Diabetes Management Fact vs. Fiction by Alyssa Frates
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a medical condition that causes there to be too much sugar in the body. The body lacks the ability to make insulin, which helps break down sugars. There are so many people who have poor control of their blood sugar levels and have complications from it.
Signs and symptoms of Diabetes:
- Polydipsia- increased thirst
- Polyuria-increased urination
- Polyphagia- excessive hunger/eating
- unexplained weight loss, dehydration, lethargy/weakness, confusion, warm, dry, and flushed skin, recurrent infections or delayed wound healing and nausea vomiting, or abdominal
- Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)- shakiness, nervousness, diaphoresis, headache, confusion, dizziness, pallor, etc.
- Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar)-confusion, lethargy, thirst, N/V, rapid respirations, & fruity breath
Complications that can occur:
- kidney disease (nephropathy)
- Eye conditions (retinopathy)
- Nerve damage to the hands and/ or feet (Neuropathy)
- Skin conditions: more likely to develop bacterial and fungal infections
- Hearing loss
- Heart disease
Myth: As a type 2 diabetic I will only be able to take insulin to manage my blood sugars
Fact: As this is true for Type 1 Diabetics, this is not true for people who have type 2 diabetes.
Complications from diabetes arise from lack of proper glucose control. Each treatment plan is individualized to the patient. Most therapies require medications. Medications work by decreasing the blood glucose levels. Most times oral medications are used. Insulin is used for purposes of maintaining a longer acting agent to keep blood glucose levels decreased. The treatment goals for these medications are to maintain a patients A1c level with one medication. If levels are not maintained, then more than one medication can be used to reach an optimal A1C level. The video above focuses on diabetic treatment. It focused on the medications used to treat and manage diabetes.
Prevention and Management
Following a diabetic diet:
- Carbohydrate counting and proper portion sizes. Eat smaller portions throughout the day
- Carbs have the most sugars in them, so they have the biggest impact on your blood sugar levels
- For portion sizes have a good mixture of starches, fruits and vegetables, proteins and fats.
- Limit foods high in fat, sugar and salt
- Avoid use of alcohol
Exercise and Weight Management
- Exercise at least 30 – 45 minutes a day
- Always set a goal when exercising
- Make sure you drink plenty of water and always have a snack available (just in case your blood sugar gets to low)
- Wear a necklace or bracelet that says you are a diabetic in case of an emergency
- Check your blood sugar before you exercise, check it during exercise if you are working out more than 45 minutes, and check it again right after exercise
- Weight management is a main goal in treating diabetes
- A healthy weight can lead to less complications caused by diabetes and better blood sugar levels, it has also proven to reduce the amount medications needed to control blood sugar levels.
- It is important to take any medications that your doctor orders for you.
- The treatment plan you doctor creates is individualized to you
- Complications from diabetes can occur due to improper blood sugar control
- It is important to check your blood sugars while taking any medications. If your sugar remains high or drops to low the medication dosing may not be right for you
- Always take your medications at the same time everyday
Myth: I don’t have to follow the regimen the doctors gave me.
Fact: Every patient must follow the treatment plan their doctors have prescribed for them.
In the article: Factors associated with therapy noncompliance in type-2 diabetes patients it focuses on patients that are non compliant with their diabetic regimen. When a person is being non-compliant with their regimen it can mean a variety of things. They may have not started treatment or may not be taking their prescribed medications correctly. In this article s study was done with 79 patients. The study was to determine medication compliance. They observed this in 2 ways; one way was medication and the other lifestyle changes. Some weren’t compliant due to the fact of patients having underlying conditions. The results showed 42% of people studied were non-compliant with their regimens. This last video I found: Motivational Interviewing Diabetes Medication Compliance, interviewed a patient who had been diagnosed with diabetes but has trouble accepting the diagnoses. This patient speaks about the difficulties surrounding why he has trouble accepting the diagnosis and why he has trouble taking the medication the doctor has prescribed the medications. This is what most people deal with on a daily basis and why many people are not compliant with the treatment regimen doctors prescribe.
Hernández-Ronquillo, L., Téllez-Zenteno, J. F., Garduño-Espinosa, J., & González- Aceve (2003). Factors associated with therapy noncompliance in type-2 diabetes patients.Salud Publica De Mexico, 45(3), 191-197.
Newlin Lew, K. (2015). Pharmacotherapy of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Navigating Current and New Therapies. MEDSURG Nursing, 24(6), 413-438.
Schub T; Kornusky. Diabetes Mellitus Type 1. J CINAHL Nursing Guide
EBSCO Publishing 2014 from
The management of adult diabetes services in the NHS: progress review. Operating Theatre Journal, (302), 2015