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Glucose Levels With Age: A Detailed Guide

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Changes in our bodies can alter how medications or drugs are absorbed and utilised as we age. As a result, older adults become more susceptible to the side effects, health problems, and other harmful effects of drugs.

Diabetes in senior citizens is an increasing public health concern. The prevalence of diabetes is more than twice as high in older persons than in middle-aged adults. Elevated insulin and glucose levels have been linked to ageing. Numerous studies have shown that as people age, their glucose tolerance decreases, indicating that more people are susceptible to diabetes.

Controlling blood sugar is essential for daily functioning. Young, healthy muscles and tissues throughout the body are sensitive to insulin. Insulin aids cells in the body in utilising the glucose in the blood or stored in muscles. The amount of fat released into the bloodstream from fat tissue gets likewise regulated by insulin. However, our muscles and other tissues become less responsive to insulin as we age. It contributes to poorer blood sugar and lipid control as sugar and fat remain in the bloodstream for longer. As we age, the pancreas also produces less insulin. Consequently, the blood sugar level remains high. Diabetes can result from inadequate blood sugar and fat management, caused by low insulin sensitivity and decreased insulin production.

Monitoring blood glucose levels would be a good strategy for preventing diabetes. It would make it easier to comprehend how insulin affects the body. At the same time, monitoring glucose levels can also help maintain or reduce weight. With its five stages of support, HealthifyPro can provide outstanding assistance. It would help reduce the risk of prediabetes or diabetes and obesity or being overweight. The Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) measures glucose levels and their fluctuations in real time. Additionally, highly educated professionals analyse this data and provide personalised diet recommendations. Implementing these insightful suggestions will improve metabolic health and prevent the risk of diseases like diabetes-related health problems, metabolic syndrome, and other sugar imbalance-related issues.

Glucose Levels and Ageing

There are several reasons why insulin becomes less efficient as we age, including an increase in abdominal fat mass, a decline in physical activity, sarcopenia, mitochondrial dysfunction, hormonal changes, and an increase in oxidative stress and inflammation. However, even after accounting for variations in adiposity, fat distribution, and physical activity, insulin sensitivity declines with age.

According to studies, islet cell dysfunction with ageing is also a primary contributing factor to abnormal glucose metabolism. Several reasons, including mitochondrial dysfunction, accumulation of advanced glycation end products, increased autophagy, decreased expression of beta-cell-specific genes, and many more, have been significantly identified in this age-related deterioration of beta-cell secretory capacities.

Mitochondrial dysfunction plays a role in beta cells’ physiological stimulus secretion coupling. In these cells, mitochondria serve as nutrient sensors and signal generators for insulin release. In particular, the mitochondrial metabolism of pyruvate, glycolitically derived from glucose, generates ATP, which in turn promotes the closure of ATP-sensitive K+ channels and the consequent cell depolarization. That induces Ca2+ influx through voltage-gated Ca2+ channels, increases cytosolic [Ca2+], and ultimately causes insulin exocytosis.

On the other hand, mitochondria may serve as a primary target of ROS (reactive oxygen species) damage because of the central role played in creating reactive oxygen species (ROS) at the level of the electron transport chain and ATP synthesis (mitochondrial free radical theory of ageing). Furthermore, new research suggests that abnormal mitochondrial ROS generation and detoxification play a role in the malfunctioning of the mitochondria in old age. Therefore, age-related mitochondrial function deterioration may cause decreasing beta-cell activity and insulin secretion.

According to a recent study, type 2 diabetes accelerates the brain’s ageing process, which may explain why it’s associated with memory and cognitive issues. Researchers analysed data and discovered that those with type 2 diabetes typically performed worse on memory and cognitive skills tests than those without diabetes, consistent with prior findings. In addition, MRI scans showed variations in the brain regions responsible for those abilities. Diabetes increases tissue shrinkage at a 26% faster rate than normal brain ageing. As we age, our brain tissue gradually decreases, with some regions deteriorating more quickly than others. According to research findings, people with diabetes experience shrinkage in the same brain regions as non-diabetics.

Our brain governs every body aspect, including cognition, movement, sleep, hormone balance, and other vital bodily processes. Therefore it is crucial to maintain brain health. A shift in brain health can cause a severe impact on the body’s basic and advanced functioning. Such a situation leads to physical health issues, mental problems such as dementia, schizophrenia, etc., and emotional problems such as anger. If not treated properly, this can become one of the most significant concerning factors. 

The HealthifyMe Note

It is well-documented that ageing is associated with a decline in insulin action. As people age, glucose tolerance declines, making them more vulnerable to diabetes. Additionally, poor blood sugar and fat regulation, which can be brought on by diminished insulin production and reduced insulin sensitivity, can lead to diabetes. Ageing of the brain and skin is accelerated by fluctuating glucose levels, particularly in diabetes. Furthermore, not only does this age you more visually and physically, but it also impairs your mental abilities. To prevent diabetes or fluctuating glucose levels, it would be a good idea to monitor blood glucose levels. In addition, it would be simpler to understand how the body gets affected by insulin.

