Diabetes Mellitus – Types, Symptoms, and Causes

Diabetes Mellitus – Types, Symptoms, and Causes

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When you have diabetes mellitus, your body cannot use the energy you get from the food you eat. Commonly called diabetes, the disease is characterized by low insulin levels, or the body’s inability to use the insulin produced.

Insulin is a hormone that moves sugar from your blood cells to other body cells, where it is used for energy. When sugar is not used up, it accumulates in the body cells leading to high blood sugar. When high blood sugar is left untreated, it can damage your eyes, kidneys, nerves, and other vital organs.

Note that diabetes has no cure, but certain lifestyles like eating a balanced diet, exercising, and cutting on high sugary foods can reverse its effects and help you lead a healthy lifestyle.

Chronic diabetes mellitus occurs in two types, type 1 and type 2 diabetes. There is also a prediabetes condition where blood sugar levels are high, but not exaggerated to be called diabetes mellitus. Gestational diabetes mellitus occurs during pregnancy but can resolve after childbirth.

Types and Causes of Diabetes Mellitus

The two main types of diabetes mellitus are:

  • Type 1 Diabetes. It occurs when there is damage in the pancreatic cells that produce insulin. In this type of diabetes, the pancreas either doesn’t produce insulin or produces it at minimal levels. As a result, there is no sugar delivery to the body cells for energy production. Patients with type 1 diabetes have to continually use insulin injections to keep their body insulin levels in check. This type of diabetes is most prevalent among infants and young adults ages 30 and below. Only 10% of people with diabetes have type 1 diabetes.
  • Type 2 Diabetes. This is the insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus and is most common in adults. In this case, the pancreas produces insulin, but either the insulin is not enough or isn’t used correctly. 90% of people with diabetes are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

It can also occur in childhood years, too, given that the risk factors are present. It can be controlled by a strict diet and weight management exercises. Oral glucose intake might also be recommended, as well as injection shots.

Other minor forms of diabetes include:

  • Prediabetes is where the blood sugar levels are high, higher than normal but don’t qualify to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes.
  • Gestational Diabetes – Gestational diabetes mellitus occurs during pregnancy. The hormones produced by the placenta are known to make the mother’s cells resistant to insulin. The pancreas responds by making more insulin, but sometimes it’s unable to keep up. The result is too much glucose into the body cells, while high sugar amounts are retained in the blood leading to gestational diabetes.

Symptoms of Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus symptoms are variable, depending on the level of blood sugar in your blood. Germantown MD notes that people with type 2 diabetes and prediabetes may initially fail to notice the symptoms. Symptoms come quickly in type 1 diabetes and tend to be more lethal.

General symptoms of both types of diabetes mellitus include:

  • Elevated hunger
  • Increased thirst
  • Weight loss
  • Frequent Urination
  • Blurred vision
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Sores that never heal

Symptoms prevalent to men include low libido, lack of muscle strength, and erectile dysfunction.

Women mostly experience urinary tract infections, yeast infections, and itchy skin.

For Gestational Diabetes mellitus, there are no defined symptoms. Mostly, the disease is detected during the normal blood sugar tests at around the 24th week of gestation. In rare cases, expectant mothers will experience excess urination and thirst.

When to seek treatment

The slightest suspicion of diabetic symptoms in you or your child’s body prompts immediate treatment. Treatment should start immediately after the disease is diagnosed.

After being diagnosed with diabetes, a close medical follow-up is necessary to stabilize your blood sugar levels.

Complications

There are many complications of diabetes mellitus throughout the body. The risk of complications is higher if you have advanced blood sugar levels and if you’ve lived longer with it. Feel free to visit us at the Germantown Primary Healthcare before complications persist.

They include:

  • Nephropathy
  • Depression
  • Heart disease, stroke, and heart attack
  • Hearing loss
  • Dementia
  • Bacterial and fungal skin infections
  • Foot infection and sores that take long to heal
  • Neuropathy

For gestational diabetes, both the mother and the baby are at risk. The baby might experience the following:

  • Premature birth
  • Low blood sugar
  • Jaundice
  • Stillbirth
  • High risks for type 2 diabetes in the future
  • Above normal body weight

The mother might develop high blood sugar and type 2 diabetes. They may also undergo a cesarean section delivery procedure.

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