Diabetes Mellitus is characterized by inadequate insulin production in the pancreas, or the body cannot efficiently utilize the insulin it produces. Underutilization of the insulin produced in the body leads to an increased glucose concentration in the body, a condition referred to as hyperglycemia. Increased glucose concentration in the bloodstream leads to protein, carbohydrates, and fat metabolism disturbances.

Hyperglycemia has been shown to affect all body tissues in the body, and it is associated with various organ systems in the body, including the nerves, eyes, blood vessels, and kidneys. They are different types of diabetes mellitus, they include:

  • Type 1:  Caused by the destruction of the pancreatic beta cells
  • Type 2: characterized by insulin resistance and impaired insulin secretion
  • Gestational diabetes mellitus:  Happens when a pregnant woman experiences a degree of glucose intolerance
  • Diabetes Mellitus is associated with other conditions: other specific types of diabetes that develop due to other causes such as hormonal abnormalities, pancreatic disease, and medication.
  • Prediabetes:  A metabolic stage between normal glucose homeostasis and diabetes.

What Are The Symptoms Of Diabetes?

Here are the symptoms to look out for:

  • Excessive thirst/ increased thirst
  • Frequent urination and increased amount of urine
  • Extreme hunger
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Presence of ketones in the urine
  • Slow-healing wounds
  • Unexplained weight loss (type 1 diabetes)
  • Numbness or tingling of extremities

Diabetes Diagnosis

  • Glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test: An A1C level of 6.5% or more on two separate tests means that you have diabetes. An A1C between 5.7% and 6.4% means that you have prediabetes, and Below 5.7% is considered normal.
  • Fasting blood sugar test: A fasting blood sugar level of less than 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L) is standard. A fasting blood sugar level from 100 to 125 mg/dL (5.6 to 6.9 mmol/L) is prediabetes, and 126 mg/dL (7 mmol/L) or higher on two separate tests means you have diabetes.

Nursing Care Plans for Diabetes Mellitus

Nursing care plans for a patient with diabetes involves establishing an effective treatment plan to normalize blood glucose level and reduce complications using insulin. Nurses employ a balanced diet, insulin replacement, and exercise to manage diabetes. In most cases, the nurse will stress the importance of complying with the treatment via effective patient education.

It is crucial to ensure that you tailor teaching to the patient’s needs, developmental stage, and abilities. It is vital to stress the importance of glucose control for improved health in the long run.

Here are recommended nursing care plans for diabetes mellitus:

Nursing Diagnosis: Risk For Hyperglycemia Or Hypoglycemia (Unstable Blood Glucose Level)

Nursing Intervention for DiabetesRationale
Assess for signs of hypoglycemia or hyperglycemiaTo determine the appropriate treatment for maintaining the target blood sugar levels.

Hyperglycemia symptoms include:

Fatigue, blood vision, polyphagia, polydipsia, and polyuria

Hypoglycemia symptoms include:

Headache, dizziness, fatigue, tachycardia, and diaphoresis

Monitor blood sugar levelsTo make sure that the blood sugar levels are within the proper range.
Administer diabetic medication ( Insulin therapy or oral medication)To keep the blood glucose levels within the suitable range and reduce the risk of kidney injury, blood vessel damage, nerve damage, and other complications for diabetes.
Encourage the patient to follow a diet planLow fat, high fiber, and low calories are ideal for a diabetic patient.
Advise the patient to increase physical activity, especially aerobic exercise.Exercise reduces blood glucose levels


Nursing Diagnosis: Imbalanced Nutrition

Desired outcomes: The patient can achieve the proper weight within their normal BMI range with healthy eating choices and patterns.

Nursing InterventionRationale
Explain to your patient the difference between unexplained weight loss and diabetesHelp the patient understand their unexplained weight loss is a result of diabetes.
Create a daily weight chart for foods and fluids and discuss the patient’s long-term and short-term goals.To monitor the patients’ daily nutritional intake and progress in weight loss
Select the right dietary choices for the patient: high-fiber, low-fat, low-fat diet.High fiber and low fat are recommended for diabetic patients
Refer your patient to a registered dieticianTo provide more personalized patient care in terms of diet and nutrition.


The proper nursing process allows the patient to benefit from various nursing interventions to monitor, assess, and manage diabetes while promoting the patient’s safety and well-being.

References and Resources