike current … Read More »