Diabetes Mellitus Care Plan and Diagnosis

red heart pill in a sea of white pills

The nursing care plan is designed for diabetes patients. Diabetes occurs when the body fails to control its blood glucose because it is either unable to produce insulin or it is resistant to insulin. Normal levels of blood glucose range between 70-150. When the levels are below 70, the condition is considered hypoglycemia. Readings above 150 are interpreted to be hyperglycemia. Uncontrolled diabetes often results from a deficient knowledge of how to manage the condition among patients. Most of them do not know what diet regimen to follow, the right skills of administering insulin, common signs of high blood glucose, and how insulin works.

What is Diabetes Care Plan?

Diabetes nursing care plan is a process that aims to offer patients with informed control over the management of the life-long disease. Being a multifaceted condition, diabetes affects various body systems altering how they function.  Patients must, therefore, attend appointments as directed by their health providers to keep the blood sugar levels under control. Because diabetes affects patients differently, a multidisciplinary team of doctors must work with each patient to follow a certain care plan based on specific needs. The most critical elements of this plan include:

  • Medication compliance
  • Exercise and diet plan
  • Support services required
  • Appointments with health providers
  • Regular care plan
  • Emergency contact numbers such as the next of kin and the medical doctor

Because of the nature of diabetes, the care plan has to be an integral component for successful management of the disease. Patients are expected to take certain medications on a daily basis, adopt a particular diet plan, monitor their blood glucose levels, and participate in physical activity. When designing the care plan, the goals a patient hopes to achieve are documented. These could include quitting smoking or keeping HbA1c below certain values.

doctor explaning something on his laptop to patient

Pathophysiology

When the body is unable to move glucose to the cells for the production of energy (ATP), diabetes occurs. Type 1 and 2 are the two types of diabetes mellitus. Type 1 is an autoimmune disorder whereby the immune system attacks the insulin-producing cells. This leads to little or no production of insulin in the pancreas causing the cells to starve. Type 2 is insulin resistant. In this type, the cells do not produce insulin. Glucose does not enter the cells, so it remains in the bloodstream causing the cells to starve.

Nursing management care plan for diabetes mellitus is used by healthcare providers to help patients meet their diabetic goals. Care plans are effective tools for keeping patients engaged and offer motivation to help them modify unhealthy lifestyle. They are also ideal for helping patients to remember their treatment schedules and blood glucose monitoring.

Diabetes mellitus nursing care plan enables health providers to engage their patients in their care. For example, evidence-based diabetes care can give patients clarity on what unhealthy behavior is and how to modify it.

Nursing Diagnosis for Diabetes Mellitus Care Plan

The responsibility of educating diabetic patients is often left to the nurses. Although some doctors undertake this role, it is mostly the duty of a nurse to educate patients. Care plans are developed in different formats, although they can vary from one nursing school or medical job to the other.  

Diabetes is a common complication that comes with multiple complications. In the nursing diagnosis, these complications must be taken to account. Nutrition planning difficulties, fluid imbalance, sensation issues, and healing problems are some of the risk factors of this life-long disease. Not all of them apply to all patients, meaning the nurse needs to consider other factors such as the history of the disease, socioeconomic status, and the education level while designing the nursing diagnosis.

person pouring a pill out of pill bottle

The Importance of Diabetes Care Plan

Body systems are affected differently by diabetes. Metabolic processes and hormonal actions are responsible. They affect the pathophysiology of the disease and can vary significantly from one patient to another. This is why care plans are designed on an individual basis. When given more control in managing their condition, evidence shows that patients with chronic illnesses give better results.

It is worth noting that poor management of diabetes can lead to adverse complications including stroke, heart attack, blindness, kidney disease, and amputation. Remember to keep stress levels low too. Nursing care plan for diabetes has been seen to help in the reduction of these complications.

Individualized Diabetes Care Plan

When developing the diabetes care plan, several aspects are to be taken into consideration, with the key responsibility of the nurse being to educate the patient on the best ways of managing the disease.  Patients are also educated on dietary changes. They are mostly advised to follow a Mediterranean diet. A dietician is also brought on board, their role being to emphasize on the maintenance of comfortable body weight and a minimum of 30 minutes exercise. The weight loss goals are monitored at least every 6 months.

The following biometric checks are carried out routinely:

  • BP
  • Cholesterol levels
  • Blood glucose levels
  • HbA1c

The medication of the patient is monitored regularly to ensure side effects are minimized and benefits maximized. Should the patient be found to have developing health complications, they are referred to specialized health care. Nursing, being the pivotal role, includes the following:

  • Assessment of individual patients and the implementation of care plans
  • The evaluation of diabetes assessment techniques and tools. The tools include pathology, monofilaments, and blood glucose monitors
  • The identification of lifestyle factors that could have triggered the development of type 2  or gestational diabetes

Nurses are also fully involved in the administration of insulin and the careful monitoring of vital parameters such as eyesight and blood pressure.

Care planning in diabetes is a process that aims to offer patients better control of their condition. Diabetes is treated by insulin in type 1, and exercise and diet or in combination with insulin in type 2. Because the complications associated with diabetes can be severe, good glycemic control must be met in all diabetic patients. This is where care plan for diabetes mellitus comes in. Nurses are fully involved in offering health advice, screening for complications and referring patients to relevant bodies.