Do not miss diabetes: what you can do yourself
Among the causes of premature death, diabetes came in third after cardiovascular and oncological diseases. And this is official data, that is, registered cases. But many people simply do not suspect that they are sick. Diabetes is insidious and over the years can be lethargic and asymptomatic. But its destructive work is carried out every minute.
Our expert Inna Evgenievna Ivanova, the main children's endocrinologist of the Ministry of Health of the Moscow Region, talks about the danger of diabetes and how to recognize it.
How and why diabetes develops
Diabetes mellitus is a disease caused by metabolic disorders in the body. Both of its forms are characterized by an increase in blood glucose. This is due to the complete or partial inability of the pancreas to produce insulin, which is responsible for the absorption of sugar by the body, or with a decrease in the sensitivity of body tissues to insulin. The causes of diabetes are mixed.
1 type, which is also called insulin-dependent, occurs due to the destruction of pancreatic cells responsible for the production of insulin. This may be the “fault” of certain pancreatic diseases or viral infections. Type 1 diabetes is most often found in people of a younger age (up to 25-30 years).
2 type diabetes happens much more often and affects older people. The reason is a violation of the sensitivity of tissues to insulin, which causes the pancreas to produce an excess of it. More often, such an enhanced mode of operation of the gland leads to its depletion and the occurrence of a lack of insulin in the body.
Children at risk
According to the Scientific Center for Children's Health RAMS, the number of endocrine disorders in children over the past 15−20 years has increased significantly.
This is due, firstly, to the epidemic of our century - obesity. Secondly, with an increased number of cases of diabetes, both insulin-dependent - type 1 diabetes, and type 2 diabetes, which was formerly called elderly diabetes: it is much younger and now it has become increasingly common in children. If a baby is born weighing more than 4 kg, this is also a high risk of developing diabetes.
- Heredity. The cause of type 1 diabetes mellitus is a special genetic predisposition, which, when exposed to external factors (for example, viruses), leads to a change in the state of the body's immune system and, subsequently, to the development of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is characterized by a high prevalence among relatives,
- Obesity. About 90% of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight.
- Diseases. It can be endocrine diseases, inflammation of the pancreas - pancreatitis, as well as some viral infections and even flu. Particularly dangerous infections for people predisposed to diabetes: obese and weighed down by heredity. They should also avoid physical and emotional stress.
- Age. It is believed that with every ten years, the likelihood of illness is doubled. But with age, heredity ceases to be a decisive factor.
Symptoms of diabetes can be varied, something may be a manifestation of another disease and condition. But it is better to take tests and check yourself if you observe one or more of these symptoms:
- Constant thirst
- Dry mouth
- Frequent urination
- Dry skin and, as a result, itching
- Weakness and fatigue
- Slow wound healing
- Increased appetite and marked increase or decrease in weight
What you can do yourself
If you are at risk for diabetes, you can measure your sugar level (and important!) Regularly, at home, using special devices - glucometers. For measurement, you need a small drop of blood, which is very easy to get with a pen for piercing - the device in shape and principle of operation resembles a fountain pen. The test strip itself draws blood, and soon the result appears on the screen of the meter.
In pharmacies, you can find glucometers without buttons and menus, there are even models that use a sound signal to indicate if the sugar level is dangerously high or dangerously low. This feature greatly facilitates the process of measuring sugar levels for people with visual impairments, and also allows you not to rely on memory.
The frequency with which it is necessary to check the blood sugar level is determined by the attending physician.
Even if you are healthy, it is recommended that you check your sugar level once every six months to a year. Indeed, in the initial stages, diabetes is very rare. And only a blood test can report the presence of changes in the body.
A varied and balanced diet is useful to everyone, without exception, but for people at risk, with a hereditary tendency to develop diabetes and even more so already sick, the issue of nutrition in diabetes is, without exaggeration, a matter of life and death!
The main goals of the diabetes diet are to eat in such a way as to maintain normal blood sugar levels. And achieve weight loss. Even the loss of 4-5 kilograms due to the transition to a healthier diet and increased intensity of physical activity can give a tangible positive result.
As for sweets, it also does not need to be completely excluded from the diet. It is important to remember: your enemies are “fast” carbohydrates (sugar and confectionery). And friendly carbohydrates are “slow”: cereals, fruits and vegetables, which have a low glycemic index. They break down for a long time in the body, maintaining normal blood sugar levels. You can afford diabetic “sweets” from time to time - they usually contain fructose, sorbitol and other sugar substitutes. Of course, any changes in the diet should be discussed with your doctor.
What you should pay attention to?
As a rule, most people with diabetes have dry, irritated skin, especially the skin of their legs. The main reason is caused by circulatory disorders and vascular damage.
The skin becomes thinned, easily vulnerable. Any scratch heals for a long time, it is easily infected, since a high sugar content in the blood provokes the rapid growth of bacteria, especially in places of damage. And the defeat of nerve endings leads to the fact that a person may not feel these injuries. Unfortunately, sometimes even very small cuts (for example, with manicure or pedicure) can cause an inflammatory process.
Therefore, it is very important for patients with diabetes to regularly and carefully examine the condition of the skin (especially on the legs and feet). If any damage occurs, especially those that do not heal for a long time, you should definitely consult a doctor - a dermatologist and an endocrinologist.
Frequent skin damage in diabetes
- Fingertips. When you measure blood sugar, you often pierce them, especially the fingertips. Try to pierce your fingers from the side, changing them. If the skin of your fingers becomes inflamed, you should check to see if the needle pierces your finger too deep. If your hands and fingers are dry and peeling, moisturizing procedures and creams will help.
- Allergy to insulin is very rare. If it seems to you that a certain type of insulin causes an allergic reaction in you, then this is more likely due to the additives used by manufacturers than by insulin itself. Therefore, it is best to change the type of insulin, after consulting with your doctor.
- Legs. High blood sugar disturbs the blood circulation in the legs and feet. As a result, inflammation and wounds heal for a long time. Your legs need careful care, since even a small limb injury in diabetes can lead to suppuration.
- Check your feet daily for inflammation, redness, blisters
- If the skin of your feet has become dry and you are using a cream, do not rub it between your fingers, as high humidity can also lead to infection. Remember that with diabetes you need to monitor the skin of the legs no less carefully than to control the level of glucose!
It is important to regularly measure the level of glucose in the blood, that is, do a blood sugar test. A traditional analysis is performed on an empty stomach, 8 hours after the last meal.
- Normally, the sugar content is 3.5-5.5 mmol per 1 liter of blood.
- If the glucose level is more than 7.0 mmol / L, the diagnosis of diabetes is unconditionally made.
- If sugar is more than 5.6, but less than 7.0, a control test is prescribed after 3-6 months. In addition, in order to make a more accurate diagnosis, it is recommended to measure the level of glycated hemoglobin, such an analysis is carried out regardless of food.
This analysis allows you to determine the average level of glycemia (blood glucose) over the past 3 months. This is extremely important not only for making an accurate diagnosis, but also during the treatment process - this way you can find out how effectively your treatment is prescribed or if correction is required.
Doctors should be wary of the following blood test results: NATOSCHAC - more than 6.1 mmol / l AFTER FOOD - more than 11.1 mmol / l