Diabetes Mellitus: Types, Risk Factors, Symptoms, Treatments
Jul 01, 2020
What is Diabetes Mellitus?
Diabetes Mellitus (or Diabetes) is a disease which affects your body; wherein the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin. Due to less insulin or inability to use it correctly, the body is not able to properly absorb energy from the food. It has no cure, but treatments can manage the condition.
Diabetes Mellitus can occur due to one or both of the following situations:
- Insulin is a hormone that helps the body utilise the energy from sugar. When the pancreas generates little or no insulin at all, the body suffers from diabetes mellitus.
- When the pancreas generates insulin but, that insulin does not help the body as it should. This situation is also known as Insulin Resistance. It is a major factor that leads to type 2 and gestational diabetes.
Our body’s entire metabolism is affected when infected with Diabetes. The human body consists of millions of cells and they require food in a very simplified form. The food that contains sugar particles is broken down in the form of glucose.
The sugar particles that turn into glucose cannot pass energy to the cells in the absence of insulin. Thus, the body needs to generate insulin in the right amount as insulin is necessary to convert food into energy.
When too much or too little glucose stays in your body, this condition is called high blood or low blood sugar level respectively. If such situations are not treated precisely and timely, the consequences might be life-threatening.
Diabetes Mellitus comes in different types, can be caused by varied reasons, and can be treated or managed in distinctive ways depending on an individual’s body.
Types of Diabetes Mellitus
Following are the types of Diabetes:
1. Diabetes Mellitus Type 1
Type 1 diabetes, also popularly known as Insulin-dependent Diabetes, is an acute disease. It might even be a juvenile illness that sometimes occurs right from childhood.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease where your body attacks your pancreases (which generates insulin), damages the organ, and as a result, does not produce insulin.
This can either occur due to your genes or an issue with the pancreas that creates insulin.
Type 1 diabetes brings along a long list of health problems consisting of heart disease, stroke, and kidney issues. It has the potential to cause damage to the tiny blood vessels in your eyes, nerves, and kidneys. Injecting insulin into your body is one of the most common processes of treatment to manage this condition.
Treatments for Type 1 Diabetes
The treatment for type 1 diabetes can be done through:
- Insulin syringes
- Using pumps that transfer insulin into the body using a tube to a catheter under your belly
- High-pressure jet injectors
- Insulin pens
The A1C blood test is a test for diabetes to monitor sugar levels in your body every three months. It informs the risks and improvements in your medical condition to your doctors.
Precautions for Type 1 Diabetes
Certain precautions to undertake for a Type 1 diabetes patient include:
- Proper Diet
- Exercising regularly
- Timely checkup
- Conducting timely tests and monitoring blood sugar levels.
2. Diabetes Mellitus Type 2
While Type 1 diabetes is generally known as Juvenile-onset Diabetes, Type 2 diabetes is Adult-onset Diabetes or non-insulin-dependent Diabetes. Type 2 is a more common form of Diabetes since around 90% of people with diabetes have Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.
Our pancreas generates insulin, but in the case of Type 2 Diabetes, the insulin is
either not in the correct amount that your body needs or, the body is impotent to use it the way it should. This condition is called insulin resistance when your fat, liver, or muscle cells do not respond to insulin. Type 2 diabetes is often milder than Type 1 but can cause the same health issues as in Type 1.
This disease is most commonly observed in obese people. It makes it harder for the pancreas to generate insulin and often results in insulin resistance, making it even more difficult for the body to maintain blood sugar levels.
While some people need proper medication to survive this disease, Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 can be managed by following a proper diet, regular exercises, and health checkups.
3. Gestational Diabetes
Gestational Diabetes is discovered during middle or late pregnancy, and usually goes away after pregnancy and in some cases, turns into Type 2 diabetes.
During pregnancy, gestational diabetes results from insulin resistance. A woman’s blood sugar travels through the body to the placenta for the baby. It is extremely essential to control this form of Diabetes for the baby’s growth and development.
