Diabetes mellitus – who hasn’t heard of it? Indeed, diabetes mellitus (DM) seems to be a universal language for high blood sugar.
Millions of people are diagnosed with diabetes mellitus, a fact that is indeed getting a lot of attention from health care experts all over the world. The complications of diabetes mellitus can, after all, cause serious health problems leading to death.
The General Classifications
Diabetes mellitus are generally of three types:type 1 diabetes which is insulin-dependent or juvenile onsettype 2 diabetes which is non-insulin-dependent or adult onsetgestational diabetes which occurs during pregnancyThe Signs and Symptoms
Knowing the tell-tale signs of diabetes mellitus is important in order to be diagnosed and treated early. For type 1 and type 2 diabetes, the presenting signs and symptoms are basically the same:increased urinationincreased thirstweight lossfeelings of hungerblurred visionnauseafatigueFor gestational diabetes, though, it may be difficult to conclude because all these signs and symptoms can be easily mistaken as pregnancy-related. The best thing to find out is to undergo an oral glucose tolerance test — this is the most definitive test for gestational diabetes It’s usually conducted on the fifth month of pregnancy.
The Treatment Options
The treatment options for diabetes mellitus include eating the right diet, engaging in regular exercises, and medications. In milder cases of diabetes mellitus, eating the right foods and engaging in exercises are enough to keep the blood sugar levels down, but in more serious cases, diabetic medications have to be administered.
The right diet for diabetics includes starches in the form of whole grains, bread, cereals; fresh fruits and vegetables, some meat products, and just a little of fat and sweets. How much you need to eat of these, though, may depend on your body weight and other needs. It’s always best to consult a dietician to program a diabetic meal that is just right for you.
Exercise should be made part of any diabetic treatment plan. Exercise helps you to lose weight and keeps you generally healthy.
Type 1 diabetics most likely need insulin therapy, but type 2 diabetics may be able to manage their diabetes with oral medications. Insulin needs to be injected into the body, the reason why a lot of diabetics frown on the idea of insulin therapy. Insulin may be rapid-acting, intermediate-acting or long-acting.
Diabetic Emergencies and Complications
Managing diabetes mellitus is extremely important in order to prevent complications such as:atherosclerotic heart diseasemyocardial infarctionperipheral vascular diseasecerebrovascular diseaserenal artery stenosisdiabetic retinopathydiabetic nephropathyperipheral neuropathyAt the same time, you may also want to prevent the likelihood of medical emergencies such as:
diabetic ketoacidosis which can cause coma and eventually death. Intensive care is essential
nonketotic hyperglycemic-hyperosmolar coma
Responsibilities of a Diabetic
As a diabetic you also need to do your share in the treatment, that means:making regular visits to your diabetologistconstant monitoring of your blood sugar levelsobserving yourself for anything that indicates an increase in your blood sugar levels and reporting the matter to your doctoreating the right dietdoing daily or regular exercisesstrictly taking your medicationsWith these tips, you should be able to cope well with diabetes mellitus.
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Image by Kim D West Photography
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