Diabetes, often referred to as diabetes mellitus, describes a group of metabolic diseases in which the person has high blood glucose or blood sugar, either because insulin production is not sufficient, or because the body's cells do not respond properly to the insulin, or combination of both. Diabetes affects your body's ability to utilize the energy found in food.
Classification of diabetes mellitus
All types of diabetes mellitus have something in common between. Normally, body breaks down the sugars and carbohydrates into a special sugar called glucose. Glucose energizes the cells in humans’ body. But the cells need insulin (hormone), in your bloodstream in order to take in the glucose and use it for energy.
Three major types of diabetes mellitus exist according to medical diagnosis:
Type 1 diabetes
The body does not produce insulin. This type of diabetes is also called insulin dependent diabetes. People suffer from type 1 diabetes before 40th year of age, often in their early adulthood, teenage years or below 20th year of age. Almost 10% of all diabetes cases are of type 1 diabetes.
Patients with type 1 diabetes will need to take insulin injections throughout their life span.
Type 2 diabetes
The body does not produce sufficient insulin for proper function, or the cells in the body do not react to insulin known as insulin resistance. This disease is typically a progressive disease, it gradually gets severe and the patient will probably end up have to take insulin, usually in tablet form.
Some women have very high levels of glucose in their blood, and their bodies are unable to produce sufficient insulin to transport all of the glucose into cells, resulting in frequent rising levels of glucose. The majority of gestational diabetes patients can control their diabetes with exercise and balanced diet. Between 10% to 20% of them will need to take some kind of blood-glucose controlling medications.
What is cause diabetes mellitus?
There is no specific diabetes cause, but the following triggers may be involved.
- Viral or bacterial infection
- Over age
- Unbalanced diet
- Excessive use of steroids
- Chemical toxins within food
- Family history of gestational diabetes
- Genetic composition
Symptoms of diabetes mellitus
Some of the signs and symptoms of diabetes mellitus are as follows:
- Increasing thirst
- Excessive urination
- Unbearable hunger
- Weight loss
- Blurred optic vision
- Slow healing injuries
- Frequent infections
Complications linked to uncontrolled diabetes
Below is a list of possible complications that can be caused by uncontrolled diabetes:
- Eye disorder
glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy.
- Skin complications
people with diabetes are more susceptible to 'skin infections' and skin disorders
- Heart disorder
heart disease, when the blood supply to the heart muscle is affected
- Hearing problem
diabetes patients have a higher risk of developing hearing problems
- Healing of wounds
cuts and sores take much longer to heal
- Mental health
uncontrolled diabetes raises the risk of suffering from 'depression', anxiety and some other mental disorders
How can diabetes be treated?
The goals of diabetes treatment are to control your blood glucose levels and prevent diabetes complications. People with diabetes often need additional treatments such as medication to control their diabetes, blood pressure and blood fats.
People with type 1 and type 2 diabetes need to be aware of not only what you eat, but also when and how much to eat. Make a meal plan that fits your lifestyle. Following a meal plan can also help you lose weight and lower risk of developing complications.
'Physical activity' is an important part of controlling diabetes and preventing complications such as heart disease and high blood pressure. Exercise is a very effective way to help bring blood sugars under control for someone with type 2 diabetes. Try for 30 minutes of moderate exercise, like brisk walking, on most days. Exercise programs are great resources for developing a safe weight loss program.
Sometimes eating healthy and engaging in physical activity is not enough. Doctor may give medication to help control your blood glucose levels. People with type 1 diabetes must take insulin to control diabetes and this can only be done through multiple injections or by an insulin pump, a small device that delivers insulin continuously throughout the day.
In 2013 it was estimated that over 382 million people throughout the world had diabetes.