Why is continued measurement of vital signs indicated for type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM)?

Updated: Oct 23, 2019
  • Author: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
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Answer

Baseline and continuing measurement of vital signs is an important part of diabetes management. In addition to vital signs, measure height, weight, and waist and hip circumferences.

In many cases, blood pressure measurement will disclose hypertension, which is particularly common in patients with diabetes. Patients with established diabetes and autonomic neuropathy may have orthostatic hypotension. Orthostatic vital signs may be useful in assessing volume status and in suggesting the presence of an autonomic neuropathy.

If the respiratory rate and pattern suggest Kussmaul respiration, diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) must be considered immediately, and appropriate tests ordered. DKA is more typical of type 1 diabetes, but it can occur in type 2.


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