Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 In Adults
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Diabetes mellitus type 2 is a disease that affects how your body uses glucose (sugar). Insulin helps move sugar out of the blood so it can be used for energy. Type 2 diabetes develops because either your body cannot make enough insulin, or it cannot use the insulin correctly.
You may need any of the following:
- Hypoglycemic medicine: This medicine may be given to decrease the amount of sugar in your blood. Hypoglycemic medicine helps your body move the sugar to your cells, where it is needed for energy.
- Insulin: You may need to take insulin if your diabetes cannot be controlled with nutrition, exercise, or other diabetes medicine. Insulin can be injected or given through an insulin pump. Ask your primary healthcare provider which method is best for you. You or a family member will be taught how to give insulin injections if this is the best method for you. Your family member can give you the injections if you are not able. Take your insulin as directed. Too much insulin may cause your blood sugar level to go too low.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your primary healthcare provider or diabetes specialist as directed:
You will need yearly eye exams to check for retinopathy and yearly urine tests to check for kidney problems. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Check your blood sugar level as directed:
You will be taught how to use a glucose monitor. You will need to check your blood sugar level at least 3 times each day if you are on insulin. Ask your primary healthcare provider when and how often to check during the day. Ask what your blood sugar levels should be before and after you eat. Write down your results, and show them to your primary healthcare provider. He may use the results to make changes to your medicine, food, or exercise schedules.
Medical alert identification:
Wear medical alert jewelry or carry a card that says you have diabetes. Ask your primary healthcare provider where to get these items.
High blood sugar levels can damage nerves and blood vessels. You may lose feeling in your feet because of nerve damage. Check your feet every day for sores. Wear shoes and socks that fit correctly. Trim your toenails straight across to prevent ingrown toenails. Do not cut your nails into the corners or close to the skin. Do not dig under or around the nail. Ask your primary healthcare provider for more information about foot care.
Ask your primary healthcare provider if you need to lose weight, and how much to lose. Ask him to help you create a weight loss program. Even a 10 to 15 pound weight loss can help you manage your blood sugar level.
Your dietitian will help you create a meal plan to keep your blood sugar level steady.
Exercise can help keep your blood sugar level steady, decrease your risk of heart disease, and help you lose weight. Exercise for at least 30 minutes, 5 days a week. Include muscle strengthening activities 2 days each week. Work with your primary healthcare provider to create an exercise plan. If your blood sugar level is less than 100 mg/dL, have a carbohydrate snack before exercise. Examples are 4 to 6 crackers, ½ banana, 8 ounces (1 cup) of milk, or 4 ounces (½ cup) of juice.
If you smoke, it is never too late to quit. Smoking can worsen the problems that may occur with diabetes. Ask your primary healthcare provider for more information about how to stop smoking if you are having trouble quitting.
Alcohol affects your blood sugar levels. Women should limit alcohol to 1 drink a day. Men should limit alcohol to 2 drinks a day. A drink of alcohol is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1½ ounces of liquor.
Contact your primary healthcare provider if:
- You are vomiting or have diarrhea.
- You have an upset stomach and cannot eat the foods on your meal plan.
- You feel weak or more tired than usual.
- Your skin is red, warm, dry, or swollen.
- You have a wound that does not heal.
- You feel dizzy, have headaches, or are easily irritated.
- You have numbness in your arms or legs.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You have severe abdominal pain, or the pain spreads to your back. You may also be vomiting.
- You are having trouble staying awake or focusing.
- You are shaking or sweating.
- You have blurred or double vision.
- Your breath has a fruity, sweet smell.
- Your breathing is deep and labored, or rapid and shallow.
- Your heartbeat is fast and weak.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.