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Understanding Diabetes Mellitus

Nov 2, 2007
Diabetes mellitus, often simply diabetes , is a syndrome characterized by disordered metabolism and inappropriately high blood sugar resulting from either low levels of the hormone insulin or from abnormal resistance to insulin's effects coupled with inadequate levels of insulin secretion to compensate.The characteristic symptoms are excessive urine production (polyuria), excessive thirst and increased fluid intake, and blurred vision; these symptoms may be absent if the blood sugar is mildly elevated.

The World Health Organization recognizes three main forms of diabetes mellitus: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes (occurring during pregnancy),[3] which have similar signs, symptoms, and consequences, but different causes and population distributions. Ultimately, all forms are due to the beta cells of the pancreas being unable to produce sufficient insulin to prevent hyperglycemia.Type 1 diabetes is usually due to autoimmune destruction of the pancreatic beta cells, which produce insulin. Type 2 diabetes is characterized by insulin resistance in target tissues, but some impairment of beta cell function is necessary for its development. Gestational diabetes is similar to type 2 diabetes, in that it involves insulin resistance; the hormones of pregnancy can cause insulin resistance in women genetically predisposed to developing this condition.

Whenever a physician diagnoses someone as having diabetes, they are most likely referring to diabetes mellitus, which is a condition that is characterized by superfluities of glucose in the blood and urine. This results from an abnormal carbohydrate metabolism.

This is a very common yet somewhat serious disease. In the United States alone approximately 2% of all males and around 5% of all females have this disease. It can start at any stage of a person's life. However, in the majority of cases diabetes mellitus manifests itself after a person has had a serious infection or injury or while a person is under a great deal of emotional strain. Those people who are overweight are known to suffer from this disease more often than those who are not overweight. Many medical experts say that diet is probably the most important factor in successfully handling diabetes mellitus. A person who has this disease can enjoy a normal diet as long as they do not eat too much or too little of the nutrients they need. Controlling the blood-sugar level by means of administering insulin is another important part of treating diabetes mellitus.

The symptoms of diabetes mellitus are almost always the same regardless as to whether the case began when a person is a child or an adult. These symptoms will usually include an excessive production of urine, a great desire to drink liquids, a feeling of weakness and itchy skin. After a medical examination has been done on a person who has diabetes mellitus the doctor will discover the presence of glucose in the blood. This will be in an amount that is a lot higher than what is considered to be the normal volume. The body being unable to produce or use the insulin that comes from the pancreas causes high blood sugar. So rather than being utilized for energy production, glucose that builds up in the blood will get carried off with the person's urine.

There are certain secondary conditions that are likely to develop if diabetes mellitus remains untreated. These include such things as kidney disease, the loss of bladder control, which will result in a person having the urge to urinate frequently; a person's skin and other body tissues may also become more prone to infections. Long-term conditions such as blindness and severe nerve damage can result from uncontrolled blood sugar levels.
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