Diabetes Mellitus

Topics: Diabetes mellitus, Obesity, Insulin Pages: 3 (808 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Diabetes mellitus has a long historical record dating back to second century AD. The word "diabetes" was first used by the Greek physician Aretaeus. The word diabetes means "siphon". It was first used to describe patients with excessive thirst and urination. In the 17th century, the word mellitus, meaning "like honey", was added when diabetes patients' urine was noticed to be sweet. However, the disease is not directly related to urine, but instead to the pancreas. Today many other symptons and complications of the disease are known. Although, the disease has many complications there are also simple treatments to follow to avoid serious problems. Diabetes is a familiar health problem that affects millions of people world wide.

Diabetes results from the failure of the pancreas to produce a sufficient amount of insulin. Insulin is the hormone that regulates the body's use of glucose. Therefore, the excess gluce remains in the bloodstream and passes out the body in urine. In some cases, the pancreas produces a sufficient amount of insulin, but the insulin is blocked from the body's cells and cannot be used. This causes diabetes patients to have abnormally high amounts of sugar in their blood and urine. Diagnosing a patient with diabetes is more complicated than measuring the glucose level of urine only one time. Instead the diagnosis involves several hours of glucose-tolerance tests. These tests measure the rate in which sugar is removed from the bloodstream. After the test are complete, a high glucose level indicates insufficient insulin and the patient is diagnosed with diabetes.

There are several symptoms and complications involved with diabetes mellitus. The symptoms are excessive thirst and urination, unusual hunger, a lot of weight loss, and fatigue. The complications are heart attack and stroke, chronic kidney disease, lower-extremity amputations, blindness, and death. Arteriosclerosis is a condition caused by prolonged high...

Cited: 1. Compton 's Encyclopedia
2. Microsoft Encarta '95
3. The Marshall Cavendish Illustrated Encyclopedia of Family Health, "Diabetes", published by Marshal Cavendish House, 1984, pp. 383-385
4. Www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pubs/facts98.htm. National Diabetes Fact Sheet
5. Www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/diabetes.htm. National Center for Chronic Disease and Prevention and Health Promotion
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