Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes Mellitus: What Is It?

Diabetes mellitus is a very serious, but manageable condition that currently affects about 7% of the national population, some of whom are not even aware that they have the condition.

Blood sugar levels

Diabetes mellitus comes in three major types, type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes gestational diabetes and a fourth one that is just beginning to find medical recognition; pre-diabetes mellitus is a condition wherein glucose levels are high most of the time although not enough to qualify as type 2 diabetes mellitus. All have similar symptoms but affect different populations groups. The problems for diabetes mellitus begin when the beta cells of the body’s pancreas suddenly become unable to produce enough insulin to maintain normal blood sugar levels. Variations of this inability result in the three different diabetes types mentioned: in Type 1, the inability is caused by the beta cell’s losing their autoimmune efficiency; in Type 2, there is resistance to insulin with regards to certain tissues as well as beta cell impairment; and in gestational diabetes, hormonal changes during pregnancy creates sudden resistance to insulin.

Without proper medical intervention and patient management, diabetes mellitus can lead to other complications and conditions. Acute hypoglycemia can sometimes lead to hypoglycemic shock and eventually coma. Among the elderly, diabetes mellitus can increase cardiovascular risks, retinal failure, nerve damage and chronic renal failure. In men, the effects on microvascular functions can lead to impotence. Wounds generally take longer to heal and it is not common for some diabetes sufferers who have received inadequate medical attention to suffer the horrid effects of gangrene which in some cases, results to amputation for tissue that is already beyond salvage.

Diabetes mellitus has been described as a lifestyle disease that has only become widespread in the modern era with the invention of food and food products which some say, causes the inability of the pancreas to function properly. Experts cite historical medical evidence and the seeming lack of references to diabetes mellitus as proof that poor modern lifestyle choices more than anything else, causes if not complicates diabetes. But everyone will agree that poor diet habits, excessive smoking and lack of exercise will have grave implications on one’s health regardless if one has diabetes or not.

The medical treatment for each type varies

The medical treatment for each type varies. While there is no cure to reverse type 1 and type 1, the commercial availability of insulin and modern insulin therapy has ensured that sufferers will enjoy long and productive lives. Along with an appropriate insulin therapy, patients are also advised on enforcing a strict diet and lifestyle management plan to complement available medical intervention. The gestational version of the disease is most of the time only incidental with pregnancy and the resulting effects of hormonal imbalances. It usually resolves itself after the pregnancy. Since the diseases is partially inherited with type 2 risks increasing with each family member who gets it, families with a history of the disease are advised to be aware that prevention is better than any cure. Since the disease can manifest itself suddenly after the age of 25, potential sufferers are advised to change their lifestyle habits to lessen their risks.