Senin, 02 Februari 2009

Handling the Physical and Emotional

Consequences of Type 1 Diabetes

What makes diabetes a difficult disease are the physical complications associated with poor control of the blood glucose. These complications are generallydivided into short-term complications and long-term complications.

• Short-term complications, which I cover in Chapter 4, are the result of a blood glucose that’s either very low or very high. Low blood glucose(called hypoglycemia) can occur in minutes as a result of too much insulin,too much exercise, or too little food, but high blood glucose often takes several hours to develop. Whereas low blood glucose often can be managed at home, severe high blood glucose (called diabetic ketoacidosis) is an emergency that’s managed by a doctor in the hospital. Nevertheless,it’s important that you understand how it develops in order to prevent it.Chapter 4 describes the signs and symptoms associated with both ofthese complications and the best ways of handling them.

• Long-term complications,which I cover in Chapter 5, can be devastating. It’s much better to prevent them with very careful diabetes management than to try to treat them after they develop. Fortunately, they take 15 or more years to fully develop, and there’s time to slow them down if not reverse them if you’re aware of them. All long-term complications can be detected in the very earliest stages.The long-term complications consist of eye disease known as retinopathy,kidney disease known as nephropathy, and nerve disease known as neuropathy. Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness; new cases of kidney failure requiring dialysis, which cleanses the blood of toxins when the kidneys can no longer do their job; and loss of sensation in the feet as well as other consequences of nerve damage

Not only does T1DM have short- and long-term physical consequences, but
as an autoimmune disease, T1DM also is associated with other autoimmune
diseases such as celiac disease, an inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract;
thyroid disease; and skin diseases. Chapter 5 explains the importance of
checking for those diseases and correcting them, if present.

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