Diabetes Mellitus: Diagnosis and Management

Type 1 Diabetes

There are two types of diabetes, namely, type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition that occurs when antibodies start attacking the pancreas (Leslie & Grant, 2018). This condition often begins in childhood. It is mainly caused by genetic predisposition and faulty beta cells that are responsible for the production of insulin. Diagnosis of this condition is quite complex because it happens suddenly and unexpectedly. Type 1 diabetes is diagnosed through symptoms and blood tests. Samples are taken randomly without considering when the last meal was taken. A blood sample with 200 milligrams per deciliter or higher indicates a type I diabetes diagnosis (Living with diabetes, 2019).

Some of the notable symptoms of type 1 diabetes include persistent thirst, frequent urination, blurred vision, fatigue, and unexplained weight loss among others (Leslie & Grant, 2018). Type 1 diabetes patients need to apply a treatment plan recommended by a physician to avoid developing complications such as gum disease, depression, heart attack, diabetic neuropathy, and diabetic retinopathy among others (Living with diabetes, 2019). Effective management of type 1diabetes requires one to make certain lifestyle adjustments such as careful planning of meals, daily physical exercise, and frequent testing of blood sugar levels (Leslie & Grant, 2018).

Type 1 diabetes requires lifelong treatment that involves taking insulin, which is often injected through the skin (Living with diabetes, 2019). Although this condition is not preventable, its prognosis about the life expectancy of patients is often good with the average age being 66 years in men and 68 in women (VanMeter & Hubert, 2014). However, this is dependent on the ability to keep blood sugar levels within a healthy range.

Type 2 Diabetes

This type of diabetes is characterized by a situation where the body produces insulin but cannot use it in an effective manner (Living with diabetes, 2019). Since the insulin produced by the pancreas cannot deal with the high level of resistance, the effect is high levels of sugar in the blood. Although the exact cause of this condition is not known, a combination of both genetic and environmental factors is often involved (Living with diabetes, 2019). Some of the notable elements that can predispose someone to type 2 diabetes include high blood pressure, smoking, poor nutrition, lack of physical activity, history of gestational diabetes, and obesity among others (VanMeter & Hubert, 2014).

Some of the notable symptoms of type 2 diabetes include extreme hunger, frequent urination, excessive thirst, rapid breathing, fatigue, blurred vision, itchy skin, headache, high blood pressure, mood swings, irritability, slow healing of bruises, and unexplained weight loss among others (VanMeter & Hubert, 2014). Healthcare experts argue that these symptoms are not usually recognizable in everyone with type 2 diabetes.

According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), diagnosis of type 2 diabetes involves screening of people aged forty-five years and above at an interval of three years (Living with diabetes, 2019). In addition, it advises that adults of any age should be tested, especially if they are overweight. Diagnosis involves different types of tests that include a fasting plasma glucose test, oral glucose tolerance test, and random plasma glucose test among others (Living with diabetes, 2019). The prognosis of type 2 diabetes varies from one patient to another depending on one’s ability to reduce their vulnerability to suffering complications. On average, this condition reduces the life expectancy of a patient by up to ten years (VanMeter & Hubert, 2014).

Treatment Options and Their Effects on Body Weight and Blood Sugar

Treatment of type 2 diabetes involves a commitment to a good nutritional program and regular physical activity. On good nutrition, one should carefully monitor the amount of carbohydrate intake. However, the two treatment options fail to work on some patients who have to rely on medications and insulin injections to keep their blood sugar levels within a healthy range (Baynes, 2015). Tracking the progress of a treatment plan for a patient is done through regular blood sugar testing.

Treatment options available for patients suffering from this condition can help someone to lose weight and improve glucose tolerance (Baynes, 2015). For example, Victoza is one of such medications that help someone to lose weight. The reason for this is the fact that the drug contains elements that imitate hormones in the gut, the part of the alimentary canal between the stomach and the anus. The mimicking leads to decreased appetite (VanMeter & Hubert, 2014). In turn, this helps in controlling the blood sugar levels because someone eats very little food.

Rising Cases of Type 2 Diabetes

Cases of type 2 diabetes have been on the rise in the United States. Over 90% of diabetes cases in the country involve people suffering from type 2 (Living with diabetes, 2019). A diabetes report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicated that the number of people who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in the country has been rising over the years (Living with diabetes, 2019). In 2015, the number of Americans that had been diagnosed with the condition was around 9.4% of the population (Living with diabetes, 2019).

This phenomenon has been necessitated by an aging population, which is a predisposing factor for the risk of developing diabetes (Living with diabetes, 2019). In addition, poor lifestyle and dietary choices have also contributed a lot to the rising number of people suffering from type 2 diabetes (Living with diabetes, 2019). People who have a lot of fat in their upper body parts are more vulnerable to suffering type 2 diabetes compared to those with high levels of concentration in the lower body (Living with diabetes, 2019).


Baynes, H. W. (2015). Classification, pathophysiology, diagnosis and management of diabetes mellitus. Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism, 6, 541.

Leslie, R. D., & Grant, S. F. A. (2018). The dynamic origins of type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Care, 41(12), 2441-2443.

Living with diabetes. (2019). Web.

VanMeter, K. C., & Hubert, R. J. (2014). Gould’s pathophysiology for the health professions (5th ed.). New York, NY: Elsevier Science Health Science.