DIABETES MELLITUS

DIABETES MELLITUS

Latin for:  “sweet” and “passing through” – diabetes causes our body to urinate out sugar

Roughly 30 million Americans have Diabetes – that’s 9% of the population!

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a disorder that affects our body’s ability to use glucose (sugar)

All cells in our body need glucose for energy to function. Glucose gets into our cells from our bloodstream by a hormone called insulin to be converted to energy or be stored for future use.

There are TWO common types: Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes (T1DM)

Occurs after an autoimmune attack on the pancreas, an organ that sits below our stomach. The pancreas makes both digestive enzymes and hormones –one of those being insulin

T1DM is a disorder that occurs when our own body attacks the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas to the point at which we no longer produce insulin

These individuals require external insulin, by injections, to make up for the complete lack of their own bodies production

Type 2 Diabetes (T2DM)

Occurs due to genetics, environmental factors (sedentary lifestyle, overweight/obesity, poor diet) or both

T2DM is a disorder of insulin resistance – our body does not respond as it should to the hormone insulin and thus glucose stays in our bloodstream, unable to be used by our cells for energy

Symptoms of diabetes include:

Unintentional weight loss

Increased thirst or hunger

Increased urination

Blurry vision

Numbness and tingling

Fatigue

How is it diagnosed?

Fasting blood glucose >126 mg/dL or HbA1C (average blood sugar over 3 months) of >6.5%

Routine Diabetes Care includes:

Yearly complete foot exam

Yearly dilated eye exam

Blood pressure and cholesterol management/evaluation

Flu and pneumonia vaccines

Reviewing routine laboratory tests and glucose levels

Why do we care?

High blood sugars can cause a number of complications – spontaneous infections, kidney disease, glaucoma/cataracts/retinopathy, diabetic ketoacidosis/hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketotic syndrome, neuropathy/foot ulcers/poor circulation/peripheral arterial disease, stroke, heart disease, gastroparesis

If diabetes is under control – complications are much less likely

We can prevent complications by controlling diabetes, however once a complication occurs it may be too late to reverse