my mother is 80 and and suffers high sugar levels plus asthma, what should she eat and what to avoid
QUESTION: MY mother is 80 and suffers high sugar levels plus asthma, any advice on she should eat and what to avoid?First of all, you have to know that it is normal for someone to have an elevation of the blood glucose level after having a meal.
ANSWER: Hi NK,
Keep in mind that there exist many factors contributing to your mother’s conditions of both asthma and diabetes, including her age, any treatment she is taking and is causing changes in her blood glucose level.
However, it is not quite normal to have an elevated blood sugar level in the morning, before having breakfast.
Next, I don’t know when the elevation of the blood glucose is occurred (before or after meals or after taking her pills). However, I want you to pay attention to the fact, that she is at the age of 80s.
For your information, older people are having different lipid and glucose metabolism, which is slower in comparison to the metabolism of the younger people.
Therefore, it is quite normal for your mother to have an elevation of the blood glucose, because her organism needs more time to metabolize and use the glucose acquired with the food.
Because of this, you may think that her blood glucose level is high, but for body, this is considered as absolutely normal as her body lives under a slightly high blood glucose.
Although it might seem normal, as long as she is having problems with the actual condition, she can follow certain instructions to keep her blood sugar as normal as possible:
1.You should prepare her menu rich infoods low in sugar concentration, including vegetables, fruits, nuts and fish.
Be careful: According to the clinical data, nuts are causing asthma attack and in purpose to prevent its development, it would be good for her to avoid them.
Next, pay attention to the fact that fruits like grape, strawberries, apple and mango are causing elevation of blood sugar, therefore, your mother should limit their intake.
On the other side, there is an increased number of people who are having strawberry allergy, who sometimes, develop asthma-like conditions. Therefore, as we do not want that your mother have an asthma attack, she has to exclude them too.
Fruit juices are a very good alternative, as they will provide with the amount of fluids your mother needs. However, the manufacturers do add sugar most of the time, or add artificial sweeteners, which the organism of your mothers tries hard to clean it from the body.
With regards to vegetables, please keep in mind that some of them (e.g. potatoes, parsnips, etc.) can cause blood sugar elevation. Other possible alternatives she might have include carrots, beans, and beets.
The mode of cooking is also important for her mother condition. If she prefers her vegetables cooked, she has to avoid frying them. Boiling, baking, and simmer are good and healthy alternatives.
Remember that alcohol is something forbidden for diabetics, because it is able to destroy the glucose metabolism. It is also forbidden for asthamatics as it will increase the chances for asthma attacks.
In case the blood glucose of your mother is elevated in the morning, before breakfast, she is supposed to reduce the amount of carbs acquired in the evening.
As I mentioned before, older people need more time to metabolize the glucose acquired and when she is eating a lot of carbs at dinner, her morning blood glucose level is going to be elevated.
I suppose that your mother is using Salbutamol or some other beta2-adrenoreceptor agonist as asthma treatment. Although these drugs are very effective for the treatment of asthma; they can increase blood sugar as a side effect.
Therefore, it would be good for your mother to make a consultation with her doctor about changes in the dose of the drugs she is taking or to change the drug itself.
Only her doctor will decide what exactly you can do for a good control of her blood glucose and asthma.
Hope it helped!
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Written by Dr.Albana Greca Sejdini, Md, MMedSc
Medically reviewed by Dr.Ruden Cakoni, MD, Endocrinologist