What is Diabetes Mellitus?

Diabetes Mellitus, commonly known as diabetes, is a disorder of carbohydrate metabolism characterized by high blood sugar level (hyperglycaemia) and high level of sugar in urine (glycosuria). It is accompanied in many cases by secondary alterations of fat and protein metabolism, resulting in an array of physical disorders.

Diabetes therefore is a metabolic disease. It can be kept well under control and reasonably manged with proper care through it cannot be cured once it occurs.

What are the types of Diabetes?

1. Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM) or Type 1
2. Non-Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (NIDDM) or Type 2
3. Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM)
4. Malnutrition Related Diabetes Mellitus (MRDM)
5. Other type of diabetes associated with certain conditions and syndromes

  • Pancreatic disease
  • Disease of hormonal etiology
  • Drug-induced or chemical-induced conditions
  • Abnormalities of insulin or its receptors
  • Certain genetic syndromes
  • Miscellaneous

6. Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT)

  • Non-obese
  • Obese
  • Associated with certain conditions and syndromes

What are the symptoms of Diabetes?

  • Polydipsia
  • Polyuria
  • Polyphagia
  • Blurred vision
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Soreness that don’t heal easily

What are the complications of diabetes?

Acute complications of diabetes

Two complications may develop in diabetes mainly arising from severe insulin insufficiency. They are
1. Hypoglycaemia
2. Diabetic acidosis and coma

Chronic complications of diabetes

1. Diabetic Eye disease
2. Kidney diseases
3. Diabetic neuropathy
4. Cardio-vascular diseases
5. The diabetic foot

How to diagnose diabetes?

Anyone who has symptoms of diabetes or is at risk for the disease should be tested. These blood tests are done to diagnose prediabetes and diabetes:

  • The fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test measures your blood sugar after you’ve fasted for 8 hours.
  • The A1C test provides a snapshot of your blood sugar levels over the previous 3 months.

How to prevent diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes isn’t preventable because it is caused by a problem with the immune system. Some causes of type 2 diabetes, such as your genes or age, aren’t under your control either. Yet many other diabetes risk factors are controllable. Most diabetes prevention strategies involve making simple adjustments to your diet and fitness routine.

If you’ve been diagnosed with prediabetes, here are a few things you can do to delay or prevent type 2 diabetes:

  • Get at least 150 minutes per week of aerobic exercise, such as walking or cycling.
  • Cut saturated and trans fats, along with refined carbohydrates, out of your diet.
  • Eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Eat frequently in smaller portions.
  • Try to lose 7 percent of your body weight if you are overweight or obese.

Diabetes during pregnancy

Women who have never had diabetes can suddenly develop gestational diabetes in pregnancy. Hormones produced by the placenta can make your body more resistant to the effects of insulin.

Some women who had diabetes before they conceived carry it with them into pregnancy. This is called pre-gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes should go away after the delivery, but it does significantly increase the risk for getting diabetes later. Having diabetes during pregnancy can also lead to complications for the new born, such as jaundice or breathing problems.

According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), about half of women with gestational diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within 5 to 10 years of delivery.