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Diabetes Mellitus (cont.)

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What can be done to slow diabetes complications?

Findings from the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) and the United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS) have clearly shown that aggressive and intensive control of elevated levels of blood sugar in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes decreases the complications of nephropathy, neuropathy, retinopathy, and may reduce the occurrence and severity of large blood vessel diseases. Aggressive control with intensive therapy means achieving fasting glucose levels between 70-120 mg/dl; glucose levels of less than 160 mg/dl after meals; and a near normal hemoglobin A1c levels (see below).

Studies in type 1 patients have shown that in intensively treated patients, diabetic eye disease decreased by 76%, kidney disease decreased by 54%, and nerve disease decreased by 60%. More recently the EDIC trial has shown that type 1 diabetes is also associated with increased heart disease, similar to type 2 diabetes. However, the price for aggressive blood sugar control is a two to three fold increase in the incidence of abnormally low blood sugar levels (caused by the diabetes medications). For this reason, tight control of diabetes to achieve glucose levels between 70 to120 mg/dl is not recommended for children under 13 years of age, patients with severe recurrent hypoglycemia, patients unaware of their hypoglycemia, and patients with far advanced diabetes complications. To achieve optimal glucose control without an undue risk of abnormally lowering blood sugar levels, patients with type 1 diabetes must monitor their blood glucose at least four times a day and administer insulin at least three times per day. In patients with type 2 diabetes, aggressive blood sugar control has similar beneficial effects on the eyes, kidneys, nerves and blood vessels.

REFERENCES:

American Diabetes Association. Diabetes Basics.

CDC.gov. Diabetes Public Health Resource.

MedscapeReference.com. Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.

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Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/12/2014

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Diabetes - Symptoms Question: The symptoms of diabetes can vary greatly from patient to patient. What were your symptoms at the onset of your disease?
Diabetes - Causes Question: What was the cause of your diabetes (overweight, lack of physical activity, pregnancy, autoimmune)?
Diabetes - Test Question: What type of diabetes test do you use to check your blood sugar at home?
Diabetes - Acute Complication Question: What causes your blood sugar readings to spike, and what action do you take to lower them?
Source: MedicineNet.com
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