Diabetes Mellitus (DM), Type 2:
DM is a chronic illness characterized by insulin receptor insensitivity. In a healthy individual, the pancreas secretes insulin when blood sugar levels increase, as when we eat a meal. However, in a person with DM, the pancreas continues to secrete insulin until it is "burned out" and insulin can no longer engulf the blood sugar. Eventually, the ciruclating blood is filled with an excess amount of sugar and unable to carry the nutrients and oxygen needed for healing and revitalizing the tissue.
When blood sugar levels exceed the normal limit (70-110 being normal), the blood is "thicker" because it contains more sugar, making it harder for the blood to reach the kidneys, liver, bowel, legs and feet. Another consequence of high blood sugar is narrowing of vessels, which results in small vessel damage to the eyes, kidneys and feet. Therefore, it is extremely important for the diabetic patient to get annual eye exams by an opthamologist and to check his/her feet on a daily basis for any cuts or abrasions.
Various treatment methods are used. There are oral agents and insulin which can be used to control blood sugar levels. Ultimately, losing weight is the goal in a diabetic patient because the loss of fat allows insulin to work more efficiently and effectively.
Hemoglobin A1C, Blood sugar levels, kidney function (blood and urine)--Usually monitored every 3-6 months