Diabetes mellitus: How to prevent secondary diseasesReceive our newsletter regularly and free of charge with useful health recommendations.
The diagnosis of diabetes is a shock for many patients. What does the disease mean for everyday life? How you can avoid long-term damage? In this article you will learn how to prevent secondary diseases and what helps you if the diabetes has already caused damage.
The German Health Report on Diabetes recorded more than 6 million diabetics in Germany in 2017. The number of patients is rising steadily, not only in Germany but also in emerging countries such as India and China. Experts believe that the cause is a Increasingly high-sugar and high-calorie diet.
We explain what diabetes mellitus is all about and how you can manage the disease in everyday life.
What is diabetes? Difference between type 1 and type 2
Diabetes, also called Diabetes mellitus or Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disease that results in permanently elevated blood sugar (hyperglycemia).
In healthy people, the fasting blood glucose level after eight hours without food is between 65 and 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl). If the fasting blood glucose level is above 126 mg/dl, the disease is probably diabetes.
Diabetes mellitus is usually divided into its two main forms: Type 1 and type 2. In addition, there is the rarer type 3 as well as gestational diabetes. Nowadays also the diagnosis of childhood diabetes.
Although there are different causes for the various forms of diabetes, they all have one thing in common: the patient's blood glucose level is abnormally elevated.
Diabetes type 1
Diabetes mellitus type 1 is the form of diabetes in which the insulin-producing cells are permanently destroyed by the body's own immune system. They are subsequently no longer able to take insulin sufficiently or. even no longer produce insulin. However, the hormone insulin plays the decisive role in the metabolism of sugar. Patients with type 1 diabetes must therefore supply themselves with insulin from now on.
Compared to diabetes type 2 (next section), type 1 occurs less frequently. In fact, only five percent of diabetes patients are affected by type 1. However, the number of people affected has been increasing for years. No cause has yet been found for this.
Diabetes type 2
The majority of all diabetics have type 2 diabetes, an estimated 95 percent of all sufferers. Colloquially, this disease is also referred to as "type 2 diabetesOld-age diabetes" called, and nowadays it is no longer just a problem for older people.
In type 2 diabetes, the body still produces insulin, but the body's cells react too insensitively to it – they become as insulin resistant referred to as. The effectiveness of insulin is therefore limited.
Many overweight people today suffer from type 2 diabetes even at a young age. Cause Additional need for insulin due to obesity and the resulting favored Insulin resistance.
The pancreas produces insulin, but the body's cells become increasingly insensitive to it. Metabolic syndrome, in which several metabolic diseases occur at the same time, can also cause insulin resistance and, as a result, type 2 diabetes.
One consequence of untreated diabetes can be that the pancreas eventually becomes exhausted due to the high stress and stops producing insulin completely.
Type 3 diabetes
There are other forms of diabetes mellitus that cannot be clearly classified as type 1 or type 2. They are grouped under diabetes type 3. There are various underlying causes, including damage to the pancreas (pancreopriver diabetes), genetic changes, hormonal causes or a previous viral infection.
Diagnosis of diabetes: how to keep sugar in check
For people with diabetes it is possible – and even necessary! -, by healthy and balanced diet As well as Regular exercise positively influence their blood glucose levels. In the case of type 1 diabetes, however, it is not possible to avoid using permanent insulin therapy.
Insulin therapy for diabetes mellitus by injection or pump
In order to keep their sugar levels stable, type 1 diabetics are dependent on insulin therapy, the so-called "insulin therapy" Intensified conventional insulin therapy (ICT). Most patients inject their insulin into the subcutaneous fatty tie with a pen: once or twice a day Long-term insulin as well as a rapid-acting insulin with meals or for short-term correction of the blood glucose level. At the beginning of treatment, they are taught how to do this in a diabetes training course.
Alternatively, there is also the option of Insulin pump, which is worn on the body. Insulin is automatically delivered to the subcutaneous fat tie via the small device, and the patient only has to change the catheter every two days.
In the case of type 2 diabetes, insulin is prescribed only when tablets are no longer sufficient and the insulin resistance of the body's cells already advanced is.
There are different therapy methods: Either a long-term insulin is injected only once a day or a fast-acting insulin is injected each time with meals. However, even in a type 2 diabetic, treatment can be increased to intensified conventional insulin therapy if the need for insulin is appropriately high.
Diet for diabetes: watching blood glucose levels!
