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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Diabetes Mellitus: Prevention & Expectations
      Category : Health Centers > Diabetes

Diabetes Mellitus

Alternate Names : Diabetes

Diabetes Mellitus | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What can be done to prevent the disease?

There is no way to prevent type 1 diabetes. But it may be possible to prevent type 2 diabetes in many cases! This is especially true once pre-diabetes is known. Even modest lifestyle changes can help prevent the onset of diabetes. This is why it is very important to recognize pre-diabetes. The key is to:

  • eat a healthy diet
  • exercise 30 minutes a day at least 5 days a week
  • maintain a healthy body weight
  • What are the long-term effects of the disease?

    Over time, high blood sugar levels damage blood vessels, nerves, and other internal structures. Long-term effects of diabetes may include:

  • Retinopathy, a disease in the retina of the eye that can cause blindness. Diabetes is the number one cause of blindness in adults who are younger than age 40.
  • Diabetic nephropathy, which is a disease of the kidneys. This disease can progress to a form of kidney failure known as chronic renal failure. Diabetes is the leading cause of chronic renal failure.
  • Atherosclerosis, also known as hardening of the arteries. Artherosclerosis can lead to heart attacks and strokes. It can also cause poor circulation in the legs and feet.
  • Diabetic neuropathy, which means damage to nerves in the arms and legs. This damage can cause numbness and pain in the hands and feet. When combined with poor circulation, neuropathy can result in diabetic foot ulcers and leg infections that may require amputation.
  • Autonomic neuropathy, which is a disorder that affects certain nerves. It may cause problems with digestion, diarrhea, erectile dysfunction, a rapid heartbeat, and low blood pressure.
  • Some of these long-term effects may begin even at the moderate-high levels of blood glucose seen in pre-diabetes. This is why it is important to eat a healthy diet, exercise 30 minutes a day, and keep body weight within a healthy range. All of these actions can keep blood glucose within healthy levels. People with diabetes risk factors should also be screened for pre-diabetes on a regular basis.

    What are the risks to others?

    Diabetes is not catching and poses no risk to others. It does tend to run in families.

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    Diabetes Mellitus: Diagnosis & Tests


    Diabetes Mellitus: Treatment & Monitoring

    Author: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Reviewer: Kathleen A. MacNaughton, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 06/01/02

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