Diabetes Mellitus – A Metabolic Disorder

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Diabetes (diabetes mellitus) is no longer a new disorder for the generation of the present century. It prevails very frequently among the population of the modern world. Diabetes mellitus is basically termed as a metabolic disorder. Metabolism may be defined as the process of breakdown of food material for the generation of energy so that it can be utilized for growth and development. The end product of the food is glucose which is a sugar. The sugar glucose is present in our blood and is the chief source of energy our body needs. When the food we eat is digested, glucose enters our bloodstream and the cells utilize this glucose for growth and development. The cells cannot take directly glucose from the blood they require insulin for this task. Insulin makes the glucose readily available to the cells to be utilized. Actually insulin is a hormone that is secreted by pancreas. When food is eaten, pancreas secretes adequate quantity of insulin so that the glucose present in the bloodstream may enter the cells, so that the glucose level in the blood declines. An individual suffering from diabetes generally shows elevated levels of blood glucose and this condition is termed as hyperglycemia. This condition may arise when the body produces little or no insulin or the cells do not respond to the insulin produced by the pancreas resulting in higher blood glucose levels. The excess glucose leaves the body through urine. The body growth and development is hampered although plenty of glucose is present in the blood stream but the cells are not able to utilize it.

The word diabetes has got it origin from a Greek word meaning siphon. Aretus the Cappadocian was a Greek physician during the second century A.D. who the condition diabainein. The word became “diabetes” from the English adoption of the Medieval Latin diabetes. In 1675 Thomas Willis added mellitus to the term, although it is commonly referred to simply as diabetes. Mel in Latin means honey; the urine and blood of people with diabetes has excess glucose, and glucose is sweet like honey. In ancient China people found that ants were found to be attracted towards the urine of some people because it was sweet in taste so the term “Sweet Urine Disease” was coined. There exist three main forms of diabetes. The first type is called as Diabetes Type-I where no insulin is produced at all. The second type is called as Diabetes Type-II where either insulin is not produced in a sufficient quantity or the body insulin is not functioning properly. Both the diabetes Type-I, Type-II is chronic and persistent. The third type of diabetes is called gestational diabetes; it develops during pregnancy and resolves itself after child birth. The treatment for all the types of diabetes is available but Type-I and Type-II diabetes persists for lifetime with no known cure. The patient is administered regular doses of insulin which is available from 1921. The patient suffering from Type-I receives regular doses of insulin along with dietary as well as physical exercise. Patients suffering from Type-II are preferred tablets along with dietary as well as physical exercise but in some extreme cases the insulin injections are also administered to them. When the diabetes becomes uncontrollable the patient faces several complications which include hypoglycemia, ketoacidosis, and nonketotic hypersosmolar coma. The longer complications comprise cardiovascular disease, retinal damage, chronic kidney failure, nerve damage, poor healing of wounds, gangrene on the feet which may lead to amputation, and erectile dysfunction.

The individuals suffering from diabetes may be unaware of it sometimes as the earlier symptoms appear harmless. Regular medical checkup should be done in order to avoid the severe complications. The symptoms of diabetes include frequent urination where the blood glucose level is very high, the insulin is ineffective and the kidneys take more water in order to dilute glucose. This results in loss of blood glucose in the urine. Disproportionate thirst is another symptom where the patient drinks much more amount of water as compared to the normal person. Thirst is enhanced. Diabetes also results in the generation of intense hunger. This is because the cells are not able to utilize adequate amount of glucose for their growth and development they try to find sources of energy from wherever possible. This intense hunger results in weight gain. Patients suffering from Type-I are noticed with profuse weight loss because the cells are not getting energy, the fat stored in the body and the muscles breaks in order to provide energy. The depletion of body reserves leads to weight loss and increased fatigue along with increased irritability. Diabetes also leads to blurred vision and the wounds and the cuts take longer time to heal. The body becomes more prone to infections. The gums become red and swollen pulling away the teeth. Men suffering from diabetes generally show sexual dysfunction. Excessive amount of sugar in the blood also damages the nerves resulting in numbness or tingling of hands and feet. Diabetes can be diagnosed by carrying out the urine test which predicts excessive amount of blood glucose. Blood test also predicts the glucose level strengthening to the fact that the person is having diabetes.

The Type-I diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the person’s body has destroyed its own insulin producing beta cells of pancreas so no insulin is produced. Most people develop diabetes Type-I at the age of 40. Out of all the individuals suffering from diabetes 15% persons have Type-I. Type-I is basically fatal unless the patient receives regular doses of insulin. Pancreas transplant is also helpful for the patients suffering from Type-I as it can help in normal production of insulin so that the condition may be kept under control. Type-I may also occur at the age of 18. It is non-preventable. AC peptide is basically used to diagnose whether an individual is having Type-I or Type-II. The diet should be kept under control for a patient suffering from diabetes Type-I. Individuals are prescribed to eat food low in fat, little or no sugar in meals. The amount of cholesterol as well as carbohydrates should be maintained. Person’s suffering from Type-I diabetes have greater risks of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, blindness, kidney failure, gum disease and nerve damage, compared to a person who does not have any type of diabetes. Physical exercise helps to regulate the blood sugar level.

In diabetes Type-II the person either does not produce insulin or shows insulin resistance. The persons suffering from Type-II are overweight. This form usually occurs at a later age. In the early stages of Type 2 insulin sensitivity is the main abnormality – also there are elevated levels of insulin in the blood. There are medications which can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce glucose production by the liver. The risk factors of Type-II include cardiovascular attacks, development of gestational diabetes, impaired fasting glycaemia (IFG), impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), severe mental health problems.

Diabetes can be kept under control by keeping the blood sugar level under control by taking proper diet not very much rich in fats, carbohydrates, sugar and cholesterol. Smoking should be avoided. A health care professional can also take care of a patient suffering from diabetes as he or she can provide the patient a proper diet chart along with the type of exercise a patient requires. Now these days’ glucose meters are also available so that the patient can check his or her glucose level by himself.

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