With a healthy and balanced diet, you can also help keep your blood glucose levels within a normal range. Although a type 1 diabetic is permanently dependent on insulin therapy, the same applies in principle to all forms of diabetes: Diet has an enormous influence on blood glucose levels and the course of the disease.
Type 2 diabetics in particular can influence their disease to such an extent by adopting a healthy lifestyle that diabetes has hardly any effect on their day-to-day life.
Recommended varied, balanced and predominantly plant-based diet. In addition to plenty of fruit and Vegetables foods that consist of long-chain carbohydrates are especially suitable for diabetics. These do not cause the blood sugar to rise too quickly or too sharply, but provide the body with energy over a longer period of time.
These foods include, for example:
It is not advisable to completely avoid carbohydrates as a diabetic. The lack of glucose (important for the brain) is often compensated for by an excessive intake of fat, which in turn promotes diabetes.
It is important to reduce the Calculate carbohydrates from food and to be able to adjust the insulin dose accordingly. With a little practice, you can calculate your own food in everyday life.
Sports for diabetes
With sports and regular exercise you stimulate your metabolism and fat burning. Both have a positive effect on blood sugar, which is why you should seek Move your feet for at least half an hour every other day should visit.
Exercise can also be integrated into everyday life: Simply take the stairs instead of the elevator; go for a walk during your lunch break; get off the bus one stop earlier and walk the rest of the way.
In both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, regular exercise leads to improved insulin uptake by the body's cells. The blood glucose values can be better regulated and the basic need for insulin decreases.
Diabetes and its consequences: What damage can occur as a result of the disease?
Unfortunately, untreated or poorly treated diabetes can cause Long-term damage in the body. Besides an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, Too high blood glucose levels can cause lasting damage to the nerve cells in the body as well as the retina of the eyes.
At Nerve damage the sensation of pain decreases. This can result in diabetic patients putting the wrong strain on their feet because there is no feedback from the nerves when they walk. Prere sores and calluses may go unnoticed and can quickly develop into large wounds or ulcers. Therefore, it makes sense to use insoles for the shoes, which relieve you when walking and protect your feet.
This development is favored, that the immune system can be additionally impaired with diabetes. Wounds do not heal properly, but sometimes spread to the bones. In the worst case, only an amputation can prevent the infection from spreading further.
For diabetics, it is therefore not only important to control your blood glucose levels and keep them as much as possible in the healthy range between 90 and 120 mg/dl. A regular examination of the feet is also advisable. You can easily do this yourself at home with a hand mirror. checking your feet for small wounds or cracks. In addition, the reaction of the nerve cells should be checked once a year, for example by a Podiatrist.
What to do in case of consequential damages of diabetes? An orthosis can help
If, despite treatment of the diabetes, secondary diseases occur, prere Targeted therapy prevent worse. Chronic sores on the feet can be caused by, among other things effectively relieves the leg, an improvement of blood circulation and a Structured wound treatment be corrected. This is still possible even with wounds that have been present for years.
prerequisite is good cooperation between the treating specialists, including diabetologists, vascular surgeons and infectiologists. Orthopedic shoemakers and podiatrists also play an important role in the treatment of diabetic foot and its manifestations such as Charcot foot.
This can also lead to Orthosis contribute to relieve the damaged leg. Encloses the body part (in this case the foot or lower leg) and supports it with bandages and splints. Thus, the orthosis contributes to the Pain relief and facilitates the mobility.
It also stabilizes the leg and corrects possible incorrect weight bearing, so that movements can be performed safely. In the medical supply store you will find further advice on the subject of orthosis. Help with possible consequential damage caused by diabetes.
Conclusion on diabetes and possible consequential damage
Diabetes mellitus is a disease that has become increasingly common in recent years. The metabolic disease result in an abnormally elevated blood glucose level. It is distinguished into different forms of diabetes, most known type 1 and type 2.
Type 1 diabetes must in any case be Insulin therapy be treated, since the body no longer produces its own insulin. In a type 2 disease, the insulin sensitivity of the cells can already be improved with tablets and a healthy lifestyle to such an extent that additional insulin no longer needs to be injected.
Possible Consequential damages of diabetes, For example, nerve damage and, as a result, a diabetic foot, can be treated with targeted measures. This also includes deposits and Orthotics, as offered in the medical supply store. Here you will also find further information on the prevention and treatment of secondary diseases.
Do you have questions about the treatment of diabetic foot? Would you like more information about the orthosis?