What is Diabetes Mellitus?
Diabetes mellitus is a group of metabolic diseases characterized by elevated blood glucose levels resulting from defects in insulin secretion, insulin action, or both.
Generally, when people talk about "diabetes" they are speaking about diabetes mellitus. There is also a rare disease called Diabetes Insipidus in which the body produces large amounts of dilute urine and is a separate disorder.
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How is Diabetes Mellitus Diagnosed?
Diabetes may have symptoms in some people, and no symptoms in others. Generally, insulin-deficient diabetes mellitus presents with thirst and frequent urination. Untreated, this condition may cause a person to lose consciousness and become very ill.
Diabetes associated with being overweight may have minimal symptoms and may be diagnosed when your doctor orders blood tests.
Your doctor measures the glucose level in the blood. A single, elevated measurement may be all that is needed to make the diagnosis. In some circumstances, it may require multiple measurements of blood glucose to determine the degree of impairment of glucose metabolism. Some women have problems with glucose metabolism only when they are pregnant. Some people develop diabetes that resolves if they lose weight. Your doctor is the person to help you determine if you might have diabetes.
How is Diabetes Mellitus Treated?
Proper treatment depends on the degree of impairment in the regulation of blood glucose. Very elevated levels may require hospitalization. Insulin injections are appropriate for some people. Oral agents (pills) are appropriate for other people. Diet and exercise may be all that is required in yet other people. Your doctor will tell you the proper treatment for your circumstance.
How important is it to control blood sugar levels?
Studies suggest that good control of blood sugar levels decreases the risk of complications from diabetes.
What are the complications of Diabetes Mellitus?
Problems caused by diabetes can be thought about as acute (sudden) problems and long-term problems. Sudden problems may be confusion or loss of consciousness while long-term problems include heart disease, stroke, nerve problems (neuropathy), kidney problems (nephropathy), and eye problems.
How can Diabetes Mellitus affect the eyes?
Cataract - may occur at a younger age in diabetic patients
Retinopathy - diabetes may cause blood vessels in the retina (the light-sensitive lining of the eye) to become damaged (leaky or blocked) or grow abnormally. Retinopathy is rare before the age of 10 and the risk increases with the length of time a person has diabetes. Treatments such as laser or other surgery may be helpful to prevent visual loss or restore sight.
How often should I have my eyes examined?
An eye exam is probably a good idea at the time of diagnosis. Depending on what is found, your doctor will recommend follow-up visits based on your condition. Eye exams should be done at least yearly.
What is diabetic retinopathy?
Diabetic retinopathy is an eye disorder that damages the blood vessels inside the retina. It's caused by complications of diabetes or poorly managed blood sugar levels. The damage to the blood vessels causes them to leak fluid and blood, which leads to swelling of the eye. This can cause further complications, such as vision loss, retinal detachment, diabetic macular edema, glaucoma, and blindness. Unfortunately, symptoms of diabetic retinopathy usually go unnoticed until the later stages. This is why routine eye exams are essential for monitoring your ocular health. If you have diabetes or a family history of this disease, call Ticho Eye Associates to book a comprehensive eye exam. We conveniently offer locations in Chicago Ridge, IL, Tinley Park, IL, and Munster, IN.
Treatments for Diabetic Retinopathy
A comprehensive eye exam is the primary method used to diagnose diabetic retinopathy. Since there is no cure for this disease, the goal of treatment is to manage and control symptoms. Common therapies include anti-VEGF medications, laser surgery, and vitrectomy. Self-care methods, such as controlling blood sugar levels, weight loss, and eating a healthy diet, can also aid in disease management. A personalized treatment plan will be created based on your unique case.
detect Diabetic Retinopathy
For diabetics, routine eye exams can help identify serious health complications that can negatively impact the eye and vision. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of vision loss for patients with type 1 or 2 diabetes. To catch this disease as early as possible and preserve healthy vision, call Ticho Eye Associates. We can set up an appointment at any one of our locations in Chicago Ridge, IL, Tinley Park, IL, or Munster, IN.