How Does Diabetes Lead To Amputation
Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to poor blood flow . Without oxygen and nutrients , you are more prone to the development of cuts and sores that can lead to infections that cant fully heal. Areas of your body that are farthest away from your heart are more likely to experience the effects of poor blood flow. So areas of your body like your toes, feet, legs and fingers are more likely to be amputated if infection develops and healing is poor.
Diagnosing Diabetes Based On Symptoms
If your doctor suspects pre-diabetes or diabetes based on your symptoms, that alone is not enough to diagnose diabetes. The symptoms of diabetes are increased thirst, fatigue, frequent urination, wounds that wont heal, and excessive hunger. A fasting blood sugar over 126 mm/dl may be considered diabetes, but one isnt enough. You need to show the doctor a trend of high blood sugars over a period of time, in addition to symptoms.
Explanation: If your doctor thinks you may have diabetes, ask for a monitor and test strips for home. Keep a log of blood sugar levels over a month to see if they are really high all the time. You can also ask for a Hemoglobin A1C test that can show an average of blood sugars over the last three months.
I lost my cousin two years ago to this disease. The doctors that took care of him did all they could. Diabetes and high blood sugar can wreak havoc on the body. This is why being an advocate in your care is important. Working with your doctor will help improve your response to treatment and help you live a long and healthy life!
TheDiabetesCouncil Article | Reviewed by Dr. Jerry Ramos MD on June 4, 2020
Type 1/type 2 Diabetes Confusion
This can happen either early on in your diagnosis of diabetes or if you switch medical providers. Even if you are admitted to the hospital, there may be changes in your records or care for the wrong type.
Explanation: My cousin was first diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes as his pancreas were still working some. His first doctor realized that he did in fact have Type 1 diabetes and noted that in his chart. When he moved, he handed over his records to his new doctor. The new doctor only looked at the first few pages of his chart and presumed he had Type 2 diabetes and changed his treatment. This led to an admission to the hospital to correct severely high blood sugar. What my cousin should have done was read his own records to check for errors!
If you want to learn more about diabetes read the following articles:
Don’t Miss: What To Give A Diabetic When Blood Sugar Is Low
What Happens During A Dilated Eye Exam
The doctor will give you eye drops to dilate, or open, your pupils This provides a better view of the back of your eye. The eye doctor examines your eye through a special magnifying glass and uses a bright light to examine the:
- Optic nerve
- Blood vessels in and around the retina
- Back of the eye
Your doctor might also use a special camera to capture an image of areas that he or she would like to examine further. The doctor will then go over the results of the exam or tell you if further tests need to be performed.
Your pupil will remain open for four to six hours following the exam, according to WebMD. During that time, your pupils wont be able to protect your eyes from sunlight, so if youre outside following dilation, keep sunglasses handy to protect your eyes.
What Do Endocrinologists Do
They cover a lot of ground, diagnosing and treating conditions that affect your:
- Adrenals, glands that sit on top of your kidneys and help to control things like your blood pressure, metabolism, stress response, and sex hormones
- Bone metabolism, like osteoporosis
- Hypothalamus, the part of your brain that controls body temperature, hunger, and thirst
- Pancreas, which makes insulin and other substances for digestion
- Parathyroids, small glands in your neck that control the calcium in your blood
- Pituitary, a pea-sized gland at the base of your brain that keeps your hormones balanced
- Reproductive glands : ovaries in women, testes in men
- Thyroid, a butterfly-shaped gland in your neck that controls your metabolism, energy, and brain growth and development
Also Check: What Is A Good Diet For Type 2 Diabetes
What Are The Complications Of Diabetes
If your blood glucose level remains high over a long period of time, your bodys tissues and organs can be seriously damaged. Some complications can be life-threatening over time.
- Dental problems.
Complications of gestational diabetes:
In the mother:Preeclampsia , risk of gestational diabetes during future pregnancies and risk of diabetes later in life.
In the newborn: Higher-than-normal birth weight, low blood sugar , higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes over time and death shortly after birth.
How To Create A Sick Day Plan
When you’re feeling ill, you’d like nothing more than to lie in bed with a good book or a bad movie. Yet that’s when you need to focus even more on diabetes self-care.
The key to sick days with diabetes is doing all of the thinking ahead of time. That way, when you don’t feel like concentrating, you can simply follow the plan.
Involve your diabetes care team in developing your sick day planask them when you should call for help, how often you should check your blood glucose and ketones, what medicines to take and what to eat.
Read Also: Is Glaucoma Related To Diabetes
Podiatrist To Treat Foot
This practitioner specializes in problems in the lower legs and feet, and will help you watch for and care for any complications in your lower extremities. Complications from diabetes account for more than 100,000 lower limb amputations each year, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association. Seeing a podiatrist to monitor and treat any foot problems decreases the risk of amputation by as much as 85 percent, the organization says. Bonus: There are podiatrists who also have the CDCES credential, says Bereolos.
