What is Diabetes Mellitus? (Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Prevention)

What is Diabetes Mellitus? (too much sugar in the blood) –

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Diabetes Mellitus is a disease of the pancreas. The pancreas is responsible for producing the hormone insulin. Insulin assists the body with using food for energy. Diabetes uses the insulin incorrectly or is failing to produce enough insulin. Insulin works to deliver glucose into the cells to be burned up as energy. When there is an insufficient level of insulin glucose levels rise. This is because the glucose cannot enter the body’s cells to be burned up fuel. Diabetes is also referred to as hyperglycemia or high blood sugar. It is estimated that about 6% or 17 million Americans have diabetes mellitus. Diabetes is known to be the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S.

What are the Symptoms of Diabetes Mellitus? Common symptoms include frequent urination, fatigue, and a decreased appetite. As well as unexplained weight loss, excessive hunger, extremely dry skin, sores. Including sudden changes in vision, tired often, tingling or numb hands & feet. As well as an unusually high number of infections.

What Causes Diabetes Mellitus? Diabetes Mellitus is the general name for three distinct types of diabetes. Type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. Type 1 occurs when the immune system destroys the beta cells in the pancreas. These cells are for insulin production, which is unable to be made. Type 2 is associated with the lifestyle habits and is the most common form. Obesity, poor diet and low activity are usually the causes of type 2 diabetes. In this form patients do produce insulin, but not enough to meet the demand. Gestational diabetes only occurs during pregnancy. Caused when increased hormones for the fetus leads to excess sugar in the blood. If the mother’s pancreas cannot produce more insulin it leads to this form. It is normally temporary and will end after the baby is born.

How is Diabetes Mellitus Treated? It is not reversible (for the exception of gestational which is only temporary). Treatment includes maintaining normal glucose levels & controlling cholesterol. Patients must monitor their blood sugar levels daily and watch their diets. As well as be physically active, monitor oral medicine, manage weight & stress. While also self-administering insulin via pump or injection, if required. Type 1 is a form that always requires insulin. Type 2 diabetes can be controlled through diet and exercise. However, severe forms of Type 2 may require insulin injections.

How is Diabetes Mellitus Prevented? All forms of type 1 are hereditary and cannot be prevented. Complications can be prevented or reduced by regulating blood sugar. Type 2 diabetes is a preventable disease. Often, people are warned they are pre-diabetic before they are fully diagnosed. A low-fat high fiber diet, 30 minutes of exercise & weight monitoring can help. In gestational diabetes, maintain a healthy diet and do regular blood testing. Typically, testing will be within 24 to 28 weeks of gestation. If a pregnant woman is diagnosed, her doctor will do the following: track her blood sugar and weight gain, as well as recommend a balanced diet.

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