Diabetes Mellitus

  1. Definition of "diabetes mellitus."


    1. It is a syndrome in which insulin production is decreased or absent.

    2. Lack of insulin leads to elevated blood glucose levels.

    3. There are two classifications.

  1. Insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (type I).

  2. Non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (type II).


  1. Signs and symptoms of diabetes mellitus.


  1. Excessive thirst.

  2. Fatigue.

  3. Increased urination.

  4. Increased appetite.

  5. Slow healing wounds.

  6. Itching.

  7. Changes in vision.

  8. Weight loss.


  1. Measures important in management of diabetes mellitus.


  1. Follow prescribed diabetic diet.

  2. Monitor blood sugars. (Glucometer or chem strips can be used at home.)

  3. See physician, dentist, and eye doctor regularly.

  4. Take medications as ordered. (Provide "Insulin" handout.)

  5. Achieve and maintain ideal weight. (Provide "Weight Reduction" handout.)

  6. Exercise regularly.

      1. Stop immediately if any chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, or nausea occurs.

      2. Always carry a carbohydrate snack when exercising.

  1. Wear a medical alert bracelet containing the necessary information for care.


  1. Measures important in foot care of the diabetic.


    1. Inspect feet daily.

    2. Report any foot problems to podiatrist of physician.

    3. Wash feet daily with warm soap and water and pat dry, especially between toes.

    4. Clip nails straight across and gently file with an emery board.

    5. Wear shoes that support and fit properly.  

    6. Wear socks that are clean and fit properly.

    7. Avoid going barefooted.

    8. Avoid exposing feet to extreme temperatures.

    9. Avoid tobacco.


  1. Signs and symptoms of high and low blood sugar.


    1. High blood sugar (hyperglycemia):

  1. Frequent urination.

  2. Excessive thirst.

  3. Headache.

  4. Weakness.

  5. Fatigue.

  6. Dizziness.

  7. Dry, flushed skin.

  8. Nausea.

  9. Vomiting.

  10. Abdominal cramps.

  1. Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia):

  1. Fatigue.

  2. Headache.

  3. Drowsiness.

  4. Tremors.

  5. Pale, moist skin.

  6. Hunger.

  7. Anxiety.

  8. Impaired vision.


  1. Causes of high and low blood sugars.


    1. High blood sugar:

  1. Excess food.

  2. Insufficient insulin.

  3. Lack of exercise.

  4. Stress.

  5. Infection or fever.

  1. Low blood sugar:


  1. What to do if symptoms of high or low blood sugar occur.


    1. High blood sugar:

      1. Contact physician, or go to emergency room.

  1. Low blood sugar:

  1. Eat some form of glucose or carbohydrate.

  2. Notify physician, or go to emergency room if symptoms persist.


  1. Possible complications of diabetes mellitus.


    1. Kidney and bladder disorders

    2. Strokes.

    3. Heart disorders.

    4. Eye complications.

    5. Peripheral vascular disorders.

    6. Nervous system disorders.