Risk Of Increased Infections In Diabetic Seniors

Diabetes has become quite a common disease. Due to an unhealthy lifestyle, even people between the ages 65 and 70 years now have impaired glucose tolerance. Unfortunately, it has been observed that nearly 50% of elders live with diabetes undiagnosed, which in the later stages can lead to fatal conditions. 

This is why it is important to opt for diagnosis at home for elderly to understand the health condition of the senior member and opt for proper treatment on time. 

Having said that, subsequent investigations have persistently linked diabetes with the increase in chances of infections. Infections in the elderly with diabetes are no different from their younger counterparts, however, battling the infections depend upon the immune system of the individual. 

That being said, here are details of diabetes and infection that you should know - 

Ageing, Immunity and Diabetes 

Ageing has a big impact on the immunity of the individual. The immune system is directly responsible for battling infections and other diseases. Most studies have claimed the immune response to be a significant contributor factor to dealing with conditions like diabetes, infections and other diseases. Considering the octogenarians and septuagenarians are most likely to suffer from a weakened immune system, the chances of diabetes increase the risk of infection is high.

To deal with such health issues without mental stress it is recommended that you avail senior care services to assist the elderly throughout the recovery process.  

Types of infection in elderly patients with diabetes

Head and neck infection

Elderly patients with diabetes are likely to suffer from two serious head and neck infections -

Both the infections are quite rare, however, life-threatening. It has been studied that around 50% to 75% of cases of rhinocerebral mucormycosis occur in patients diagnosed with diabetes mellitus including the octogenarians and septuagenarians. The younger counterparts are quite saved from suffering from this disease however those above 45, with diabetes, need to be cautious. Symptoms may include periorbital swelling, facial pain, headache, nasal stuffiness and fever. 

On the other hand, malignant otitis externa suffer from severe pain, the presence of granulation tissue in the canal, erosion of the canal and more. 

Skin infection

Complicated skin and soft tissue infections are more frequent in individuals diagnosed with diabetes. The frequency of skin and soft tissue infection is higher among diabetic older adults as compared to their younger counterparts. Besides, the severity of these infections is comparatively higher in older adults as well. Some of the skin diseases that are inflicted by diabetes are - 

In addition, to the above there are other types of infection older adults with diabetes are likely to face. Such as, patients diagnosed with diabetes are more prone to be suffering from lower respiratory tract infections. Also, pulmonary infections caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, gram-negative bacteria and fungi may occur. Furthermore, there is also a risk of an increase in morbidity and mortality due to Streptococcus pneumonia and influenza virus. 

Vaccinations that plays a pivotal role for patients suffering from lower respiratory tract infections due to diabetes are -

Special care should be taken for people having underlying problems such as chronic asthma or COPD. 

Considering that these infections are more likely to be severe and life-threatening for the older population, it is recommended to opt for diagnosis at home for elderly to drive proper and on-time treatment. 

There are several geriatric care agencies offering such services, like Rising Care. You can get in touch with us to avail senior care services and speed up the recovery while addressing emergency situations as well. 

Urinary tract infection 

Urinary tract infections are more severe and common in elderly patients with type 2 diabetes. The higher glucose level in the urine may lead to the growth of pathogenic bacteria that increases the chances of UTI. 

Impairment in the immune system, poor metabolic function, and such other factors may contribute to the increased risk of urinary tract infections. The treatments depend on the symptoms and if the infection is localised or also involves the kidney and others.  

Having said that, managing diabetes can help in reducing the chances of life-threatening infections. To manage the levels of glucose in your blood it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle including avoiding sedentary behaviours, losing weight in case the individual is overweight, cutting down sugar and refined carbs, drinking liquids and staying hydrated, watching the portion sizes and following a very-low-carb diet. 

In case your aged parents have been diagnosed with diabetes, it is important to get in touch with the doctor immediately to take control of the situation. For doctor consultations, you can reach out to agencies like Rising Care and facilitate the process.