Diabetes Mellitus Definition
Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body does not effectively use the insulin it produces.
Most common types of Diabetes Mellitus:
- Type 1 DM: It is characterized by poor insulin production and requires daily administration of this hormone.
- Type 2 DM: This variation is due to an ineffective use of insulin which accounts for most of the global cases and is largely due to excessive body weight and physical inactivity.
- Gestational DM: is characterized by increased blood sugar or glucose during pregnancy. Women with gestational diabetes are at higher risk for complications during pregnancy and childbirth. In addition to being at biggest exposure of developing type 2 diabetes in the future.
Prevention of Diabetes Mellitus
In order to prevent type 2 diabetes or delay its occurrence, simple lifestyle-related measures have been shown to be effective, such as:
- Maintaining a healthy body weight.
- Perform physical activity for at least 30 minutes.
- Eat a healthy diet, avoiding sugar and saturated fats.
- Avoid smoking, as it increases the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Symptoms of Diabetes Mellitus
Diabetes Mellitus symptoms consist of excessive excretion of urine (polyuria), thirst (polydipsia), constant hunger (polyphagia), weight loss, visual disturbances and fatigue, among others. These symptoms may appear suddenly. Consequently, the disease can only be diagnosed when it has already evolved several years and complications have appeared.
Ideal foods for a healthy diet
Consumption of low-fat dairy products is associated with a lower risk of DM2 (regardless of BMI) in men and women.
The increase in nut consumption is inversely associated with the risk of DM2 (consumption greater than or equal to 5 units per week vs non-consumption).
● Coffee and Green Tea
Long-term consumption of coffee and green tea may be associated with a lower risk of DM2.
- Sugary drinks
Consumption of one or more sugary drinks per day (cola, carbonated drinks and fruit punch) is associated with an increased risk of overweight and DM2.
The association between smoking and the risk of DM2 indicates that smoking less than 20 cigarettes per day increases the risk of having DM2 by 30% and smoking more than 20 cigarettes per day increases it by 65%.
Olanzapine and clozapine (antipsychotics).
Diuretics and beta-blockers (antihypertensives).
Other drugs involved in developing diabetes are: Glucocorticoids, oral contraceptives, tacrolimus, cyclosporine, nicotinic acid, antiretrovirals, among others.
Diabetes Mellitus Treatment
Diabetes Mellitus treatment mostly consists of a healthy diet and physical activity, along with the reduction of glycaemia and other known risk factors that damage blood vessels. Among the feasible and economic interventions in developing countries are:
- Blood glucose control: Patients with type 1 diabetes need insulin; Patients with type 2 diabetes can be treated with oral medications, although they may also need insulin.
- Blood pressure control.
- Podiatric care.
Other interventions include:
- Screening tests for retinopathy (cause of blindness).
- Blood lipid control (regulation of cholesterol concentration).
- Detection of early signs of diabetes-related nephropathy.
How to live better with this disease
Careful management of diabetes reduces the risk of developing complications that may endanger the patient’s life. Please consider the following recommendations:
- Commit to managing or controlling diabetes.
- Schedule an annual medical checkup and regular eye exams.
- Carry an identification with…
- Try to keep an up-to-date vaccination schedule.
- Adopt an appropriate and regular teeth care.
- Pay attention to your feet.
- Maintain controlled blood pressure and cholesterol levels.