What is Diabetes
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a disease that affects how our body uses blood sugar. Glucose is a source of the energy of the cell. In case our cells have a problem with utilizing glucose, DM occurs. This can happen for two reasons: due to a lack of insulin, a hormone that pushes glucose into cells, or cells' resistance to insulin. There are 2 types of DM, type I – insulin-dependent and type II – insulin-independent. Regardless of the type, DM is a serious health condition and a risk factor for several other diseases, especially those that affect the heart and blood vessels, and nerves.
What are the risk factors for Diabetes Mellitus?
- Family history of DM
- Physical inactivity
- Early age for DM I and older for DM II
- High blood pressure
- Autoimmune diseases
Symptoms of Diabetes Mellitus
Symptoms of DM vary depending on how high is the blood sugar. Some of the signs and symptoms of type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes are:
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination
- Extreme hunger
- Unexplained weight loss
- Blurred vision
- Slow-healing sores and wounds
- Frequent infections, such as gums or skin infections and vaginal infections
Although both types of DM can develop at any age, usually DM I develops during childhood or adolescence, while DM type II is more frequent in people over 40.
How is Diabetes Mellitus diagnosed?
- Random blood sugar test – blood sugar at any time higher than 11.1 mmol/l suggest DM
- Fasting blood sugar test – in case you have fasting blood sugar higher than 7mmol/l measured in 2 in consecutive days this is suggested of DM.
- Oral glucose tolerance test - For this test, you should fast overnight, and the fasting blood sugar level is measured. Then you drink a sugary liquid, and blood sugar levels are measured after 2 hours. Blood sugar higher than 11.1mmol/l means diagnosis of DM.
Treatment of Diabetes Mellitus
Depending on what type of diabetes you have, blood sugar monitoring, insulin, and oral medications may play a role in your treatment. Eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight and regular activity also are extremely important factors in managing diabetes. In case your blood sugar is not very high, non-medication treatment is the first line. These measures significantly slow the progression of DM and the occurrence of complications such as heart attack, stroke, neuropathy, kidney disease.
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