The ‘lousy’ killer (2)

Other causes include;


• Several common medications can impair the body’s use of insulin, causing a condition known as secondary diabetes.


• These medications include treatments for high blood pressure (furosemide, clonidine, and thiazide diuretics), drugs with hormonal activity (oral contraceptives, thyroid hormone, progestins, and glucocorticorids), and the anti-inflammation drug indomethacin.



• Several drugs that are used to treat mood disorders (such as anxiety and depression) also can impair glucose absorption.


• These drugs include haloperidol, lithium carbonate, phenothiazines, tricyclic antidepressants, and adrenergic agonists.


• Other medications that can cause diabetes symptoms include isoniazid, nicotinic acid, cimetidine, and heparin.



A 2004 study found that low levels of the essential mineral chromium in the body may be linked to increased risk for diseases associated with insulin resistance.




1. In the Central Nervous System; Excessive thirst, excessive eating, fatigue and stupor



2. In the eyes; Blurred vision


3. In the mouth/breath; acetone breath (for type 1) and gum disease


4. In the gastrointestinal system; nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain (these are commoner in type 1)


5. In the Respiratory system; breathlessness (when it’s really high and it’s commoner in Type 1)



6. Skin; long standing sores that have refused to heal and recurrent skin infection


7. In the Urinary system; frequent/excessive passage of urine, urinary tract infections and passage of glucose in urine in which instance ants may mill around the urine.


8. Systemic; Unexplained weight loss despite eating excessively 9. In the Peripheral nerves; numbness, tingling sensation, ‘’fire on skin’’ feeling, wriggling sensation on the body, ‘’walking-on-wool’’ sensation etc


10. However, the classic symptoms of Diabetes are; Polydypsia (excessive thirst), Polyuria (excessive urination), Polyphagia (excessive eating) and Unexplainable weight loss.



How to diagnose diabetes




Blood is drawn from a vein in the patient’s arm after a period at least eight hours when the patient has not eaten, usually in the morning before breakfast. The red blood cells are separated from the sample and the amount of glucose is measured in the remaining plasma. A plasma level of 7.0 mmol/L (126 mg/L) or greater can indicate diabetes. The fasting glucose test is usually repeated on another day to confirm the results.




Blood is taken right after the patient has eaten a meal.






Blood samples are taken from a vein before and after a patient drinks a thick, sweet syrup of glucose and other sugars. In a non-diabetic, the level of glucose in the blood goes up immediately after the drink and then decreases gradually as insulin is used by the body to metabolize, or absorb, the sugar. In a diabetic, the glucose in the blood goes up and stays high after drinking the sweetened liquid. A plasma glucose level of 11.1 mmol/L (200 mg/dL) or higher at two hours after drinking the syrup and at one other point during the two-hour test period confirms the diagnosis of diabetes.


4. Glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c); It’s a very sensitive test that diagnoses as well as determine how well blood sugar is being managed. Haemoglobin is a substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen to tissues. It can also attach to sugar in the blood forming a substance called glycated haemoglobin or HbA1c. HbA1c levels equal or greater than 6.5% imply diabetes. Treatment


• There is currently no cure for diabetes. The condition, however, can be managed so that patients can live a relatively normal life. Treatment of diabetes focuses on two goals:


• keeping blood glucose within normal range and preventing the development of long-term complications.


• Careful monitoring of diet, exercise, and blood glucose levels are as important as the use of insulin or oral medications in preventing complications of diabetes.


• Non drug treatment (Diet and exercise) • Diet and moderate exercise are the first treatments implemented in diabetes. For many Type II diabetics, weight loss may be an important goal in helping them to control their diabetes.


A well-balanced, nutritious diet provides approximately 50-60% of calories from carbohydrates, approximately 10-20% of calories from protein, and less than 30% of calories from fat.



The number of calories required by an individual depends on age, weight, and activity level. The calorie intake also needs to be distributed over the course of the entire day so surges of glucose entering the blood system are kept to a minimum. It is usually advisable to consult a Nutritionist or Dietician.



• For many Type II diabetics, weight loss is an important factor in controlling their condition. The food exchange system, along with a plan of moderate exercise, can help them lose excess weight and improve their overall health. Complications of diabetes


1. In the eyes; cataract, blindness. It’s the leading cause of blindness in adults.


2. In the Kidneys; leading cause of endstage renal disease


3. In the brain; increased risk of stroke


4. In the heart; increased risk of death from cardiovascular events


5. In the peripheral nerves; it’s the leading cause of non traumatic amputation of the lower extremities How to prevent diabetes


• In Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas produces little or no insulin; Genetics, certain viruses, and other factors are contributory, this type is not preventable.


• In type 2 diabetes, pancreas produces some insulin, but not enough to power the body.


The good news is that it’s largely preventable mainly by doing the following;


• Eat less refined sugar and fewer refined carbohydrate


• Practice portion control.


• Eat a high-fiber diet.


• Limit your processed-food intake.


• Eat whole grains.


• Drink water often.


• Exercise regularly.


• Maintain a healthy weight.


• Be active.


• Stop smoking.


In conclusion DM is not a death sentence.

People with DM can live long healthy lives with good treatment compliance.

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