Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder. In this disorder, there is increase in blood sugar level. The cause may be lack of insulin or cells fail to respond and utilize insulin. It is considered as one among lifestyle disorders as unhealthy lifestyle is the major cause. Leading a healthy life style is necessary to manage diabetes.
Types of Diabetes Mellitus:
- Type-1 diabetes: It is also called as insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile diabetes. In this, there is deficiency in insulin production. Hence, insulin therapy is must for survival.
- Type-2 diabetes: It is also called as non insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus or adult onset diabetes. Here the cells develop resistance to insulin.
- Gestational diabetes: This is nothing but high blood sugar levels during pregnancy.
Symptoms of Diabetes Mellitus:
- Increase in urinary frequency (polyuria).
- Loss of weight.
- Lethargy, loss of interest and concentration.
- Increased appetite (polyphagia).
- Excessive thirst (polydipsia).
- Abnormal sensation or numbness in palms and feet.
- Recurrent infections.
- Delay in wound healing.
- Feeling of dryness in the mouth.
Diagnosis of Diabetes Mellitus:
Diabetes is diagnosed by testing sugar levels in your blood.
Tests include: Glycated hemoglobin test (HbA1c), Fasting Blood Sugar (FBS), Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT), Random Blood Sugar (RBS), Postprandial Blood Sugar (PPBS).
Urine test, in which the urine sample is tested for sugar and ketones.
Normal Blood Sugar Values:
- FBS<120 mg/dl.
- RBS-140-200 mg/dl.
- PPBS- 100-140 mg/dl.
Complications of Diabetes Mellitus:
There are two types of complications namely the acute and chronic complications.
Acute Complications: It includes sudden occurrence of life threatening complications like hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia.
- Low blood sugar level or hypoglycemia is caused due to increased dosage of insulin injection or diabetic medications or may be due to skipping meals after medication or accidental administration of second dose of medicines, excessive physical exercise without proper diet.
- When there is a diabetic patient in your family, then the members of the family should be in a position to identify and manage hypoglycemia to prevent any fatal conditions.
The symptoms of hypoglycemia are:
- Unconsciousness or irreversible brain damage.
- Increased sweating, cold extremities.
- Nausea, vomiting or abdominal discomfort.
- And finally death.
Management of hypoglycemia:
- If you are driving, slow down immediately and park the vehicle in a safe place.
- If you are walking, sit immediately to prevent injuries due to fall.
- Eat 4 teaspoons of sugar or drink a cup of milk or chew 3-4 candies.
- Consult a doctor as early as possible.
- This is nothing but inctrease in blood sugar level.
Symptoms of hyperglycemia are:
- Increased hunger and thirst.
- Dry and itchy skin.
- Fatigue, stupor.
Management of hyperglycemia:
- Intake of proper timely diet.
- Never miss the medicine dose.
- Regular exercise.
Occurs after many years of onset of diabetes. Prolonged elevation in blood sugar causes damage to blood vessels leading to following complications.
- Diabetic retinopathy - Retinal damage leading to blindness.
- Diabetic nephropathy- Kidney damage causes chronic kidney failure.
- Diabetic nephropathy- Abnormal or decreased sensation in skin.
- Cardiomyopathy- Damage to heart leading to heart failure.
- Diabetic myonecrosis- Wasting of muscles.
- Diabetic foot- Formation of skin ulcers, infection and gangrene.
- Diabetic encephalopathy- Damage to brain cells may cause dementia.
If you are diagnosed as diabetic, you should remember the below key points always.
- To identify hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia (i.e, high and low sugar levels).
- Reasons for hyper and hypoglycemia.
- Management of hyper and hypoglycemia.
- Eye care- regular eye check up by ophthalmologist, maintenance of hygiene during eye wash, avoid self medication, in case of eye infection or visual disturbance consult doctor immediately.
- Foot care- always wear a proper fitting shoes/sandals. Never walk in bare foot. Examine your foot regularly for any cuts, sores, cracks, etc. Cleanse the foot daily with mild soap. Take enough precautions while cutting nails to avoid injuries.
- Go for regular blood check up and consultation. Self-checking of blood glucose level at home will also be helpful.
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Last reviewed at: 07.Sep.2018