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Should Diabetics Get Medical Alert Systems

A Medical Alert System Can Make Sense For Seniors with Diabetes

Diabetes affects 1 in 4 Americans over the age of 65, according to the American Diabetes Association. It is a disease that affects every major system within the body, from the heart to the nervous system, both brain and body.

Diabetics often have issues with their extremities, including the feet and legs. 
This makes diabetics highly susceptible to falls.  Nearly one in three people over the age of 40 with diabetes have lost some feeling in their feet, according to the the American Diabetes Association (ADA). As a result, having a toe, foot, or lower leg surgically removed is 10 times more likely in people with diabetes.

Here are some of the conditions that can arise as a result of diabetes:

  • Hypoglycemia - This is where the blood sugar is too low within the body. Some of the symptoms of hypoglycemia are: slurred speech, mental confusion, dizziness, and headache. With these symptoms, the likelihood of falling and needing to use a medical alert necklace is increased.
  • Hyperglycemia - The brain is getting too much sugar. The complications of hyperglycemia are long term, including nerve damage, kidney damage, foot problems, skin problems, and joint problems. Make sure that you tell the medical alert people that you're experiencing these symptoms when they ask for your medical history.
  • Hypertension - High blood pressure. 71% of people who had diabetes also had higher blood pressure than that of the rest of the population. Some of the effects of hypertension are: headache, blurred vision, nausea and shortness of breath. Again, it is advised that a medical alert system be put in place for those who regularly experience these symptoms.
  • Blindness - 4.2 million people (28.5%) with diabetes over the age of 40 developed diabetic retinopathy that contributes to the loss of vision. Loss of vision is a major factor in falls, which happen to 1 in 3 individuals over the age of 65. A medical alert necklace should always be with you in case of a fall.
  • Heart Attacks - Those who have diabetes can expect a higher heart attack rate over those who don't have diabetes. In the case of that type of emergency, it becomes imperative to have a medical alert necklace in place. Pressing the button on the medical alert system could save your life.
  • Kidney Disease - When you have diabetes, the kidneys have to work very hard. According to the American Diabetes Association, "diabetes was listed as the primary cause of kidney failure in 44% of all new cases in 2011."
As you can see, the necessity for having a medical alert necklace or a medical alert system in place while having diabetes is high. The chances for falling or having another major medical emergency is increased in the instance of diabetes. Getting help quickly is imperative to prevent additional complications from a fall or diabetic episode.  While having a medical alert system in place can help after a fall, it's up to you to exercise great health practices to minimize the effects of diabetes.