November is American Diabetes Month — a month set aside to recognize and bring awareness surrounding a condition that affects almost one in five Americans. Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects blood sugar and insulin. National Diabetes Month comes with many efforts by well-known organizations such as the American Diabetes Association (ADA), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and many more to raise awareness, educate, and reduce any stigma associated with the condition. These efforts also aim to improve the quality of life for people living with diabetes and raise awareness in order to prevent type II diabetes. 

About Diabetes

Many people are able to manage the symptoms of their Diabetes for many years, with changes to their diet, medications, and other lifestyle factors. However, at the end of life, diabetes can manifest with several life-altering complications. Excess sugar in your blood due to diabetes can cause serious health concerns, which often develop and worsen over time—these complications include nerve damage, kidney damage, eye damage, and many other affected organ symptoms.

Symptoms of Diabetes

Some signs and symptoms that often manifest in people with diabetes are those related to blood glucose, including:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Infections
  • Increased thirst and hunger
  • Increased drowsiness
  • Frequent use of bathroom
  • Fatigue

Symptoms seen with low blood glucose include:

  • Anxiousness or irritability
  • Sweating
  • Palpitations
  • Blurred vision
  • Paleness

Hospice & Diabetes

While diabetes itself may not necessitate hospice, often, the complications from diabetes may. Hospice can help support the patient, family, and caregivers of someone needing end-of-life care related to their diabetes. As a patient with diabetes enters the last stages of their life, the treatment course of diabetes will change. While their diabetes care and treatment may have once been aimed at preventing long-term complications, hospice care can help by shifting focus to control immediate symptoms of diabetes and make the patient as comfortable as possible for their final days, weeks, months, etc.

Supporting someone during this time means helping them stay aware of symptoms associated with the fluctuations in their blood sugar and aiming to help alleviate uncomfortable symptoms associated with said changes.

Were Here to Help

Patients with diabetes require specialized care and treatment, especially as they age and their conditions worsen. Our team is experienced in managing the symptoms of diabetes during end-of-life care. Contact us today to learn more.