Gestational diabetes is a form of risk for the health of the child as well as the mother. If the mother acquires this disease during pregnancy, the child is likely to have an unusual weight gain, increased chances of obesity, and may have breathing issues during birth.
In the mother’s case, complications such as a caesarian delivery and damage to eyes, nerves, kidneys, etc. are a severe risk.
The risk of gestational diabetes increases in the following cases for pregnant women who are/have:
- Above the age of 35 years
- Have a generic history of diabetes
- Are obese
- Have a history of PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome )
Causes of Diabetes Mellitus
Although the causes of this disease are not known, the following are some of the most important risk factors of diabetes mellitus which are likely to increase the chances of getting the disease:
- With increasing age, the risk of developing diseases also increases.
- Family history
- Any injury or surgeries to the pancreas such as accidents, infections, or tumours.
- If the disease is autoimmune
- Any other surgery or illness or physical stress
- Ill habits such as smoking or drinking
- Abnormal cholesterol levels
- High blood pressure
- Usage of certain steroids
It is essential to understand the fact that diabetes mellitus has nothing to do with sugar alone. Too much sugar can cause tooth decay but sugar alone can’t cause diabetes.
Symptoms of Diabetes Mellitus
Diabetes mellitus symptoms include the following list:
- Frequent dry mouth
- Increased quench for thirst
- Increased hunger
- Increased and uncertain weight loss
- Feeling weak, tired, and at a loss of energy
- Frequent urination
- Numbness and tingling feet
- Unexplained dry or itchy skin
- Eyesight is affected, which results in blurred vision
- Slow healing in wounds or scars
Symptoms of Low Blood Sugar Level
A sugar level of less than 70 mg/dl is considered a low blood sugar level. Your body usually signals via communicating that you need food and energy. Early symptoms for the same are as followed:
- Feeling weak, dizzy, dehydrated, or blacked out
- Frequent sweating
- Feeling hungry despite eating timely
- Pale skin
- Pounding heart/ increase or decrease in heart rate
- Feeling depressed/ anxious
Some of the late symptoms include:
- Unable to focus or concentrate
- Mild or heavy headaches
- Lack of coordination
- Nightmares and abrupt sleep
- Passing out
- Feeling numb in your mouth or tongue
- Feeling moody or cranky
Complications of Diabetes
Diabetes Mellitus can seriously impair blood vessels and result in restricted blood flow. Due to this reason, diabetic patients are likely to have many complications which are as followed:
- Affects the brain, which can result in a stroke
- Can affect your eyes, causing blindness or poor vision
- Can cause chronic kidney diseases
- Can affect the heart causing a heart attack
- Can affect the nerves causing decreased sensations, especially in your feet.
Treatment of Diabetes Mellitus
As mentioned earlier, this is no cure for diabetes. However, several treatments can be done to fight, manage and control the disease from increasing. Some of them include:
- Following a proper diet by consulting your doctor and strictly adhering to the diet plan
- Exercising regularly with proper consultation and training if needed.
- Consciously working to lose weight
- Insulin injections in case of Type 1
Diabetes mellitus treatment includes these four recommended solutions. Results are slow and sometimes take longer than expected to show significant improvements. But the only key to these treatments is consistency and firm determination to manage and control the disease from increasing.
There are important points to consider while undergoing these treatments. For instance, while exercising, one must ensure not to get dehydrated and not to exert to a point that harms them instead of healing them. Sometimes while exercising, the sugar level goes down.
Thus, knowing when to stop is equally important. Eating a snack or a chocolate bar with high sugar content is proved to be helpful in such cases.
Taking care of yourself and getting the right treatment can help in preventing any type of Diabetes – be it Diabetes Mellitus Type 1 or Diabetes Mellitus Type 2.
Keep a check on your food habits and always consult a doctor for any concerns or emergencies. In the case of medical requirements, you can always look for that deliver to your doorstep: RELATED PRODUCTS.