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What is Diabetes Mellitus?

Diabetes Mellitus refers to a chronic group of diseases that affects how your body breaks up the glucose level in the blood. This glucose is produced after meals and any other food item we eat during the course of the entire day. The breakup is done by the hormone insulin produced in the pancreas. Although there are quite a few types of diabetes, the basic concept lies in the fact that the hormone insulin is deficient or is unavailable to break up this glucose into energy for the brain.

Symptoms

  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Extreme hunger
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Presence of ketones in the urine (ketones are a by-product of the breakdown of muscle and fat that happens when there is not enough insulin available)
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability

Causes

Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas which acts as an agent in the analysis of food items. It lets glucose from the food we eat pass from the bloodstream into the cells of the body to produce energy. All carbohydrate foods are broken down into glucose in the blood. Insulin helps glucose get into the cells which act as fuel for the brain.

Not being able to produce insulin or use it effectively leads to raised glucose levels in the blood (known as hyperglycemia). Over the long-term, high glucose levels are associated with damage to the body and failure of various organs and tissues.

Types

There are three main types of diabetes – Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational.

  • Type 1 – This can develop at any age but occurs most frequently in children and adolescents. When you have type 1 diabetes, your body produces very little or no insulin, which means that you need daily insulin injections to keep blood glucose levels under control.
  • Type 2 – This is more common in adults and accounts for around 90% of all diabetes cases. When you have type 2 diabetes, your body does not make good use of the insulin that it produces. The cornerstone of type 2 diabetes treatment is a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise and a healthy diet. However, over time, most people with type 2 diabetes will require oral drugs and/or insulin to keep their blood glucose levels under control.
  • Gestational diabetes (GDM) is a type of diabetes that consists of high blood glucose during pregnancy. It is associated with complications to both mother and child. GDM usually disappears after pregnancy but women affected and their children are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

Treatment of Diabetes

There is no cure for diabetes, but it can go into remission. People can manage it with medication and lifestyle changes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that develops when the body destroys the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin.

Controlling blood sugar (glucose) levels is the major goal in order to prevent complications of the disease as it helps with wound healing. You can manage Type 1 diabetes by dietary treatment, with insulin as well as changes and exercise. You can manage Type 2 diabetes with non-insulin medications, insulin, weight reduction, or dietary changes.

If you or someone you know has diabetes, you will need to consult your doctor regularly. Keeping your sugar levels in check is extremely important to prevent complications later on and to maintain quality of life. Holistic Healthcare has been helping patients and elderly people manage their disease and illness in the comfort of their homes. We understand how important it is to keep your sugar levels in check.

Call Holistic Healthcare (Pvt.) Limited on 03000 341 678 to talk to our healthcare professionals. We also provide caregivers and nurses who can take care of your patients at their homes.

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