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7 Ways Sugar is Impacting Your Health As You Age

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As you age, there are many elements in life that will shift in priority. Your health should remain at the top of the list. Having specific goals is an excellent way to manage your health and focusing on your blood sugars is a great place to start.

The content provided in this article are general pieces of information, they are not meant to offer medical advice. Please consult your medical doctor or healthcare professional for specific advice related to your personal circumstances.

1. Insulin Resistance 

The key function of the insulin hormone is to clear sugars from the bloodstream. It will deliver sugar molecules to the muscles and other tissues in the body. Our muscles convert the sugars into fuel, which we use for energy. 

When there is an excess amount of sugar in the blood stream, the insulin hormones become less responsive. They are overwhelmed! The result is an accumulation of sugars in the blood stream. This can deteriorate vital organs, promote weight gain, and negatively impact your health.

2. Contributes to incontinence

Elevated blood sugars are a common contributor to increased urination. The body is attempting to rid itself of excess sugars through its natural waste removal system. If you are suffering from incontinence, it is vital to manage your blood sugars to decrease the frequency and urgency to go to the bathroom.

If you are already experiencing incontinence, there are many product options available for you to use. Consider using washable absorbent underwear for light leaks. If you are susceptible to larger voids of volume, you may benefit from using additional products such as disposable pads or disposable underwear. If you have had a leak, change the product immediately to prevent odor and rashes. 

3. Taxing on your pancreas

The pancreas is an organ in your body which creates the insulin hormone. Unfortunately, this organ has a shelf-life. As we age, we are at a higher risk of “exhausting” our pancreas. 

If the diet is high in sugar, the pancreas remains under constant duress to produce enough insulin to clear the sugars from the blood stream. When the pancreas is under constant stress to perform, it will slow down prematurely. Ultimately, this results in elevated blood sugars. 

4. Increased risk of developing Diabetes Mellitus 

Prolonged elevated blood-sugars result in a significant increased risk of developing Diabetes Mellitus. 

This is a medical condition that needs to be formally diagnosed by a medical professional. The results of the diagnosis revolve around the body’s inability to clear sugars from the blood steam. 

People who have been diagnosed with Diabetes Mellitus are at higher risk of also having kidney health problems, as well as cardiovascular disease. Lifestyle changes and medications are necessary to manage a diagnosis of Diabetes. 

5. Fluctuating energy levels 

A decrease in appetite is very common as one ages. This may result in larger periods of time between meals. Extended periods without food can negatively impact your body’s ability to regulate blood sugars. 

When you skip a meal, the liver releases sugars into the blood stream. This is a mechanism designed to keep your body fueled, but it can be faulty. The liver may not communicate clearly with your other organs and miss the notification when it has produced enough sugar. As a result, it will continue to produce unnecessary sugars, and increase your blood-sugar levels.

6. Strains the kidneys 

The kidneys are the filters for the body. It is responsible for cleaning our body fluids and producing an efficient way to release waste. For us, this is urine.

Excess sugars in the diet will place a greater strain on our kidneys. Over time, they are susceptible to becoming clogged by these sugars. This means they may not function as efficiently. 

More urine can be produced, which is extremely undesirable for those are suffering from incontinence. Also, it means that the body will reabsorb harmful substances, that were otherwise meant to be expelled via urine.

7. Poor dentition 

As we age our teeth become more delicate. After a lifetime of use, they are highly susceptible to damage. Sugar that has not been properly cleaned and removed from the tooth will wear through the enamel. This may lead to cavities, or even worse tooth decay. 

Dental infections or poor dental health can result in a decreased ability to eat, which places you at higher risk for malnutrition. Sugar is a major culprit, make sure you monitor your portion sizes and practice excellent oral hygiene. 


In moderation, sugar can be present in the diet. However, there are many reasons to monitor your portion sizes when it comes to sweets. Elevated blood sugars are very common and can negatively impact your health. Review your options with a health care provider to ensure you have the knowledge and tools to age healthfully and stay ahead of your health priorities. 

BIO: Anna Williams is a passionate educator for senior health, having worked in the industry for over a decade and now writing occasionally for Zorbies. She enjoys cooking wholesome homemade meals and sharing with friend and family, and volunteers regularly for Meals on Wheels.