Diabetes Mellitus is considered a cover all word for the health condition regarding how the body uses glucose, or sugar. Glucose is converted from the foods that you eat and every cell in your body needs it to function.
If the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin, or has shut down all together and does not produce any, to help the sugar reach the cells and the sugar builds up in you blood stream you probably have diabetes mellitus.
Insulin is the hormone produced by your pancreas to help metabolize the food you eat and give your body the energy it needs.
There are three types of diabetes:
1. Type I diabetes is the type where the pancreas no longer produces insulin and you need to give yourself insulin shots everyday in order to survive. Type I diabetes is an autoimmune disorder which means that your body is working against itself. five to ten percent of those with diabetes have Type I.
2. Type II diabetes is the type where the pancreas is producing less insulin than needed or the cells in your body have become resistant to the insulin that is produced and is the most common form of diabetes. Ninety to ninety-five percent of those with diabetes have Type II.
3. Gestational diabetes happens during pregnancy and most of the time goes away after the baby is born. Sometimes, though, it can be a precursor to getting diabetes later in life.
Basic symptoms of diabetes include excessive thirst and increased urination. You may notice that cuts and bruises heal slower than you would expect. Unexplained weight loss, constant hunger, fatigue and irritability round out the symptoms for Type I diabetes.
Symptoms for Type II diabetes can include all of the above plus an increased susceptibility to infection, blurred vision, and tingling in the hands or feet.
Gestational diabetes will usually not show any symptoms except increased urination and thirst.
Blood tests can tell your doctor whether or not you have developed diabetes. Simple tests like the finger prick and another test called A1c will give your doctor the information he needs to diagnose you. Gestational diabetes is diagnosed using an oral glucose tolerance test that measures plasma glucose values. Your doctor will want to pay close attention to your condition as your pregnancy progresses.
We have discussed the fact that the reason someone develops diabetes is that the pancreas either does not work properly or does not work at all but what are the reason behind the pancreas malfunctioning in the first place? There are several factors that may contribute to the development of diabetes and they are:
Genetics – It is well believed in the medical community that genetics play a large role in someone developing diabetes. If you have even one relative who has diabetes you are at a higher risk to develop it yourself.
Weight – If you eat a high-fat, high-carb diets, do not get a lot of exercise and have gained quite a bit of weight over the years, you may be at a higher risk as well.
Environment – I do not know specifics but some viral infections can cause you to develop diabetes mellitus. If this concerns you then speak with your doctor about any recent viral infections you have had.