What To Do At The First Sign Of Illness
Understanding how illness might affect your blood glucose can help you take the right steps to care for yourself. For example:4
- If you use insulin, don’t stop taking it. Even if you are having trouble eating, you will likely need extra insulin to combat the hormones that often cause high blood glucose during illness. Follow your healthcare provider’s recommendations.
- Monitor blood glucose levels and urine ketones frequently every four hours or so if you have type 1 diabetes.
- Stay hydrated. Drink calorie-free, caffeine-free, clear liquids.
- Make sure you eat according to your regular meal plan. Keep easy-to-eat, fast-acting carbohydrates available. They can be useful in treating a low, as well as substituting for a meal. If you feel nauseated or are vomiting, try a sports drink, juice, regular soda or even frozen fruit bars to get the carbs you need.
- Talk to your diabetes care provider about any medications you take, or any unexpected blood glucose results you experience while taking them. Some cold medicines, antibiotics and other prescription and over-the-counter drugs are known to affect blood glucose levels.
The key to successfully navigating an illness is preparation. By creating your sick day plan and kit before you experience the first signs of illness, you’ll be ready to attack a virus head-on.
Sign up for Accu-Chek news and offers
Get emails sent directly to your inbox with the latest updates and deals on Accu-Chek products.
Who Gets Diabetes What Are The Risk Factors
Factors that increase your risk differ depending on the type of diabetes you ultimately develop.
Risk factors for Type 1 diabetes include:
- Having a family history of Type 1 diabetes.
- Injury to the pancreas .
- Presence of autoantibodies .
- Physical stress .
- Exposure to illnesses caused by viruses.
Risk factors for prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes include:
- Family history of prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes.
- Being African-American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian-American race or Pacific Islander.
- Being overweight.
Risk factors for gestational diabetes include:
- Family history of prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes.
- Being African-American, Hispanic, Native American or Asian-American.
- Being overweight before your pregnancy.
- Being over 25 years of age.
What Is Diabetic Ketoacidosis
Diabetic ketoacidosis is a life-threatening condition. It happens when your liver breaks down fat to use as energy because theres not enough insulin and therefore glucose isnt being used as an energy source. Fat is broken down by the liver into a fuel called ketones. The formation and use of ketones is a normal process if it has been a long time since your last meal and your body needs fuel. Ketones are a problem when your fat is broken down too fast for your body to process and they build up in your blood. This makes your blood acidic, which is a condition called ketoacidosis. Diabetic ketoacidosis can be the result of uncontrolled Type 1 diabetes and less commonly, Type 2 diabetes.Diabetic ketoacidosis is diagnosed by the presence of ketones in your urine or blood and a basic metabolic panel. The condition develops over several hours and can cause coma and possibly even death.
Read Also: Freestyle Libre With Insulin Pump
See An Eye Doctor For Vision Struggles With Diabetes
Vision problems are common among patients with diabetes. High blood sugar can cause glaucoma, cataracts, blurry vision, and a number of other symptoms. Getting your diabetes under control may reduce these risks, but youll need routine eye exams to treat the symptoms.
Your ophthalmologist can monitor your optical health closely to stay on top of future problems. You may have symptoms you have not noticed yet because theyre in the early stages. Thats great! We can treat them now to prevent larger issues moving forward.
Mistakes Doctors Are Making With Diabetes
A few years back I was caring for my cousin who suffered from diabetes. During this time, I learned a lot about mistakes doctors are making with diabetes. Now, this isnt to put down doctors in any way. Doctors are people too. My cousin wasnt very good at talking to his doctor and this contributed to medical error as well.
My cousin was diagnosed in his twenties with Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes. The period of time in the 20s is a gray area between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. It can still be one or the other. It was pretty obvious it was Type 1 since there was a strong family history and we are Native American as you probably know already, Native Americans are at a greater risk for developing diabetes. We knew his diagnosis was correct, plus he needed insulin.
He had a very good physician who had been treating our entire family for endocrine disease for many years. Then, my cousin moved away and got a new job. He did the normal thing anyone would do when moving he ordered his records and found a new physician.
This led to a whole slew of miscommunications and treatment changes that led to my cousin going downhill. Here are a few things that could go wrong with your diabetes treatment:
Also Check: Is Type 2 Diabetes Serious
Leveraging The Power Of A Computers Brain
The next big leap is the incorporation of artificial intelligence into the system. And while artificial intelligence may sound like science fiction, it is in fact a simple concept in which the power of computers can be used to perform a greater number of tasks than humans can do.
