Diabetes is a long-term condition that causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high. It is a metabolic disease and chronic disorder which results from defects in insulin secretion or action. Insulin is a hormone, which is secreted by pancreas and lowers the blood glucose level in the body.
There are mainly two types of diabetes mellitus:
- Type-1 (insulin dependent diabetes mellitus)
- Type-2 (non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus)
Type-1 diabetes: It develops when pancreas is unable to produce insulin. It accounts for about 10-15% of all diabetics.
Type-2 diabetes: It develops when pancreas produce insulin but cells become unable to respond to insulin which results in rise in blood sugar levels. It accounts for 85-90% of all persons with diabetes.
SELF-ASSESSMENT OF DIABETES
Diabetes is a major issue of health worldwide. Because the prevalence of diabetes is increasing day by day, so, there is an important need for reliable and valid measures for self-assessment & management of diabetes.
The most common criteria of self-assessment of diabetes is the evaluation of its symptoms on regular basis. These symptoms include polyuria (increased urine output), polydipsia (excessive thirst), weight loss, blurred vision, fatigue, slow healing of wounds, skin problems, tingling and numbness in the feet or toes, obesity and hypertension.
Type-2 diabetes mellitus risk assessment form
- What is your age?
|Under 45 years||0 points|
|55-64 years||3 points|
|Over 64 years||4 points|
- What is your body mass index?
|Lower than 25 kg/m2||0 points|
|25-30 kg/m2||1 points|
|Higher than 30 kg/m2||3 points|
- In the past 30 days, how many times did you exercise for at least 30 minutes?
|Not at all||4 points|
|1-4 times||3 points|
|5-8 times||2 points|
|9-12 times||1 points|
|More than 12 times||0 points|
- Do you take any medication for high blood pressure and sugar level?
|Medication for blood pressure||Points|
- How often do you eat vegetables, fruits or berries?
|Eat vegetables, fruits or berries||Points|
|Every day||0 points|
|Not every day||1 points|
- How do you keep record of your blood pressure or sugar level?
|Record of BP or sugar level||Tick|
|On smart phone|
|Other (please specify)|
- What are the biggest challenges in your daily activities?
|Biggest challenges of the day||Tick|
|Taking medication on time|
|Record your blood pressure|
|Record your sugar levels|
|Record your daily physical activities|
|Other (please specify)|
TOTAL RISK SCORE ASSESSMENT
|Final Score||Risk level|
|Lower than 5||Low risk|
|5-9||Slightly elevated risk|
|Higher than 15||Very high risk|
THE ROLE OF SELF GLUCOSE MONITORING ONCE YOU HAVE DIABETES
Self-monitoring of blood glucose is considered as an effective tool for the management of diabetes, especially for those who require insulin treatment.
Self-monitoring gives regular feedback for the patient, but decisions on both the method and frequency of testing need to be made on an individual basis. Monitoring is only useful if it is used to inform decisions (eg, adjusting tablets or insulin dosage).
Diabetes empowerment improves diabetes self-care behaviours (including diet, physical activity, blood glucose monitoring, and foot care). Studies have shown that when patients perform self-monitoring, support through appropriate educational initiatives is critical to ensure that patients understand the rationale for self-monitoring of blood glucose.
DIABETES SELF-CARE ACTIVITIES
Diabetes self-care activities are behaviors undertaken by people who are either suffering from diabetes or at risk of diabetes, in order to successfully manage the disease on their own.
Self-assessment gives regular feedback to the patient and improves diabetes self-care behavior. There are seven essential self-care behaviors in people with diabetes, which predict good outcomes.
- Healthy eating
- Being physically active
- Monitoring of blood sugar
- Compliant with medications
- Good problem-solving skills
- Healthy coping skills
- Risk-reduction behaviors
All these seven behaviors have been found to be positively correlated with good glycemic control, reduction of complications and improvement in quality of life (Shrivastva et al., 2013). Self-assessment of blood glucose level is considered as an effective tool for the management of diabetes, especially for those who require insulin treatment.