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Diabetes Mellitus Essay

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Diabetes Mellitus


Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death listed in the United States. Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness. “In 1996 diabetes contributed to more than 162,000 deaths”(Lewis 1367).

     “Diabetes mellitus is not a single disease but a group of disorders with glucose intolerance in common” (McCance 674). Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder characterized by hyperglycemia (increased blood sugar) and results from defective insulin production, secretion, and utilization. There are many forms of diabetes. “Diabetes increases the risk of heart and blood vessel disease, amputation, infections, kidney damage, eye problems (including blindness), and nerve malfunction” (Husain). I will briefly define the different forms of diabetes and then I will discuss diabetes mellitus in general.

1.     Insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) or type 1 is when the pancreas will produce little or no insulin, therefore requiring injections of insulin to control diabetes and prevent ketoacidosis. All patients with this type of diabetes need insulin to survive (Deakins 34). Five to ten percent of all diabetic patients have IDDM. Usual presentation is rapid with classical symptoms of polydipsia (increased thirst), polyphagia (increased hunger), polyuria (increased urination), and weight loss. IDDM is
most commonly seen in patients under thirty, but can be seen in older adults.

2.     Non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) or type 2 is caused by a defect in insulin manufacture and release from the beta cell or insulin resistance in the peripheral tissues. Approximately ninety percent of diabetic patients have NIDDM. Genetics play a big role in the etiology of NIDDM and is often associated with obesity. Usually presentation is slow and often insidious with symptoms of fatigue, weight gain, poor wound healing, and recurrent infection. Primarily occurs in adults over thirty.

3.     Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is defined as carbohydrate intolerance, which occurs during pregnancy. Occurs in approximately three percent of pregnancies, and usually disappears after pregnancy. Women with GDM are at higher risk for having diabetes in the future. GDM is associated with increased risk of morbidity. Women should be screened for GDM between the 24th and the 28th weeks of gestation.

4.     Diabetic ketoacidosis is a serious...


... middle of paper ...


...ur to six hours to reach the bloodstream, but stays in the bloodstream for about thirty-six hours. It peaks about fourteen to twenty-four hours after injection.

Diabetes affects the entire body. It slowly deteriorates every one of the body’s organs. You can live a long and prosperous life as a well-controlled diabetic, but a short and miserable life if noncompliant.


Works Cited

Deakins, Dee A. Oral Hypoglycemics. Nursing 92; The World’s Largest Nursing Journal Nov. 1992: 34-39.

Doenges, Marilynn E. Nursing Care Plans; Guidelines for Planning Patient Care. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis Company, 1989.

Drass, Janice. Insulin Injections. Nursing 92; The World’s Largest Nursing Journal Nov. 1992:40-43.

Harkreader, Helen. Fundamentals of Nursing; Caring and Clinical Judgment. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company, 2000.

Husain, Rahat. The Diabetes Information Page. Undated.
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/5769/diabete.html.

Lewis, Sharon Mantik. Medical Surgical Nursing: Assessment and Management of Clinical Problems. St. Louis: Mosby, 2000.

McCance, Kathryn L. Pathophysiology; The Biologic Basis for Disease in Adults and Children. St. Louis: Mosby, 1994.


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