Regulating Glucose Levels and Ageing

There are several ways to control glucose levels. However, it is always best to make lifestyle changes for optimal and long-term results. All the methods mentioned below help maintain glucose levels and prevent brain, skin, and overall ageing.

Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise enhances insulin sensitivity and helps you maintain a healthy weight. It is so that, as your insulin sensitivity rises, your cells can utilise the sugar that is present in your bloodstream more effectively. Additionally, exercise helps your muscles use blood sugar for energy and muscle contraction. If you have trouble managing it, think about regularly checking your blood sugar levels before and after an exercise. By doing this, you can better understand how you respond to various situations and stop your glucose levels from swinging alarmingly high or low.

Carb Intake

Your glucose levels get significantly impacted based on the number of carbohydrates you consume. That is because your body converts carbs into sugars, primarily glucose. Insulin then assists your body in using and storing it for energy. Unfortunately, this process breaks down, and blood glucose levels can increase when you consume too many carbohydrates or have issues with insulin function. Due to this, the American Diabetes Association advises patients with diabetes to control their carb intake by measuring their intake and understanding how many they require. According to research, this will help you properly plan your meals, which can further enhance blood sugar control.

Eat More Fibre

Fibre promotes a more gradual rise in blood sugar levels by delaying carbohydrate breakdown and sugar absorption. There are two types of fibre, soluble and insoluble. While both are significant, soluble fibre can benefit blood sugar management, while insoluble fibre does not. Therefore, a fibre-rich diet can enhance your body’s capacity to control blood sugar and reduce blood sugar levels. 

Hydration

Drinking adequate water could help you keep your blood sugar levels in check. Dehydration makes it harder for the kidneys to eliminate additional sugar in the urine; therefore, staying hydrated is also vital. According to observational studies, people who drank more water were less likely to experience high blood sugar levels. Regular water consumption rehydrates the blood, lowers blood sugar levels, and lowers the chance of developing diabetes.

Low Glycemic Index Food

The glycemic index (GI) gauges how quickly your body consumes carbohydrates and how quickly they break down after digestion. As a result, it impacts the rate at which your blood sugar levels rise. Foods get classified as low, medium, or high GI according to the GI, which rates them from 0 to 100. Foods with a low GI score have a ranking of 55 or less. 

The quantity and kind of carbohydrates you consume both affect how food affects your glucose levels. Low GI meals can lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Bulgur, barley, unsweetened Greek yoghurt, oats, beans, lentils, legumes, whole-wheat pasta, and non-starchy vegetables are a few foods with a low to moderate GI.

Manage Stress Levels

Glucose levels might fluctuate due to stress. Your body releases the hormones glucagon and cortisol in response to stress, which raises blood sugar levels. According to a study that involved a group of students, exercise, relaxation, and meditation dramatically reduced stress and lowered blood sugar levels. Yoga and mindfulness-based stress reduction are two exercises and relaxation techniques that may help persons with chronic diabetes improve their insulin secretion.

Quality Sleep

It feels great and is vital for good health to get adequate sleep. Lack of sleep or disturbed sleeping patterns can impact insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels, raising the risk of type 2 diabetes. Additionally, they may stimulate hunger and encourage weight gain. Research by the National Sleep Foundation suggests adults should get at least 7-8 hours of sound sleep each night.

The HealthifyMe Note

Controlling glucose levels can be done in several ways. To achieve the best and most lasting outcomes, it is, nevertheless, always preferable to change one’s lifestyle. Regular exercising improves insulin sensitivity and aids in the maintenance of a healthy weight. It gets done so that your cells can use the sugar in your bloodstream more effectively as your insulin sensitivity increases. Controlling carbohydrate intake, including more fibre-rich foods in the diet, drinking enough water, and limiting high GI foods can prevent glucose fluctuations. Getting quality sleep and managing stress is equally crucial.

Conclusion

The level of glucose in your body affects your health. Because both hypo and hyperglycemia are harmful to the body, it is essential to maintain an ideal level. Over the years, continuous research has proven that fluctuating glucose levels (mainly diabetes) lead to faster brain and skin ageing. Moreover, this makes your visibility older and diminishes your brain cognition. In addition, ageing, in general, reduces glucose tolerance in individuals. Due to poor glucose tolerance, various chronic diseases get faced by older individuals. 

There are numerous natural strategies to control your glucose levels. Many entail lifestyle modifications, such as maintaining weight, sleep quality, stress levels, exercising, and remaining hydrated. These are far superior and assist in slowing down ageing. Making these simple dietary and lifestyle changes is wise to lower your risk of type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance. It also improves our general health.

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