Diabetes mellitus is an endocrine disease that is caused by a deterioration of the pancreas or a violation of the interaction of insulin with cells. This hormone is responsible for glucose utilization and regulates carbohydrate metabolism.
What causes diabetes?
There are diabetes mellitus of the first and second types, gestational diabetes in pregnant women, and symptomatic diabetes that occurs when the pancreas is inflamed or its cells are damaged due to intoxication.
Each type of disease has its own nature and methods of treatment. In total, we can distinguish many different factors that directly or indirectly lead to the development of the disease:
- autoimmune disorders;
- hereditary predisposition;
congenital or acquired diseases of the pancreas;
- abuse of fatty and sweet foods;
- lack of physical activity;
How much should I weigh for my height and age?
- excess body weight;
- hormonal disorders that cause carbohydrate metabolism failure;
- increased psycho-emotional load.
Many factors are directly related to lifestyle. This means that every person has the opportunity to prevent the appearance of “sugar disease”.
Why does diabetes appear in children?
Young patients are increasingly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes – insulin-dependent. It is caused by a genetically determined autoimmune disorder, in which the cells of the pancreas responsible for the production of insulin are affected. The disease can occur as early as 6 months of age after suffering from rubella or ingesting antigens with food. Treatment of type 1 diabetes without insulin is impossible, because the body is not able to produce it.
In recent years, cases of insulin-dependent diabetes (type 2 diabetes) have become more frequent) in children and adolescents. The main reason is an incorrectly selected diet, inactivity (sedentary lifestyle).
The rarest form is neonatal diabetes mellitus, which occurs in a newborn literally from the first days of life. The disease usually manifests itself in the first six months after the birth of a child. The reason is pathology of intrauterine development due to insulin deficiency.
How does diabetes manifest itself?
Manifestations of diabetes are associated with a violation of the production of insulin or its assimilation by cells. This leads to a sustained excess of glucose in the blood of chronic hyperglycemia.
In healthy people, the increase in sugar occurs after eating. With normal functioning of the pancreas and the sensitivity of cells to insulin, glucose indicators independently return to normal. The excess is stored in the muscles and liver in the form of glycogen. In diabetics, this process is disrupted. Constantly increased sugar worsens the overall health, negatively affects the body, causing pathological changes in its work.
What is dangerous about diabetes?
Diabetes mellitus is a systemic disease that, in the absence of therapy, causes complications from all organs and systems. Blood vessels suffer the most: excess glucose in the blood destroys capillaries, reduces the flexibility of the arteries. Organs and tissues stop receiving the nutrients they need.
Diabetic nephropathy is a pathology associated with kidney damage due to the destruction of capillaries. The problem is aggravated if DM is accompanied by high blood pressure. The patient is at risk of chronic kidney failure.
The destruction of the vessels of the retina in diabetes is called retinopathy. Pathology leads to severe disorders in the work of the visual organs.
Many people probably know the term “diabetic foot”. We are talking about damage to the vessels and nerve endings of the lower extremities. In difficult cases, doctors are forced to resort to amputation of the limb due to purulent-necrotic processes.
The most common complications of diabetes are hypoglycemic or diabetic coma. The pathological condition is caused by a sharp drop or a critical increase in blood glucose levels. These manifestations of the disease pose a direct threat to the patient’s life and require urgent medical care.
Treatment of diabetes complications
Treatment of complications in diabetes mellitus is aimed at normalizing glucose levels, eliminating pathological conditions and disorders that are dangerous to human health and life.
How to determine diabetes at home?
The development of diabetes may indicate fatigue, which does not go away even after a good rest. Other symptoms of the disease include:
- a sharp change in weight. With type 1 diabetes, the weight decreases, despite a good appetite. With type 2 diabetes, a person experiences increased hunger, and body weight increases;
- dry mouth;
- increased thirst, which is accompanied by frequent urination.
Some patients report the appearance of itching of the skin and mucous membranes for no apparent reason, delayed healing of wounds on the skin. Unfortunately, at an early stage, the disease can occur without pronounced signs. Up to half of DM cases remain undiagnosed. They are detected during routine medical examinations or after a person was forced to urgently go to a medical facility due to a sharp deterioration in health.
Diabetes mellitus – where to go?
Endocrinologists diagnose and treat diabetes. The doctor conducts an examination, prescribes the necessary studies, based on the results of which he selects the drug, determines the intake scheme, and develops a diet.
If there are warning signs that may indicate diabetes, or for a preventive check, a person should contact a therapist who will give a referral for laboratory tests to determine the level of glycemia.
Analysis for diabetes
To determine the increased level of sugar, a blood glucose test and a urine test can help. The norm of glucose in the blood plasma depends on the age and Constitution of the body. In young and middle – aged people, the reference value is 3.3-5.5 mmol/l when giving blood on an empty stomach. There is no sugar in the urine of healthy people.
Diagnosis of diabetes
In order to prevent diabetes, it is recommended to take a blood sugar test every six months, even if nothing bothers you. If the amount of glycemia was from 5 to 7 mmol/l, an oral glucose tolerance test is prescribed. The sugar level is measured on an empty stomach, then the patient drinks a glucose solution. Two hours later, the blood is taken again for analysis to determine the change in sugar levels.
