HOME CARE NURSES ARE A GREAT SOURCE FOR DIABETES EDUCATION

Interim HealthCare Blogs
Posted: 7/21/2015 2:02 PM by Interim HealthCare
Home Care Nursing is a reliable source of Diabetes education that can be delivered in a series of visits over time. This is much preferred to trying to learn a large amount of new information in a single office visit where you may be feeling rushed or emotionally stressed. In addition, nursing evaluation and follow up visits can discover early signs of developing complications and generate interventions to prevent progression.

Diabetes by the Numbers

Always know your doctors recommendations for:
  1. Healthy weight
  2. Target blood sugar levels
  3. Dietary Carbohydrate/ Protein/Calorie levels
  4. Ask for written instructions on
  5. Type and amounts of exercise
  6. Medications
  7. Things to avoid, like stress and concentrated sweets
  8. When to call the doctor.
Home Care nurses can help you learn to use a blood glucose meter to keep track of your blood sugar throughout the day, and document trends that can assist you and your doctor with keeping your blood sugar in range.

Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes symptoms often develop slowly, over time. In fact, many people have type 2 Diabetes for years and don’t know it.

The most common signs and symptoms are:
  • Increased thirst and frequent urination. Excess sugar building up in your bloodstream causes fluid to be pulled from the tissues. This may leave you thirsty. As a result, you may drink — and urinate — more than usual.
  • Increased hunger. Without enough insulin to move sugar into your cells, your muscles and organs become depleted of energy. This triggers intense hunger.
  • Weight loss. Despite eating more than usual to relieve hunger, you may lose weight. Without the ability to metabolize glucose, the body uses alternative fuels stored in muscle and fat. Calories are lost as excess glucose is released in the urine.
  • Fatigue. If your cells are deprived of sugar, you may become tired and irritable.
  • Blurred vision. If your blood sugar is too high, fluid may be pulled from the lenses of your eyes. This may affect your ability to focus.
  • Slow-healing sores or frequent infections. Type 2 diabetes affects your ability to heal and resist infections.
  • Areas of darkened skin. Some people with type 2 Diabetes have patches of dark, velvety skin in the folds and creases of their bodies — usually in the armpits and neck. This condition, called acanthosis nigricans, may be a sign of insulin resistance.
Treatment for Diabetes aims to manage blood glucose within a target range, identified for each individual by his or her physician. Sometimes, treatment can cause blood sugar to drop too low, resulting in hypoglycemia.

Symptoms of Hypoglycemia:    Weak, White and Wet
  • Confusion. Your brain runs on glucose. Low fuel causes reduced function, which can also cause Dizziness, Feeling shaky or faint, Headaches, Irritability,
  • Pounding heart; racing pulse, Pale skin, sweating, Numbness of the lips or tongue
If untreated, symptomatic hypoglycemia can progress to coma. Diabetics and caregivers should keep an easily assimilated form of glucose nearby at all times, in case of a symptomatic drop in blood sugar. If you are caring for a loved one at home and they exhibit symptoms of hypoglycemia, provide glucose in a simple form, such as orange juice, or commercially available glucose gel, then call 911.

Diabetes care is about managing life in balance. Learning all you can about diabetes and its treatment can help avoid complications.
                               
*Data from the National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2014 (released June 10, 2014)
   http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/statistics/#sthash.IOGQCx9b.dpuf

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