What Diabetes Mellitus Means
Diabetes Mellitus commonly referred to as diabetes is a chronic medical condition characterized by high blood sugar levels over a prolonged period. It is a metabolic disorder that occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively utilize the insulin it produces.
Types of Diabetes Mellitus
There are three main types of diabetes mellitus:
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes often diagnosed in children young adults occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. This leads to little or no insulin production requiring daily insulin injections or the use of an insulin pump.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes accounting for around 90-95% of all cases. It usually develops in adults but can also occur in children adolescents. In this condition the body becomes resistant to insulin or fails to produce enough insulin. It can be managed through lifestyle changes oral medication or injections although some individuals may require insulin therapy.
Gestational diabetes affects pregnant women who have never had diabetes before. It occurs when hormonal changes during pregnancy affect insulin action resulting in high blood sugar levels. Gestational diabetes usually resolves after childbirth but women who have experienced it are at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
The symptoms of diabetes mellitus can vary based on the type severity of the condition. Some common symptoms include:
– Increased thirst frequent urination
– Unexplained weight loss
– Fatigue weakness
– Blurred vision
– Slow-healing wounds
– Increased hunger
– Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
If left uncontrolled diabetes mellitus can lead to several long-term complications including:
– Cardiovascular diseases: High blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels increase the risk of heart disease heart attack stroke.
– Nerve damage (neuropathy): Diabetes can cause damage to nerves in various parts of the body leading to symptoms like tingling numbness pain.
– Kidney damage (nephropathy): High blood sugar levels can gradually impair the kidneys’ ability to filter waste from the blood leading to kidney failure.
– Eye problems (retinopathy): Diabetes can damage the blood vessels in the retina leading to vision problems and in severe cases blindness.
– Foot complications: Nerve damage poor blood circulation in the feet can increase the risk of foot ulcers infections and in extreme cases amputation.
Diabetes Mellitus is a chronic condition that requires lifelong management. It is crucial to properly control blood sugar levels through medication a healthy diet regular physical activity regular check-ups with healthcare professionals. By effectively managing diabetes individuals can significantly reduce the risk of complications lead a healthier life.