Misconceptions And Complications Of Diabetes

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Diabetes takes many shapes, sizes and faces. There are misconceptions about this disease, the different types of diabetes and how they should be treated. Diabetes is a disease that effects every organ in the body. In 2008, the American Diabetes Association estimated that over 20 million people in the United States are living with diabetes (Cohen, 2013). In the next few paragraphs I will be discussing the different types of diabetes, signs and symptoms and treatment options. Diabetes type 1, which is sometimes known as juvenile diabetes, or insulin dependent diabetes is thought to be autoimmune in nature. Most people are diagnosed before 20 years of age. “The autoimmune destruction of pancreatic β-cells, leads to a deficiency of insulin …show more content…
One potentially life threatening complication is diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). “DKA is a state of absolute or relative insulin deficiency aggravated by ensuing hyperglycemia, dehydration, and acidosis-producing derangements in intermediary metabolism. The most common causes are underlying infection, disruption of insulin treatment, and new onset of diabetes” (Hamdy, 2014). DKA is characterized by blood glucose of higher than 300 mg/dL resulting in the breakdown of fat for the body to use for energy causing an accumulation of ketones in the blood and urine. The patient may have an altered mental status, fruity smelling breath, fever, chills, abdominal pain, coughing and chest pain. The patient with DKA may also be dehydrated. It is important to maintain fluid volume and monitor glucose levels. These patients will most likely be on an insulin drip (Knippa, 2012). Another serious condition resulting from uncontrolled hyperglycemia is hyperglycemic-hyperosmolar state (HHS). This condition is more rare than DKA and has a higher mortality rate. The signs, symptoms and treatment are very similar, however patients with HHS do not develop ketosis. Patients have severe diuresis resulting in profound dehydration that leads to changes in mental status. Also, HHS is more common in individuals with type 2 diabetes. It is important to maintain hydration, but at a rate that will not cause fluid volume …show more content…
There are severall drugs in this calss and according to the patient and how they tolerate the drugs is what the doctor will prescribe. The most common oral antidiabetic drug is Metformin HCL (Glucophage), which belongs in a drug class called Biguanides. Biguanides reduce the production of glucose produced in the liver by destroying it before it has an effect on the body. Common side effects are GI upset and lactic acidosis. Sulfonylureas are another classification of drugs used for the treatment of T2DM. It stimulates insulin release from the pancreas. Instruct clients to monitor for hypoglycemia and to stop taking the medication if they become pregnant. Thiazolidinediones like Avandia and Actos, actually decreases insulin resistance by increasing the body’s response to insulin. Patients taking these drugs need to monitor for fluid retention and watch for elevated triglycerides. Alpha-Glucosidase Inhibitors slows absorption and digestion of carbohydrates (Knippa, 2012). Above all the medications that are available to treat diabetes, the best treatment is diet and exercise. Most physicians agree that type 2 diabetes can be treated and controlled with simple, but not easy, lifestyle changes. Increase exercise, at least 3 times a week for 30 minutes, eliminate simple sugars and highly processed foods. Changing eating habits is not easy, but with commitment and practice it can be

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