Nursing Care Plan for Diabetes Mellitus

NCP - Nursing Care Plan for Diabetes Mellitus

Nursing Care Plan for Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes mellitus, often simply referred to as diabetes—is a group of metabolic diseases in which a person has high blood sugar, either because the body does not produce enough insulin, or because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced. This high blood sugar produces the classical symptoms of polyuria (frequent urination), polydipsia (increased thirst) and polyphagia (increased hunger).

There are three main types of diabetes :
  • Type 1 diabetes: results from the body's failure to produce insulin, and presently requires the person to inject insulin. (Also referred to as insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, IDDM for short, and juvenile diabetes.)
  • Type 2 diabetes: results from insulin resistance, a condition in which cells fail to use insulin properly, sometimes combined with an absolute insulin deficiency.
  • Gestational diabetes: is when pregnant women, who have never had diabetes before, have a high blood glucose level during pregnancy. It may precede development of type 2 DM.

Other forms of diabetes mellitus include congenital diabetes, which is due to genetic defects of insulin secretion, cystic fibrosis-related diabetes, steroid diabetes induced by high doses of glucocorticoids, and several forms of monogenic diabetes.

All forms of diabetes have been treatable since insulin became available in 1921, and type 2 diabetes may be controlled with medications. Both type 1 and 2 are chronic conditions that usually cannot be cured. Pancreas transplants have been tried with limited success in type 1 DM; gastric bypass surgery has been successful in many with morbid obesity and type 2 DM. Gestational diabetes usually resolves after delivery. Diabetes without proper treatments can cause many complications. Acute complications include hypoglycemia, diabetic ketoacidosis, or nonketotic hyperosmolar coma. Serious long-term complications include cardiovascular disease, chronic renal failure, retinal damage. Adequate treatment of diabetes is thus important, as well as blood pressure control and lifestyle factors such as smoking cessation and maintaining a healthy body


The cause of diabetes depends on the type. Type 2 diabetes is due primarily to lifestyle factors and genetics.

Type 1 diabetes is also partly inherited and then triggered by certain infections, with some evidence pointing at Coxsackie B4 virus. There is a genetic element in individual susceptibility to some of these triggers which has been traced to particular HLA genotypes (i.e., the genetic "self" identifiers relied upon by the immune system). However, even in those who have inherited the susceptibility, type 1 diabetes mellitus seems to require an environmental trigger.

Signs and Symptoms

The classical symptoms of diabetes are polyuria (frequent urination), polydipsia (increased thirst) and polyphagia (increased hunger). Symptoms may develop rapidly (weeks or months) in type 1 diabetes while in type 2 diabetes they usually develop much more slowly and may be subtle or absent.

Prolonged high blood glucose causes glucose absorption, which leads to changes in the shape of the lenses of the eyes, resulting in vision changes; sustained sensible glucose control usually returns the lens to its original shape. Blurred vision is a common complaint leading to a diabetes diagnosis; type 1 should always be suspected in cases of rapid vision change, whereas with type 2 change is generally more gradual, but should still be suspected.

People (usually with type 1 diabetes) may also present with diabetic ketoacidosis, a state of metabolic dysregulation characterized by the smell of acetone; a rapid, deep breathing known as Kussmaul breathing; nausea; vomiting and abdominal pain; and an altered states of consciousness.

A rarer but equally severe possibility is hyperosmolar nonketotic state, which is more common in type 2 diabetes and is mainly the result of dehydration. Often, the patient has been drinking extreme amounts of sugar-containing drinks, leading to a vicious circle in regard to the water loss.

A number of skin rashes can occur in diabetes that are collectively known as diabetic dermadromes.

Nursing Care Plan for Diabetes Mellitus

  • Family Health History
    Are there families who suffer from illnesses such as client ?
  • Patient Health History and Previous Treatment
    How long suffered from DM client, how to handle, get what kind of insulin therapy, how to take the medicine whether regular or not, what is done to cope with illness clients.
  • Activity / Rest:
    Tired, weak, hard Moves / walking, muscle cramps, decreased muscle tone.
  • Circulation
    Is there a history of hypertension, AMI, claudication, numbness, tingling in the extremities, ulcers on the feet long healing time, tachycardia, changes in blood pressure
  • Ego Integrity
    Stress, anxiety
  • Elimination
    Changes in the pattern of urination (polyuria, nocturia, anuria), diarrhea
  • Food / Fluids
    Anorexia, nausea, vomiting, do not follow the diet, weight loss, thirst, the use of diuretics.
  • Neurosensori
    Dizziness, headache, numbness, muscle weakness numbness, paraesthesia, visual disturbances.
  • Pain / Leisure
    Abdominal strain, pain (is / weight)
  • Respiratory
    Cough with or without purulent sputum
  • Security
    Dry skin, itching, skin ulcer.

Nursing Diagnosis and Nursing Intervention

Fluid volume deficient related to osmotic diuresis from hyperglycemia


After 8 hours of nursing interventions, the patient will demonstrate adequate hydration.

  • Monitor orthostatic blood pressure changes.
    Rational : Hypovolemia may be manifested by hypotension and tachycardia.
  • Assess peripheral pulses, capillary refill, skin turgor, and mucous membrane.
    Rational : Indicators of level of dehydration, adequacy of circulating volume.
  • Monitor respiratory pattern like Kussmaul’s respirations and acetone breath.
    Rational : Lungs remove carbonic acid through respirations, producing a compensatory respiratory alkalosis for ketoacidosis.
  • Monitor input and output. Note urine specific gravity.
    Rational : Provides ongoing estimate of volume replacement needs, kidney function, and effectiveness of therapy.
  • Promote comfortable environment. Cover patient with light sheets.
    Rational : Avoids overheating, which could promote further fluid loss.
  • Monitor temperature, skin color and moisture.
    Rational : Fever, chills, and diaphoresis are common with infectious process; fever with flushed, dry skin may reflect dehydration.

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