People living with diabetes ought to be given a good diabetes education like; information about diabetes, blood glucose testing and insulin injection to enable them know the best ways to manage and control their problems. Such diabetes education will not only help them live a healthier live, but will make them understand that diabetes itself is not the end of the world for them.
A newly diagnosed young diabetic is usually admitted to hospital for stabilization of his regimen. He is frequently alarmed and despondent, and a full and careful explanation should be given by the doctor, while the dietitian and the nurse have a big part to play in raising his morale. The main point on which he will want instruction or may ask advice are these:
* Insulin : The diabetic patient must know the type, amount and the time of giving, how to sterilize the needle and syringe at home, how to fill the syringe, choose the site and give the injection. Detailed insulin must be given and opportunity allowed for practice under supervision. The most important point is that insulin must never be omitted, if illness prevents him from taking his diet, he must go to bed and send for the doctor at once. Infections increase the need of the body for insulin.
* Diet: The patient suffering from diabetes is told the important of regular meals, how to exchange items, what food to weigh and how often. Many ask about diabetic patients foods and the answer is that none should be taken unless the carbohydrate content is on the label, and that the dietician can be consulted about the others.
* Hypoglycemia : If the blood sugar falls too low, symptoms will appear that the patient should recognize. They are weakness, hunger, fainting and sweating. In addition, signs of diabetes such as mood changes, prominence of the eyes, full rapid pulse and unconsciousness with muscle twitching may be observed by nurses. Diabetic patients should carry sugar lumps with them to ward off such attacks and a card stating their complaint and giving the name of their doctor, in case they become unconscious in the street.
Hypoglycemia can be relieved by these means;
(a) By taking sugar, glucose or sweetened fruit juice by mouth.
(b) Glucose (20G) in solution by nasal tube into the stomach.
(c) Adrenalin 5 minims by hypodermic injection. This mobilizes the liver glycogen.
* Urine Testing : The urine should be tested for sugar at regular intervals and at such times as the everyday routine is at all upset. The use of reagents strips has made this a simple procedure to perform and to read. The results should always be recorded and taken to the clinic when attending there.
* Social Problems : While the diabetic may pursue almost any occupation in which regular meals are possible, the risk of hypoglycemia would persuade him from piloting an airplane or driving a train. The question of car driving is more difficult and a court case has indicated that someone with hypoglycemia can be charged with driving under the influence of drugs.