This is one area where we are beginning to see a lot of attention, says Dr. Netan Choudhry, a retinal specialist medical director of Vitreous Retina and Macula Specialists in Toronto. Whats been missing is being able to more accurately see into the future and predict the disease progression and the potential impact on ones sight. Now we can take hundreds of thousands of retinal pictures and teach the software to interpret the results.
Through human design, computer software can be trained to look at the noticeable features of diabetic retinopathy, so that it cannot only detect the disease, but also tell doctors at what stage its at, and help identify the best course of treatment for each patient.
This doesnt replace the role of a physician, but it is a paradigm shift in how weve been approaching the disease, because we will be able to classify each persons condition. This will lead to more personalized treatment, based on the trajectory of the disease. To say this is very important is an understatement, Choudhry adds. Diabetes is the most paralyzing disease, and by actively screening patients, we can prevent blindness and allow people to live happy and functional lives.
Online Diabetes Doctor And Sugarmds App
In the early 2000s, people started coming to the internet as their first source of information. Today, online diabetic health advice has become the second-most popular topic in search engines, as telemedicine and telehealth rise in popularity. Many patients have turned to online diabetes doctors to receive online consultations and get prescription drugs. Technology such as SugarMDs app and physician services such as SugarMDs, are tools that benefit both the diabetes doctor and the patient. Board-certified online diabetes doctors can help you with cost savings, convenience, accessibility, and improved privacy and communication. Here is how SugarMDs can help.
Recommended Reading: How Much Is Insulin Out Of Pocket
My Doctor Treated Me Like A Child
Virginia found her endocrinologist was a better listener than her family physician.
It may take some searching to find a physician whos diabetes-savvy and has a personal style that works for you. Although family physicians or internists treat most people with type 2 diabetes, you may end up preferring to see a diabetes specialist, known as an endocrinologist.
In general, Virginia Shreve, a 51-year-old school social worker in Lynchburg, Va., likes her family physician. However, he was less than sympathetic when she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
He yelled at me like a child
Another physician had diagnosed Shreve with type 2 diabetes after she went to a walk-in urgent-care clinic for back pain. At the time she was given the blood-sugar-lowering drug metformin.
When she finally got in to see her family physician a few weeks later, she told him the drug was causing stomach problems , and asked for a new one.
“He literally raised his voice and yelled at me like I was a child. He told me ‘Yes, we could change this metformin, but you can quickly run through all the oral medications for diabetes, then youre not going to be left with any choice but insulin,'” she says.
He told her that her pancreas was “dying” and that they needed to “try to keep it alive” as long as they could. He told her to “just walk five miles a day and you’ll fix this.”
Doctors can get frustrated with type 2 diabetes, too
Shreve now sees an endocrinologist for her diabetes management.
What Is Hyperglycemic Hyperosmolar Nonketotic Syndrome
Hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic syndrome develops more slowly than diabetic ketoacidosis. It occurs in patients with Type 2 diabetes, especially the elderly and usually occurs when patients are ill or stressed.If you have HHNS, you blood glucose level is typically greater than 600 mg/dL. Symptoms include frequent urination, drowsiness, lack of energy and dehydration. HHNS is not associated with ketones in the blood. It can cause coma or death. Youll need to be treated in the hospital.
Read Also: Physical Symptoms Of Diabetes Type 2
Appointments With Your Diabetes Doctor
Your endocrinologist will ask you about how you feel, what you’re doing to manage your diabetes, and any trouble you’re having.
Take your blood glucose journal or logs with you, and let your endocrinologist know what’s been going on with you. What’s changed since the last time you saw them?
- Working out more or less
- Been sick lately
- Started taking any medicines, vitamins, or supplements
If you take insulin, you should probably see your diabetes doctor every 3 or 4 months. Otherwise, you can go a little longer between visits, every 4 to 6 months. You may have to go more often when your diabetes isn’t under control, you have complications, or you have new symptoms or they get worse.
How Is Diabetes Treated
Diabetes can be treated in several ways. Diet, physical activity, and careful monitoring are important if you have diabetes, no matter which type of diabetes you have.
If you have type 1 diabetes, you will need to take insulin for the rest of your life. Thats because your pancreas doesnt produce the insulin your body needs.
If you have type 2 diabetes, it may be possible to control your diabetes with lifestyle changes, such as diet, weight loss, and exercise. You may also need to take oral or injectable medications, including insulin or metformin, to manage your blood sugar levels.
If you have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, youll need to carefully track your diet to prevent your blood sugar levels from getting too high. This generally means watching your carbohydrate intake as well as limiting over-processed, low fiber foods, such as:
- sugary sodas
- fruit-flavored yogurt
- flavored coffee drinks
Your doctor will work closely with you to develop a treatment plan to help you control your blood sugar levels.
Don’t Miss: Diabetes Pins And Needles Treatment