Key Information About Diabetes Mellitus
More commonly referred to as "diabetes", this disorder of carbohydrate metabolism is characterized by impaired ability of the body to produce or respond to insulin, and thereby maintain proper levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood.
Most common types of diabetes mellitus are:
- Type 1 diabetes
- Type 2 diabetes
- Gestational diabetes
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas.
Experts are of the opinion that type 1 diabetes is caused by genes and environmental factors, like viruses.
Genetics and lifestyle are the most important causes among various causes of type 2 diabetes.
A combination of these factors can lead to insulin resistance, when the body does not use insulin as well as it has to.
Insulin resistance is the most common cause of type 2 diabetes; but there are cases of type 2 diabetes where the body simply does not produce enough insulin.
During pregnancy, placenta secretes hormones, which can result in a buildup of glucose in the woman's blood.
Usually, the pancreas can produce enough insulin to handle that. If not, blood sugar levels increase, leading to gestational diabetes.
Frequent urination, increased thirst, dry mouth, itchy skin, dry skin, increased appetite, unexplained weight loss and yeast infections are some symptoms of type 1 diabetes.
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes include excessive thirst, passing more urine, tiredness, lethargy, slow-healing wounds, itching, skin infections and blurred vision.
Diabetes can't be cured. The goal of diabetes treatment is to control blood sugar through diet, oral medication or insulin.
You can take insulin a number of ways. Common options include a needle and syringe, insulin pen, or insulin pump.
Generally, metformin is the first medication prescribed for type 2 diabetes. It works by lowering glucose production in the liver and improving your body's sensitivity to insulin so that your body uses insulin more effectively.
My best piece of advice would be it’s important for diabetics to empower themselves.
You can’t be a backseat driver with your diabetes. Just doing what your doctor says and showing up at your next visit isn’t enough.
Technically, I’m your consultant. I’m not going home with you and making sure you’re doing all the things we discuss, like eating right, checking your blood sugar, taking your insulin, etc.
You make the decisions to treat yourself when you are empowered.— Dr. Scott Soleimanpour, endocrinologist
Type 1 diabetes can't be prevented. There's no reliable way to predict who will get type 1 diabetes.
Yoga and balanced diet reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Stir fry, broil, or bake with non-stick spray or low-salt broth. Cook with less oil and butter.
"Prevention needs to start as early as possible (with the pediatrician). The doctor’s role in prevention is to encourage patients to eat healthier, to exercise, to not smoke (which is a risk factor for diabetes!), and to try to decrease stress levels in their lives.
The key is to help the patient do this is in a realistic and concrete way, and not just make blanket recommendations.
Let’s think how you, patient X, can fit exercise into your busy schedule and try to help the patient come up with a plan.
Placing blame on the patient is a mistake many doctors make. Rather than telling patients they’re wrong, I try to give them the tools to make good decisions about their health.
Guilt is not a motivator. And we tend to overlook baby steps. It’s not realistic to tell a patient to change their entire diet overnight.
But asking a patient to cut out one thing, sodas, for example, can make a big impact on overall health" says endocrinologist and diabetes specialist, Dr. Mariela Glandt.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2019 Srikanth R