What You Ought to Know About Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes affects millions of people in the United States each year. Unfortunately, with the rising obesity epidemic, there is expected to be millions more including our children. Diabetes may go undiagnosed for years. We are key players in knowing what is going on with our bodies. Controlling how we take care of them and what we put into them may determine if diabetes will be a factor in our lives.

There are several types of diabetes mellitus:

Gestational diabetes occurs in pregnancy and may end after the birth of the baby. This type may also result in type two diabetes which will be discussed later.

Type one diabetes mellitus is a form of diabetes that requires the suffer to take daily insulin injections. In type one diabetes the body is unable to produce insulin. Insulin is produced in the pancreas by the beta islet cells. The bodies response to food glucose production is to release insulin. When the insulin is not produced the body could go into ketoacidotic shock from the rising glucose in the body, which could result in death. The cells in your body and brain require glucose to function, too much could lead to shut down. With this form of diabetes the person will have to check their blood sugar daily depending on the amount of insulin they have to inject. This usually occurs before meals and at bedtime.

There are many forms of insulin. The amount used will vary from the glucometer readings. Usually people take a morning and evening injection of a longer acting insulin that will gradually break down the glucose through the day and night from the food ingested through the day. If the longer acting insulin is not effective enough to control the levels, a coverage schedule of regular or fast acting insulin may be used. Sometimes people do not eat enough after they take their insulin injections resulting in hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. This too could be fatal if not treated, again there is a need of glucose for the brain and body cells to function. It is important that people with Type one diabetes eat small frequent meal and have snacks in between. It is important to eat a balanced meal containing proteins and carbohydrates while limiting simple sugars.
Type two diabetes is the most common and most preventable form of diabetes mellitus. This form of diabetes, also called non insulin diabetes, is from the body producing an inadequate amount of insulin or from the body just not being able to use the insulin that is produced. After the initial diagnosis of Type two treatment usually consists of diet and exercise. This type of diabetes is mainly associated with obesity. If diet and exercise is ineffective then oral medications may be administered. There are several types of medication. The most common are glucophage, glipizide, acarbose, diabinese, and glyberide. While on this medication it is important to use diet and exercise to help control the diabetes. If this form is left untreated it may develop into type one diabetes and insulin injections will be required for the rest of your life.
The most common symptoms of diabetes are increased thirst, increased urination, and increased hunger. This may also be accompanied by fatigue, weakness, tingling and numbness to the hands and feet, dry skin, and sores that are slow to heal.

Management of diabetes consists of proper nutrition using small frequent meals for type one and weight loss for type two. Exercise is essential because during exercise your body naturally decreases the glucose levels.

Education is important to manage or eliminate diabetes. The more you know on how to prevent diabetes the less likely you or a loved one may develop it. There are many resources available to give you the knowledge you need to stay healthy.

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