Diabetes is a metabolic disease that can afflict anyone of any age. It is one of the most common disorders affecting people worldwide. It usually occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin to turn sugars ingested into the body into energy.
Insulin lowers sugar levels in the blood. If insulin is not in sufficient and normal levels, sugar goes high and gets accumulated in the blood and urine, leading to diabetes mellitus.
It may occur at any age, but 80% of cases occur after 40. It is thus a disease of the middle-aged and elderly.
1. Type 1 (insulin dependent, IDDM, juvenile onset)
2. Type 2 (non-insulin dependent, NIDDM, adult onset)
3. Gestational diabetes (during pregnancy in women)
4. Malnutrition related diabetes mellitus (MRDM)
Diabetes type 1 is an autoimmune disease, treated with special dietary restrictions, exercise and with insulin. The patient has to take a daily dose of insulin to stay away from complications, as his body is unable to produce insulin in the required quantity.
Common symptoms of diabetes type 1 include increased thirst and urination, constant hunger, unexplained weight loss, blurred vision, and fatigue. An early diagnosis of this type is very important. Without daily injections of insulin, the patient is at a high risk of lapsing into a diabetic coma, a life-threatening condition.
Diabetes type 2 develops in adults and is prevented and controlled with certain lifestyle changes, including a healthy diet and regular exercise. Some patients need to take medications and many use natural remedies to control the symptoms. The major factors responsible for this type are obesity, being inactive and old age. This is the most common type and the patient does not have to depend on insulin.
It is not caused by the body's inability to produce insulin, but rather by the body's inability to use the insulin. This results in the higher levels of sugars in the blood than normal. Common symptoms of diabetes type 2 are frequent thirst and urination, unexplained weight loss, nausea, fatigue, frequent infections, wounds and sores heal slowly.
Gestational diabetes develops only in certain women during pregnant. Their blood glucose level will go back to normal after the delivery of baby. While the symptoms usually disappear after the birth, there are significant risks to both the mother and child. Mother should be monitored because she is at a higher risk of developing diabetes type 2 at later time.
This type of diabetes is due to onset of pancreatic disease during childhood, with peak onset of symptoms between 15-35 years. It is related to malnutrition during natal and early childhood. It has high prevalence in tropical and developing countries.