Posted by: acbays | April 19, 2011

Diabetes Mellitus

Why are we seeing more and more people being diagnosed with diabetes today?

Obesity; Our society has been packing on the pounds with “super-sizing” our meals.  The human body is a fine, well-oiled machine.  We need fuel (food) to survive but we live with many choices.  We need to start educating our young about the dangers of over-eating and the lack of activity.  Get up off the couch, go for a walk, ride a bike, shoot some hoops; just get up and get active!

Anyone can develop diabetes but the people more at risk include the following risk factors:

                –              over age 45 years old

                –              overweight

                –              African American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian

                –              family member with diabetes

                –              have high blood pressure

Some Signs and Symptoms:

     ●Feeling tired and weak      ●Dry, itching skin        ●Insomnia

● Poor appetite, nausea and vomiting    ●Puffiness around the eyes

●Fluid buildup, such as swelling in the feet and ankles

What can I do to protect myself?                          

▪Get regular medical checkups                     ▪Talk to your doctor    

  ▪Control your blood pressure                       ▪Control salt intake

  ▪Check cholesterol regularly                      ▪Limit total fat intake

   ▪Limit alcohol consumption                        ▪Exercise regularly

    ▪Track daily calorie intake                            ▪ Manage stress

      ▪Maintain a healthy diet                               ▪Don’t smoke

According to Healthy People 2020, diabetes mellitus and chronic kidney disease affects more than 20 million people in the United States alone.  Diabetes is the leading cause of chronic kidney disease and once nephropathy occurs, the decrease of renal function begins. 

Diabetes mellitus is a very serious disease with complications such as blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, and strokes (Williams, 2003).  Education and self-care can prevent or delay complications and diabetics can lead full and productive lives.  Diabetes mellitus is a group of metabolic diseases that affects insulin secretion and results in high blood glucose levels.  There are two types of diabetes mellitus, insulin dependent and non-insulin dependent.  The pancreas is a gland that secretes digestive enzymes and hormones.  These hormones control the glucose levels in the body.  The enzymes and hormones are triggered as food enters the upper digestive tract.  The pancreas secretes the enzymes to break down fats, proteins, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids (Baggaley, 2001).  Insulin decreases blood glucose levels by increasing the use of glucose (for energy), promoting the storage of excess glucose, and decreasing energy production of other food sources (Williams, 2003).

Complications from Diabetes Mellitus

            Diabetics with circulatory complications are more likely to have hypertension and elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglyceride levels.  High blood glucose levels may affect platelet function leading to an increase in clot formation which increases the risk for strokes, heart attacks, and poor circulation to the legs and feet.  Maintaining control of blood glucose levels and blood pressure levels is vital in preventing these deadly complications.  Avoiding smoking and maintaining a normal weight are also very significant in the prevention and/or delay of serious complications resulting from diabetes mellitus.

            Microvascular complications occur in the eyes causing the small blood vessels to become diseased and can lead to retinopathy.  In return, causes blindness if not corrected.  When the small blood vessels in the kidneys are damaged, it is referred to as nephropathy.   Diabetes has been found to be the leading cause of end-stage renal disease (Williams, 2003).  After the majority of function of the kidneys has been lost, diabetics may have to have their blood cleansed artificially by means of hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis.  Education needs to be strongly reinforced to delay or prevent kidney disease.


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