What is diabetes mellitus?
Diabetes mellitus is a chronic, heterogeneous metabolic disease with complex pathogenesis. It’s characterized by an elevated blood glucose level or hyperglycemia due to a disturbance in insulin secretion or insulin action or both.
Diabetes is a chronic (long-lasting) disease that affects how the body converts food into energy.
The body breaks down most food into sugar (glucose) and releases it into the bloodstream. When blood sugar rises, the pancreas gives the signal to release insulin. Insulin acts like a key that directs blood sugar into the body’s cells so it can be used as energy.
With diabetes, your body doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use it as well as it should. When there’s too little insulin or your cells stop responding to insulin, too much blood sugar stays in your bloodstream.
Over time, this can lead to serious health problems such as heart disease, vision problems, and kidney disease.
There’s no cure for diabetes yet, but losing weight, eating healthy, and exercising can help. Other things you can do to help:
Take medications prescribed by your endocrinologist.
Get diabetes self-management education and support from a diabetic educator.
Go to your doctor’s appointments regularly, at least every 3 months.
What are the different types of diabetes mellitus?
There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. In addition to these two main types, there is “gestational diabetes” and a preliminary stage of diabetes called “pre-diabetes”.
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is thought to be caused by an auto-immune reaction. This reaction prevents the body from producing insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar. About 5 to 10 percent of people with diabetes have type 1 diabetes.
Symptoms of type 1 diabetes often develop quickly and may include severe thirst, increased urination, and extreme hunger.
If you have type 1 diabetes, you must take insulin every day to survive. Currently, no one knows how to prevent type 1 diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes
With type 2 diabetes, your body can not use insulin well and blood sugar levels raises. About 90% of people with diabetes have type 2.
It usually develops over many years and is usually diagnosed in adults, mostly above 40 years of age. but nowadays it is increasingly occurring in children and adolescents.
Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by healthy lifestyle choices, such as losing weight, eating a healthy diet, and being active.
Gestational diabetes occurs in pregnant women who have never had diabetes before. If you have gestational diabetes, your baby is at higher risk for health problems.
Gestational diabetes usually goes away after your baby is born. However, you also have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. It is more likely that your child will suffer from obesity as a child or teenager and develop type 2 diabetes later in life.
Pre-diabetes is the condition that precedes diabetes. In the United States, 96 million adults have pre-diabetes. More than 8 in 10 of them do not know they have diabetes. In prediabetes, blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not yet high enough for a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes increases the risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke, but the good news is that lifestyle changes can help reverse the disease.