Diabetes

Diabetes Mellitus, commonly referred as diabetes, is a metabolic disorder in which there are high blood sugar levels over a prolonged period of time. Common symptoms of diabetes are weight loss, increased thirst, increased appetite and frequent urination, esp at night time. Several non-specific signs and symptoms include headache, fatigue, delayed wound healing, vision disturbances, and itching of the skin etc.

Insulin , is the principal hormone that regulates the uptake of glucose from the blood into most cells of the body. Insulin production is proportional to rise of blood glucose level and is produced by beta cells found in the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas.

Types of diabetes:

Type I (Insulin dependant/Juvenile diabetes): Characterized by loss of insulin producing beta cells of the pancreas, leading to insulin deficiency. Further classified into immune-mediated and idiopathic.

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Type II (Non insulin dependant): ): Is characterized by insulin resistance and may be combined with relatively reduced insulin production. It is primarily due to life style factors esp. lack of physical activity, poor diet, stress, obesity and urbanization. Gestational diabetes: Pregnant woman suffer with high blood glucose levels without previous history of diabetes

Pre-diabetes This includes blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes

Diagnosis: Important blood tests to diagnose diabetes are
Glucose tolerance test
Fasting plasma glucose
Post-prandial glucose
Glycated hemoglobin

Prevention and management: Pre diabetes stage can be managed with changes in lifestyle. There is no known preventive measure for Type I diabetes. Preventing complications with arrest of progress of disease is very important for a better future.