April is Diabetes and Weight Management Month
What is diabetes mellitus?
Diabetes mellitus is a disease caused by a deficiency of insulin. The cells in the body require energy to function; energy which is typically supplied by glucose. Glucose (a type of sugar) is absorbed from the digestive tract into the blood after eating. The glucose then normally passes into the cells, supplying them with the energy they need to function. Insulin is the key that opens the door for the glucose to go through into the cells. Without insulin, three things happen:
1) The cells are starving for energy – resulting in increased appetite
2) The blood glucose levels are high – causing increased urine production
3) The cells use internal fats to make their own energy which results in toxic ketones being formed
What are the signs of diabetes?
Many patients with diabetes exhibit the following signs:
1) Increased appetite
2) Increased drinking and urination
3) Weight loss
How is it diagnosed?
A combination of an elevated blood glucose level and glucose in the urine are used to diagnose it.
How is it managed?
Patients with diabetes are managed with insulin injections and changes in their diet. Glucose curves, involving multiple glucose blood checks in a day, are performed to see how the glucose levels change after injection with insulin. This is a very effective method used to insure proper glucose regulation.