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Sugar In The System

Updated on February 19, 2016

The Diabetic Patient

Diabetes mellitus is characterized by the production of large quantities of urine and by excesses of glucose (blood sugar) in the blood and the urine. There is differing views in the medical world if diabetes is caused by the deterioration of the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. Some assert that diabetes is basically hereditary. While others assert that circumstances within the body’s tissues can interfere with the metabolism of carbohydrates.

When diabetes begins during childhood, the symptoms include excess production of urine, excessive thirst, a desire to void, bed-wetting, an increase in appetite in spite of a loss of body weight, weakness, itching of the skin.

What then is the chief cause of diabetes mellitus?

A look at the types of diabetes would be helpful for us to know the cause of diabetes mellitus:

We have different types of diabetes and they include:

Type 1 Diabetes

This is often referred to as Insulin-dependent or juvenile diabetes. It is typically diagnosed during childhood or adolescence. A type of disease that is known to be characterized by attacks on pancreatic cells by the body. This type of diabetes that starts at childhood or adolescence is usually more severe than that beginning in middle or old age. It is known as insulin-dependent diabetes as patients have little or no ability to produce the hormone and are entirely dependent on insulin injections for survival. It also occurs in older individuals due to pancreas destruction by alcohol, disease like cancer or surgery.

Type 2 Diabetes

This is a type 2, non-insulin dependent type of diabetes. The type 2 diabetes is characterized by production of Insulin. The pancreas retains some ability to produce insulin but this is inadequate for the body’s needs. Thus, there arise situations where the insulin produced is being used partially or not completely utilized. Alternatively, the body, in a bizarre absurdity of nature, had become resistant to the effects of insulin. Patients may require treatment with oral hypoglycemic drugs or insulin.

There is another type of diabetes called gestational diabetes that is known to develop during pregnancy. Most of the time, this type of diabetes is known to recede after the baby is born. Even after the gestational diabetes recede, there is a possible chance that the women or their children would develop diabetes later in life.

In all types of diabetes, the diet must be carefully controlled, with adequate carbohydrate for the body’s needs. Lack of balance in the diet can lead to a condition known as hypoglycemia. Long-term complications of diabetes include damage to blood vessels, which can affect the eyes (diabetic retinopathy), kidneys (diabetic nephropathy) and nerves (diabetic neuropathy)

Type 2 Diabetes, typically diagnosed in adulthood usually after age 45, can be controlled with diet, exercise, weight loss and oral medications. We should know that diabetes could only be managed, as it has no known cure. A strictly controlled diet is an important part of the treatment of patients suffering from diabetes mellitus. Most often, a patient will receive an individual dietary program from his or her physician. Their food must be free of all sugar, but must contain adequate calories and nutrients. The amount of calories and proportions of carbohydrate, protein, and fat should remain constant for every meal and for every day. In addition, it is advisable that a diabetic patient should drastically reduce alcohol intake or eliminate alcohol intake.

Diet is perhaps the most important factors in the treatment of diabetes. It is advised that those diagnosed with diabetes should eat well. A diabetes meal plan should be drafted out in collaboration with one’s healthcare team. Choose foods that are lower in calories, saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, and salt. It is advisable that food with more fiber such as whole grain cereals, wheat bread, crackers, rice, or pasta should be eaten. Choose foods such as fruits, vegetables, low fat, or skim milk and cheese. High-protein foods should be added to the menu of diabetics. The patient is able to choose different foods, while keeping the amount of calories and the nutritional value constant. A suitable diet for diabetic patients is relatively normal, with the exception that it does not include the more rapidly absorbed carbohydrate (sugar) except in small amounts .Also, the special feature in administering the diet is that all portions must be carefully measured so that the patients eat neither too much or too little. This means that the various food elements in their diet must be very carefully regulated. Complication sets in when a diabetic patient becomes careless in following their diet, either by eating more or less of some particular food.

The second important factor is the treatment of diabetes is the administration of insulin by tablets or insulin injection. Insulin (or its substitutes) is a necessary part of the treatment program for most juvenile diabetics and for adults who cannot control the condition by diet alone. Using insulin injection means that your body need more help than tablets can provide. Diabetes is a progressive condition and within time, it may get bad such that the drugs you were initially might not work for you again.

There are four types of Insulin injections and they include the rapid-acting insulin (lispro), the short-acting insulin (regular), intermediate acting and the long acting.

A combination of short and longer acting insulin can be mixed together for use. The mixture is called mixed dose injection.

Great advances have been made in the preparation of insulin for use by diabetic patients so that a physician can choose among various products available as he adapts the program of treatment to the needs of the patient.

Periodic checking is necessary as a means of measuring the blood sugar level of a diabetic patient. This is to monitor his or her progress and of modifying the treatment program to fit changes in the diabetics’ condition. A regular visit to one’s health care team is very important. At each visit, be sure to have a blood pressure check, foot check, weight check, review of your self-care plan. Have your AIC test. The AIC is a blood test that measures your average blood sugar level over the past three months. It is very much different from the blood sugar checks we do every day. The normal values for AIC should be below 7.At least once a year, do ensure to have a cholesterol test. There are two kinds of cholesterol in our blood: LDL and HDL. LDL cholesterol can build up and clog your blood vessels. This can lead to high blood pressure. The HDL cholesterol, on the other hand, helps remove the bad cholesterol from your blood vessels. In addition to AIC test and cholesterol test, other important test person with diabetes can undertake a complete foot exam, dental exam to check teeth, dilated eye exam to check eye problems, flu shot, urine and a blood test to check for kidney problems, a pneumonia hepatitis immunization should be taken.

However, blood sugar measurement should not be restricted only to diabetics patient. It is strongly advised that people should regularly go for a blood sugar level. A large number of blood glucose meters are now available. All are accurate but they vary with regard to speed, convenience, size of blood samples required, and cost. Popular models include the manufactured by Life Scan(One Touch),Bayer corporation(Breeze, Contour),Abbot Laboratories(Precision Freestyles)Roche Diagnostics( Accu-chek) .These blood glucose meters are relatively inexpensive. Each glucose meter comes with a lancet device and disposable 26- to 33- gauge lancet. For some meters, there is a code associated with every batch of test strips and this code needs to be entered into the meter before the strip can be used. Failure to properly code the meter can result in inaccurate readings .The accuracy of data obtained by home glucose monitoring does require education of the patients in sampling and measuring procedure as well as properly calibrating the instruments.

Indeed, the ability of a diabetic to enjoy good health depends very definitely on the diabetic being consistent in following their treatment program. In addition, other healthy individuals are advised to go for a blood sugar level measurement.

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