Being diagnosed with Diabetes is a serious matter. Especially if you are not knowledgeable what the condition is all about and how it is treated and so here's a lowdown on all things pertaining to the disease, its symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.
What is Diabetes Mellitus?
It is a chronic disease characterized by hyperglycemia (abnormal increase in the blood sugar level) due to relative insufficiency or lack of insulin which leads to abnormalities of the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. There are two types of diabetes. Type 2 Diabetes is acquired due to certain conditions such as obesity, excessive intake of sugar rich and high caloric foods and it usually appears after the age of 40. The other one occurs before the age of 30 and the person is usually thin. This is because Type 1 Diabetes means that you must inherit a factor from both of your parents and it’s also an autoimmune response, an environmental factor will cause the body to attack its own pancreas thus preventing it from producing insulin. And so because it is an inherited disease, administration of medications such as insulin and strict dietary management are needed to control type 1 from progressing and prevent it from developing any life threatening complications. Type 2 diabetes entails lifestyle modification, proper diet and exercise in order to prevent a person from acquiring the illness. But since the topic is all about the inherited type of diabetes the discussion would mainly focus on Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus.
What are the signs and symptoms of Diabetes Type 1?
The patient will experience the 3 P’s which is the Polyphagia (increased appetite), Polydypsia (excessive drinking of fluids) and Polyuria (frequent urination). This is due to too much tissue breakdown which compels the stricken individual to drink and eat voraciously. The patient may also have traces of glucose in his urine (glucosuria) because of the excessive glucose accumulation in the bloodstream that spills into the urine. This wasting of glucose in the urine usually produces weight loss, electrolyte imbalances and hunger in uncontrolled type 1 diabetes even if the patient eats ravenously. The patient may also experience shortness of breath and easy fatigability.
How is the inherited type of Diabetes Diagnosed?
The doctor will order a blood exam called fasting plasma glucose. Patients who have the illness will yield a score higher than 110mg/dl. He may also order a random blood glucose level which has a value of less than 200mg/dl for normal people. Two tests are required for the confirmation of the diagnosis; they can be the same two tests or any combination and may be separated by more than 24 hours.
What is the treatment for Type 1 Diabetes?
There is no absolute cure for Type 1 DM. The goal is to prevent the disease from progressing and prevent any complications caused by the illness. Administration of exogenous insulin is a must to be able to replace insulin production in the pancreas. Diet and exercise are also needed to meet the nutritional needs, control blood glucose levels and to reach and maintain appropriate body weight. Monitoring the blood sugar levels regularly is also advised.
Tips and comments:
Type 1 diabetes is a serious disease. You may think that you are the unluckiest person on earth because you have inherited a disease that requires a lifelong management but you need to be positive and think that as long as you stick to the treatment regimen, everything will be fine. You’ll also realize that all your efforts are worthwhile.