Diabetes mellitus: a chronic disease. How to return a full life?

Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease that occurs in people of different ages for many reasons. The very fact of establishing a diagnosis indicates that the patient will have to radically change his lifestyle. This is necessary because the treatment of diabetes is based not only on the regular intake of medicines, but also on a certain diet and physical activity.  

Life with type 1 diabetes

The treatment of type 1 diabetes mellitus does not lead to a complete cure: a medicine has not yet been invented that would restore the synthesis of insulin in the islets of the Langerhans of the pancreas. All that medicine currently offers is the artificial administration of short-acting insulin in certain doses in response to a carbohydrate load that occurs when eating. To simulate basal secretion of insulin (background production, regardless of food intake), long-acting drugs are used. Thus, chronic type 1 diabetes is compensated by drugs.  

A few decades ago, the life of a patient with type 1 diabetes was completely subordinate to the disease. The drugs were not as effective as modern ones. Injections had to be made with ordinary syringes, which caused inconvenience. Portable glucometers with test strips for domestic use were inaccessible, which means that it was not possible to control glycemia daily and qualitatively. With the development of medicine, the quality of life of type 1 diabetics has changed. Effective insulins have appeared, which are available in special syringe pens that provide accurate dosage and convenient administration of the drug. The glucometer market is developing: modern devices do not even require constant replacement of test strips – a special cassette of strips is charged once for a long time.  

Finally, special devices appeared – insulin pumps, which allow you to automatically enter the desired dose of short-acting insulin through special cannulas, depending on the level of glucose in the blood. The advantages of the device are obvious – the patient does not need to make many injections and constantly monitor the level of blood glucose. The device does it for him. An insulin pump allows you to abandon drugs of prolonged action, which the patient without a pump usually injects at night. The device allows you to constantly check the glucose level and add short-acting insulin, regardless of the time of day and whether the patient is awake or asleep. This eliminates the urgent problem of uneven absorption of “long” insulin.

Type 2 diabetes and lifestyle

Type 2 diabetes is fundamentally different from the first in that with it, the body retains the ability to produce its own insulin, but loses sensitivity to it.

Symptoms of diabetes mellitus of the second type, unlike the first, are expressed implicitly and develop for a long time. The diagnosis is established either by chance during a routine examination, or when complications of an existing disease begin to make themselves felt. It must be remembered that this diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease, the compensation of which completely depends on the patient’s actions. Unlike diabetes of the first type, where the patient cannot do without constant injections of insulin, the second type of the disease, following a diet, physical activity and the use of medications (if indicated), can completely compensate for the disease. 

So, if you are diagnosed with any type of diabetes mellitus – do not take this as a sentence. Modern medicine allows you to maintain the quality and life expectancy of patients at the same level as in healthy people.

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