Diabetes mellitus, often simply referred to as diabetes, is a group of metabolic diseases in which a person has high blood sugar, either because the body does not produce enough insulin, or because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced. It is a serious, lifelong condition. The three main types of diabetes are:
Type 1 diabetes results from the body's failure to produce insulin, and presently requires the person to inject insulin.
Type 2 diabetes results from insulin resistance, a condition in which cells fail to use insulin properly, sometimes combined with an absolute insulin deficiency.
Gestational diabetes is when pregnant women, who have never had diabetes before, have a high blood glucose level during pregnancy. It may precede development of type 2 diabetes. Glucose levels vary before and after meals, and at various times of day. The normal range for most people (fasting adults) is about 80 to 110 mg/dl. A subject with a consistent range above 126 mg/dl is generally held to have hyperglycemia, whereas a consistent range below 70 mg/dl is considered hypoglycemic. In fasting adults, blood plasma glucose should not exceed 126 mg/dL. Sustained higher levels of blood sugar cause damage to the blood vessels and to the organs they supply, leading to the complications of diabetes. All forms of diabetes have been treatable since insulin became available in 1921, and type 2 diabetes may be controlled with medications. Both types 1 and 2 are chronic conditions that usually cannot be cured. Gestational diabetes usually resolves after delivery. Diabetes without proper treatments can cause many complications. Serious long-term complications include cardiovascular disease, chronic renal failure, and diabetic retinopathy (retinal damage). Adequate treatment of diabetes is thus important, as well as blood pressure control and lifestyle factors such as smoking cessation and maintaining a healthy body weight. Globally, as of 2012, an estimated 346 million people have type 2 diabetes Causes
The cause of diabetes depends on the type. Type 1 diabetes is partly inherited. One out of 10 people with diabetes has type 1 diabetes. These people usually find out they have diabetes when they are children or young adults. People with type 1 diabetes must inject insulin every day to live. The pancreas of a person with type 1 makes little or no insulin. Most people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. The pancreas of people with type 2 diabetes keeps making insulin for some time, but the body can’t use it very well. Most people with type 2 find out about their diabetes after age 30 or 40. Type 2 diabetes is due primarily to lifestyle factors and genetics. Certain risk factors make people more likely to get type 2 diabetes. Some of these are:
A family history of diabetes.
Lack of exercise.
Weighing too much.
Diabetes is a chronic disease which cannot be cured except in very specific situations. Management concentrates on keeping blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible, without causing hypoglycemia. This can usually be accomplished with diet, exercise, and use of appropriate medications. Medications
Type 1 diabetes can be managed by using insulin, and type 2 diabetes can be managed by relying on oral medications, as well as insulin. Lifestyle
There are roles for patient education, dietetic support, sensible exercise, with the goal of keeping both short-term and long-term blood glucose levels within acceptable bounds. In addition, given the associated higher risks of cardiovascular disease, lifestyle modifications are recommended to control blood pressure. Monitoring
In order to manage their diabetes, patients use glucometers to measure their glucose level in their body. Glucometer
A glucometer is a medical device for determining the approximate concentration of glucose in the blood. It is a key element of home blood glucose monitoring by...