Diabetes (or Diabetes Mellitus)in Men & Women

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Diabetes (also known as Diabetes Mellitus)

in Men & Women

Josef CHAI, Auslab Research & Compounding Chemist Australia

Diabetes is a condition where the body can't use glucose properly. Glucose provides energy for the body's cells. Normally glucose gets into body cells via the hormone insulin, which is is made in the pancreas. In diabetes, the body doesn't produce enough insulin or doesn't respond to it as well as they should. As a result, less glucose gets into cells while the amount of glucose in the blood rises. There are two main types of diabetes -- Type 1 or insulin- dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) and Type 2 or non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus(NIIDM). Healthy eating and regular exercise is essential in managing all types of diabetes. People with Type 1need insulin injections. People with Type 2 may need tablets and or insulin.

Hi, my name is Josef CHAI, am a registered pharmacist worked for Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and now doing research work on skin care, anti-aging, anti-cancer,am also consultant for Compounding Chemist Australia. I would like to share with you some pharmacy care information on diabetes and my personal counseling and recommendation for diabetic prevention & management. I hope this will be helpful in your understanding and self management of diabetec condition.

What causes Diabetes ?

Type 1 diabetes

* the body's immune system destroys insulin- producing cells in the pancreas

* the body stops making insulin so people with this form of diabetes need insulin injections

Type 2 diabetes

* cause is unkonwn, but in some people it appears to be related to being overweight and physically inactive.

* insulin is still produced but does'nt work properly

Effects of diabetes

Over time, diabetes can damage blood vessels and nerves if undiagnosed or not controlled. THis may affect:-

* eyesight

* feet

* heart and blood flow

* kidneys

* resistance to skin, kidney and otehr infections

Signs & symptoms

These may include:-

* passing more urine and more often

* increased thirst - drinking a lot of liquid

* tiredness- loss of energy

* unexplained weight loss

* more infections than usual, such as skin or bladder infections

* blurred or fuzzy vision

* wounds that heal slowly

People with Type 2 diabetes may have some or none of these symptoms.

Recognising symptoms early and keeping blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible (4 to 8mmol.L) will help lower the risk of adverse effects of diabetes. Good control of diabetes is essential for several months before and during pregnancy, for the health of the mother and baby.

Risk factors for diabetes

Around 400,000 Australians have Type 2 diabetes and don't know it. Take the tick test below to find out. If you tick one or more of the boxes then you are at risk of diabetes. See your doctor and asked to be testeted for diabetes again.

__ I am over 50 and have high blood pressure

__ I am over 50 and am overweight

__I am over 50 and moe or more members of my family has diabetes

__I am over 65

__I have heart disease or have had a heart attack

__I had a high blood sugar levels while I was pregnant (gestational diabetes)

__ I have had a borderline high blood sugar test

__ I have a polycystic ovary syndrome and am overweight

__ I am over 35 and am an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander

__ I am a Pacific Islander, from a chinese cultural background or from the Indian sub-continent.


Managing Diabetes

The aim for all people with diabetes is good control of blood glucose levels. A management plan is worked out between you, your doctor, diabetes educator, dietitian and pharmacist.

* The plan will help you keep a balance between your diet, exercise and diabetes medicines (insulin and or tablets)

* Most peopel monitor their blood glucose levels, although some people use urine tests.

* Some medicines can affect control of blood glucose. Always check with your doctor and pharmacist before taking anything new.

Self care

* Learn all you can about diabetes and how to manage it.

* Monitor blood blucose levels regularly

* Follow your diet and medicine plan.

* Eat regularly, healthy meals and don;t skip them. Resist food high in fat or sugar.

*Cook receipes that are special catered for diabetes, which will reduce your sugar input yet allow you to enjoy your food.

* Control your weight

* Exercise regularly

* Only drink alcohol in moderation

* Have your blood pressure checked at each doctor's visit

* Have your long term blood glucose test, kidney, cholesterol and liver tests done regularly. Ask your doctor or pharmacist

* If you are an insulin or certain diabetes tablets, carry some jelly beans in case of hypoglycaemia

* Take special care of your feet-- see your doctor or podiatrist. Wear shoes that fit well

* Have an eye examination when first diagnosed with diabetes and every 2 years.

* If you smoke, quit

* Join diabetes Australia.


You may experience hypoglycaemia if you are on insulin or take certain types of diabetes tablets. Hypoglycaemia is said to occur when the blood glucose level falls low enough to cause signs and symtoms, usually around 3.5mmol/L

Hypo symptoms and signs are :-

* sweating

* headache

* confusion

* hunger

* tingling around the mouth

* weakness or dizziness

* unusual behaviour

* low blood glucose result

If your blood glucose is low you need to

* take a ready source of blucose eg 7 jelly beans or 30mL sweet cordial in water

* eat fruit or sandwishes after the glucose

* check your blood glucose levels.

If some one with diabetes is unconcious don't give them anything by mouth. Turn them on their side and follow first aid procedures. Get medical help

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