Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes Mellitus Needs Your Attention

Diabetes Mellitus is one of the most common and life-long diseases marked by high levels of sugar in the blood. It's severity may result in dreadful consequences. There are two important factors that cause this disease, too little insulin (a hormone produced by the pancreas to regulate blood sugar), resistance to insulin, or both. To understand reasons that lead to DM, it is important to first understand the normal process of food metabolism. Several things that happen when food is digested are:

A) Glucose, a form of sugar enters the bloodstream. It is a source of fuel for the body.

B) An organ called the pancreas secretes insulin. The role of insulin is to move glucose from the bloodstream into muscle, fat, and liver cells, where it can be used as fuel.

Diabetic people have high blood glucose. This is either because of little secretion of insulin by pancreas or because of no response of muscles, fat and liver cells towards insulin. There are three major types of diabetes:

1) Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in childhood. In this disease, pancreas hardly secretes insulin and regular insulin injections are taken to sustain life.

2) Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes comprising 90 % of all diabetic cases. It usually occurs in adulthood. Here, pancreas make insufficient insulin to keep blood glucose levels normal.

3) Gestational diabetes is high blood glucose that develops at any time during pregnancy in a person who does not have diabetes.

There are varied risk factors that lead to Diabetes Mellitus. Family history, obesity, high blood pressure, high blood levels of triglycerides and high cholesterol level are some of the common causes.

High blood levels of glucose can cause several problems, including frequent urination, excessive thirst, hunger, fatigue, weight loss, and blurred vision. These are some common symptoms to diagnose the disease. Urine analysis, fasting blood glucose level, random blood glucose level and oral glucose tolerance test are some tests to confirm the disease.

There is no cure for diabetes. The immediate goals aim at stabilizing blood sugar and eliminating symptoms of high blood sugar. Long-term treatment aims at prolonging life and preventing long-term complications such as heart diseases and kidney failure.

Skills to cope up with disease are very important for patients. They include recognizing low and high blood sugar, proper insulin and nominal food intake. Blood glucose can be self monitored by checking the glucose content of a drop of blood. Regular testing is required to know how well diet, medication, and exercise are working together to control diabetes. Regular exercise is especially important for people with diabetes. It helps in blood sugar control, weight loss, and high blood pressure.