Diabetes is a condition that is fast becoming a common problem the world over. Its various forms can affect anyone from an infant to the aged. Treatment of diabetes is very important and it may be done by various methods and procedures. But what is first needed is initial assessment of diabetes.
The Initial Assessment
The initial assessment will start with measuring the body mass index. Those diagnosed with a BMI of more than 25 are generally screened for more signs like if he or she has a sedentary lifestyle; high blood pressure; high levels of cholesterol, especially high triglycerides and LDL; history of diabetes in the family, etc.
In case of women, history of pregnancy is taken to find any abnormality there. If the person is aged, then automatically the doctor suggests blood tests.
Initially the physician will try to recognize the signs and symptoms that are associated with diabetes. If the person has Type 1 diabetes then the signs are – increase in frequency in urination, increase in thirst and hunger, fatigue, irritability and weight loss that goes contrary to the hunger.
If these symptoms are accompanied by signs like bruises and cuts that take longer than usual to heal; recurring infections especially of the skin, bladder, gums, etc.; a numbing sensation in the feet and hands and blurring of vision, then it can be said that the person might be suffering from Type 2 diabetes.
To diagnose the degree of the condition what the doctors’ advice are tests for knowing the exact level of blood sugar. The tests prescribed are for HbA1C or glycated hemoglobin testand blood sugar tests for both random reading and reading after fasting. This fasting period is generally taken as 8 to 12 hours.
The limits for such tests are 200mg/dl for random and 100 to 125 mg/dl for fasting. Those crossing 125 mg/dl should be considered diabetic. If diabetes Type 1 is suspected then the doctor may also prescribe blood tests for presence of antibodies of diabetes. Urine tests for ketones can also be done. Once diabetes and its type have been identified, the next step is treatment.
Treatment Of Diabetes
This is what physicians order when the diabetes is in the preliminary stages. This will include healthy eating containing less of fat and sugar; increase in physical activity; maintaining healthy weight and giving up smoking.
If the condition has developed into such a stage that simple lifestyle changes cannot be enough to control the condition, then insulin therapy is prescribed.
Insulin doses can be injected subcutaneously or an insulin pump may be used. In mild conditions inhaled insulin can be taken.
Diabetes medicines may either act directly at stimulating the pancreas or delaying the ability of the body to absorb nutrients. This way the body is allowed to absorb blood glucose at its own pace as often diabetes is caused by the body’s disability to absorb glucose quickly. Some even aim at decreasing the glucose released from the liver while some slow down the breakdown of carbohydrates.
This is the extreme treatment and may include bariatric surgery and even pancreas transplantation. However, such steps are taken only if the patient’s life is at risk because such surgical procedures may often bring about side effects that are more dangerous than living with mild to less severe types of diabetes.