Diabetes mellitus is a disease resulting from defects in secretion or action of a hormone called insulin. Insulin is responsible for maintaining optimum blood glucose levels. This is why lack of insulin results in an increase in the blood glucose levels which can cause a wide range of health problems. There are two types of diabetes:
Type 1 Diabetes
The main problem with type 1 diabetes is the destruction of cells producing insulin. There will be no production of insulin by our body. It occurs earlier in life and it can be effectively managed with the replacement of insulin from outside.
Type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is due to insulin resistance. Insulin is being produced by our body but it is unable to perform its desired action. It occurs late in life.
How is Diabetes Managed?
The aim of the treatment of diabetes is to maintain a normal blood glucose level. This is the only way we can live a healthy and long life. There are certain steps which can be carried out to make it possible. They include
- Dietary measures
1. Dietary Measures
This is one of the critical factors that can help to achieve an optimum blood glucose level. It is advised for diabetics to use a personalized diet containing fats, proteins as well as carbohydrates.
- The approximate estimation of calories derived from these sources is as under
- Carbohydrates-50-55%. The carbohydrates used by the diabetics should be in the form of starch. They should avoid readily absorbed carbohydrates such as glucose and sucrose. This is because such carbohydrates can produce a sudden rise in blood glucose level which is not good at all.
- There are certain other dietary measures that can be opted to achieve an optimum blood glucose level
- Use of nonnutritive sweeteners to make food palpable. They include saccharine, aspartame, and sucromate.
- Increasing intake of fiber content as it can help to lower the blood glucose level as well as bad cholesterol (LDL). The fiber-rich foods include beans, peas, pulses, fruits, and vegetables.
2. Physical Activity
Exercise is another important aspect that can help to achieve optimum blood glucose levels. This is because during exercise muscles use more glucose for energy production, thus lowering the blood glucose levels. The other beneficial effect of exercise is that it improves the response of the body to insulin. The exact amount and type of physical activity required by a person varies individually and will be determined by your physician.
Insulin and oral Hypoglycemic (glucose lowering) drugs are the two main medications used to treating diabetes.
Oral Hypoglycemic (Glucose Lowering) Drugs
They are used to treat patients with type 2 diabetes which cannot be treated with simple dietary restrictions only. They include following classes of drugs
They include drugs such as glibenclamide, gliclazide, glipizide, and glimepiride. They are used in non-obese diabetics. They can cause problems such as hypoglycemia, obesity and gastrointestinal disturbances.
They include Metformin. This is used in diabetics who are overweight. The other benefit of this drug is that it does not cause any hypoglycemia.
They include drugs such as Acarbose and Miglitol. They modestly improve blood sugar control. They are likely to cause side effects such as flatulence, bloating and diarrhea.
They include Rosiglitazone and Pioglitazone. They may cause weight gain and damage to the liver.
Insulin is the only treatment option available for patients with type 1 diabetics. It is also indicated in patients with type 2 diabetics when blood sugar level is not controlled with dietary measurements or combination of diet and oral hypoglycemic drugs.
There are different forms of insulin available including regular insulin, intermediate acting, long acting insulin and they are used in different combinations to get adequate sugar control. The accurate dosage of insulin required for you will be provided to you by your doctor internist.
What Education Every Diabetic Patient must get?
Every patient suffering from diabetes should be educated about the following points.
- How to check blood glucose with the help of glucometer.
- How to detect ketone bodies on urine analysis using a strip
- How to calculate the accurate dose of insulin
- Symptoms of hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) and how to treat it.
- Avoiding trauma to the foot and proper care of hygiene.
For more information about the services and treatment options offered by our general practitioners schedule an appointment with internal medicine physicians in Brooklyn, NY at Century Medical & Dental Center.