The most informative is the analysis for glycated hemoglobin. It allows you to detect the level of glycemia in the last three months. Examination is prescribed to clarify the diagnosis and monitor the effectiveness of treatment of diabetes.
If there is an increased risk of developing diabetes, glycemic control should be regular. Patients with a diagnosis of diabetes mellitus need to monitor their glucose levels daily using a glucose meter.
Diabetes treatment methods
Today in endocrinology there are no ways to cure diabetes once and for all. Antidiabetic therapy is carried out throughout life. Modern methods of treating diabetes are based on diet therapy and medication. They compensate for insulin deficiency and help maintain normal blood glucose levels.
Diet for diabetes
Diabetics should constantly monitor their diet, know the glycemic index of products. This indicator reflects the ability of the product to increase blood glucose levels. Food with a high glycemic index contains a lot of sugar, that is, “fast” carbohydrates. They cause a sharp rise in glucose, so they are undesirable in the menu of a diabetic.
Children and young people with type 1 diabetes need a high-calorie diet that focuses on seafood, lean meat, whole grains, vegetable oils, vegetables, and unsweetened fruits. The diet for patients with type 2 diabetes is based on low-calorie meals designed to normalize body weight.
For any form of diabetes, avoid foods high in simple carbohydrates, salt, and animal fats. The menu of a diabetic should contain a sufficient amount of omega-acids, fiber, trace elements and vitamins.
Diabetes and supplements
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Diabetes and alcohol
In most cases, doctors forbid patients with diabetes to drink alcohol. In combination with sugar-lowering drugs, alcohol can lead to severe hypoglycemia. Under the influence of alcohol, the liver stops releasing glucose into the blood, that is, the sugar level will fall. With a critical decrease in glucose, a person will lose consciousness. Eliminate life-threatening hypoglycemia after alcohol can only be intravenous glucose solution.
If a diabetic cannot give up alcohol, it is necessary to eat something before using it. These should be foods with a sufficient content of “slow” carbohydrates. Avoid liquors, sweet wines, and spirits. Semi-dry or dry wine can be consumed no more than 250 ml per day with mandatory monitoring of blood glucose levels.
Medical treatment of diabetes mellitus
Drugs for diabetes allow you to maintain a normal level of glucose in the blood. Type 1 diabetes requires daily insulin therapy. In some cases, injections are combined with taking hypoglycemic drugs. They slow down the synthesis of glucose from glycogen in the liver.
In type 2 diabetes, insulin is produced, but its connection with cells is disrupted. The patient is prescribed medications to increase sensitivity to the hormone and slow down the absorption of glucose in the intestine.
Treatment of diabetes by fasting
When fasting, the blood sugar level drops. Refusal to eat while taking sugar-lowering drugs and insulin is extremely dangerous due to hypoglycemia. Is it possible to cure diabetes by fasting? This method is experimental, that is, treatment is carried out under constant medical supervision. The consequences of an independent experiment can be extremely negative due to complications of the disease.
How to treat type 2 diabetes?
For type 2 diabetes, diet and regular exercise are at the heart of treatment. Increased physical activity combined with a proper diet can normalize body weight. In some cases, this is enough to bring glucose levels back to normal and stop taking medications. To increase insulin sensitivity, medications that reduce insulin resistance may be prescribed. Thus, success in the treatment of type 2 diabetes directly depends on the patient’s lifestyle.
Treatment of diabetes in pregnant women
A pregnant woman may have gestational diabetes or normal diabetes, which previously occurred in a latent form. For the treatment of gestational diabetes, a carbohydrate-restricted diet is prescribed. Insulin is prescribed, if the therapy proved to be ineffective. Pregnant women are allowed to use ultra-short and short-acting insulins, which are administered subcutaneously.
Treatment of hypertension in diabetes
Patients should regularly monitor their blood pressure. Its chronic increase is observed in more than 60% of diabetics. To prevent hypertension, monitor the level of glycemia, give up Smoking and alcohol. It is recommended to limit the use of salt, animal fats, and maintain normal physical activity. This will avoid the development of vascular complications. Antihypertensive drugs (lowering blood pressure) for diabetes are prescribed by a doctor depending on the form of the disease and the state of carbohydrate metabolism.
Treatment of blood vessels in diabetes mellitus
In the treatment of diabetes mellitus, treatment of blood vessels is important, since it is the deterioration of their normal functioning that causes the main part of the complications of the disease. Treatment consists in following the recommendations on nutrition and taking medications that reduce blood sugar, blood pressure control.
Treatment of erectile dysfunction in diabetes
Up to 35% of men with type 1 diabetes have erectile dysfunction, which is caused by vascular damage, reduced testosterone production. Drug therapy is prescribed based on the state of health. Your doctor may recommend tadalafil and sildenafil-based potency-enhancing drugs. They should be used with caution, since DM increases the risk of side effects.
Diabetes is a serious disease that cannot be cured, but can often be prevented. Nutrition monitoring and routine check-UPS will help to avoid the development of the disease.