Blood sugar level in the elderly – norms and pathologies

Normal blood sugar levels for the elderly may be slightly higher than those of middle-aged individuals. On an empty stomach, it should not exceed 140 mg/dl, while 180 mg/dl is acceptable after a meal. With what does it have to do? What is the normal blood glucose level for a 70-year-old or a slightly younger senior?

Diabetes in older people
Photo by Artem Podrez on

How can elderly patients with abnormal blood sugar levels be treated?

After age 60, the blood sugar level in the elderly should be between 70 and 99 mg/dl on an empty stomach. The normal upper limit after a meal should not exceed 160-180 mg/dL. In older individuals, the range may be expanded. This indicates that the normal limits are slightly different for older patients (140 mg/dl after a meal) than for younger patients. Why?

Doctors estimate that up to 30% of individuals develop blood sugar disorders after the age of 65. This is due to the body’s natural ageing processes, increased tissue resistance to insulin, and diminished insulin secretion. In addition, the elderly are frequently ill, suffer from heart attacks and strokes, and are frequently prescribed medication for chronic diseases. These can also impact glucose levels. Looking for medications for diabetes? Utilize to determine which pharmacy has the necessary medication in stock. Reserve it online and pay at the pharmacy. Do not waste your time running between pharmacies.

Diabetes may manifest differently in older patients than in younger patients, delaying proper diagnosis. However, typical hyperglycemia symptoms include:

  • drowsiness _
  • increased thirst
  • dry mouth ,
  • more frequent urination ,
  • sour-smelling breath
  • Headache,
  • recurrent infections (mainly of the urinary tract), fungal infections,
  • nausea, vomiting ,
  • memory deterioration ,
  • deterioration of well-being ,
  • sight problems,
  • sleep disorders .

When is hyperglycemia in the elderly dangerous? Long-term hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia can result in a diabetic coma, which poses an immediate threat to life. What level of sugar is life-threatening? A rise above 400 mg/dL and a drop below 20 mg/dL for glucose.

Too low blood sugar in the elderly

Too low blood sugar, i.e. hypoglycemia , is also unfavorable . Its symptoms are

  • weariness,
  • feeling confused
  • difficulty concentrating ,
  • heavy sweating ,
  • dizziness ,
  • strong feeling of hunger,
  • headaches ,
  • pallor of the skin ,
  • limb tremors,
  • sudden mood swings

Almost every second senior suffers from abnormal glucose levels. Diabetic disorder is a condition in which the pancreas is unable to effectively produce insulin , the natural regulator of blood sugar. There are two main types of diabetes:

type I diabetes (insulin-dependent) – diagnosed mainly in children and young people

Type II (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes is the most common type of diabetes in the elderly. In their case, high blood sugar is not due to a lack of insulin, but to its improper action.

The prevalence of diabetes in people over the age of 65 reaches 40%, and the peak incidence of type 2 occurs around the age of 60. There are several risk factors that favor the development of diabetes. This:

  • overweight or obese ,
  • hypertension and other diseases of the cardiovascular system,
  • high cholesterol ,
  • lack of physical activity,
  • inadequate diet,
  • diabetes in the immediate family.

Controlling blood glucose and managing diabetes is important. A neglected and neglected disease can lead to many complications , such as: ischemic disease of the lower limbs, stroke, kidney damage, retinopathy , nerve damage, ketoacidosis , and even coma .



3rd Professional Medical Student. Karachi Medical and Dental College.

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