Drugs for Diabetes Mellitus & Thyroid Disorders
The human body is made up of a variety of different systems. They are all important in order for the body to function in the way that it was meant to function. One of the most important body systems is the endocrine system. The endocrine system is made up of several organs or glands that each has its specific job to perform within the body. One of the organs of the endocrine system is the pancreas which is an accessory organ of the digestive system. It is located in the upper abdomen behind the stomach. The pancreas has both exocrine and endocrine functions. The endocrine system also consists of the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is a butterfly shaped organ located in the frontal part of the neck. These are two very important parts of the endocrine system, but if they are unable to properly perform their functions then serious health complications may arise such as diabetes or hypo/hyperthyroidism. In order to properly treat any of these disorders a variety of different medications may be used.
Diabetes mellitus is a condition that is characterized by abnormally high blood glucose levels. The reasoning for the high blood glucose levels is because of the decreased secretion of insulin or the body’s insensitivity to insulin. There are two main forms of diabetes: Type 1 or juvenile onset diabetes is caused by the immune system destroying the insulin producing cells of the pancreas. Approximately 5 to 10 percent of all diabetes cases are type 1. This type of diabetes typically develops during childhood and the onset of symptoms is usually very sudden and unexpected. These symptoms include (but are not limited to) excess urination, extreme thirst and weight loss. The primary goal in treating this form of diabetes is preventing any long term complications. Because of the impact that diabetes has on the entire body, some of the complications that can occur because of the disease are cardiovascular disease, retinopathy, or kidney disease (Lehne, 2013). In order to prevent these complications blood glucose must be kept as low as possible without getting too dangerously low. The ways to do this include eating a balanced diet in conjunction with insulin replacement, getting an adequate amount of exercise, managing any comorbidities (such as hypertension or high cholesterol) and getting the correct amount of insulin via daily injections.
There are a number of different types of insulin. Although they may have differences, all types of insulin have the same actions. The main differences in the types of insulin are their appearance, concentration, or the route that it is administered (Lehne, 2013). One type of insulin is regular insulin which is unmodified human insulin and it goes by the trade name Humulin R or Novolin R. This insulin may be administered via subcutaneous injection or infusion, intramuscular injection (not common) or via oral inhalation (Lehne, 2013). When administering this medication there are several things that the nurse, physician and patient must be aware of in order to keep the patient safe such as drug to drug interactions. Some drugs such as beta blockers or clondine may mask the signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia when taken with insulin; and others such as estrogens or isoniazid may increase insulin requirements. The dosage that is required depends on the individual’s blood glucose level at the time of administration and the side effects include hypoglycemia, pruritus and possible anaphylaxis (Judith Deglin, 2011).
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. There are approximately 22 million people in the United States that are afflicted with this disease (Lehne, 2013). The symptoms of type 2 diabetes are the same as type 1 diabetes but tend to be more subtle. Type 2 diabetes also has the same long term risks as type 1 diabetes. The main difference between the two