Overview-

Diabetes Mellitus, commonly known as diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which your body is not able to process and use the glucose from the food you eat. Glucose is vital for your health as it is an important source of energy for cells.

Diabetes, without proper management can lead to buildup of sugars {mainly glucose} in blood. Too much sugar in your blood can lead to serious health issues including stroke and heart diseases.

The underlying cause of diabetes varies by type and so does the managing conditions.

The role of glucose: –

Glucose is a sugar. It is a source of energy for all the cells of the body. Glucose is derived from food that we eat and it is also produced in liver.

It is absorbed into the bloodstream from where it enters cells with the help of insulin.

The liver stores and makes glucose.

When glucose levels are low, such as when a person has not eaten in a while or in case of fasting. The liver breaks up stored glycogen into glucose to keep the glucose levels in a normal range. 

How insulin works? 

  DIABETES: - TYPES, SYMPTOMS AND CAUSES(source)

Insulin is a hormone which is produced by the beta cells of an organ situated below the stomach called Pancreas.

The pancreas secretes insulin into the bloodstream which circulates in blood and allows glucose to get inside the cells of your body and hence, insulin lowers the amount of sugar in blood.

As the blood sugar level drops, so does the secretion of insulin from the pancreas.

SYMPTOMS OF DIABETES: –

The symptoms of diabetes vary depending on the amount of glucose present in bloodstream. Symptoms appear quickly in Type-1 diabetes-over a few weeks or months. Type-2 diabetes progresses slowly over the years.

During initial years the person may not experience any symptom at all since they develop gradually over years. In Gestational Diabetes there are no noticeable symptoms, a test is performed in between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy to check its presence.

The general symptoms of Diabetes are: –

  • Increased thirst.
  • Frequent urination
  • Extreme hunger
  • Weakness and feeling of tiredness
  • Fatigue
  • Numbness and tingling sensation in hands and feet
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Dry mouth
  • Irritability
  • Blurred vision
  • Slow healing sores and wounds
  • Frequent vaginal and urinary tract infections in women
  • Presence of ketone bodies in urine [ Ketone bodies are a by-product of fat breakdown.

Types of diabetes: –

 There are 3 main types of diabetes:

  1. TYPE 1 DIABETES: –

    Also referred to as insulin dependent diabetes the cause of this type is still not clear. Researchers believe that a combination of genetic susceptibility as well as environmental factors that lead the immune cells of the body to attack and destroy insulin producing cells in the pancreas. This results in no or very little insulin and the people with type-1 diabetes have to take insulin, hence the name insulin dependent diabetes.

About 10% of people with diabetes have this type. Lifestyle factors like weight aren’t thought to play a role.

  1. TYPE 2 DIABETES: –

    This usually starts as insulin resistance i.e., body cells become resistant to the action of insulin. As a result, pancreas produces more insulin until it can no longer fulfill the demand. The glucose being unable to get inside body cells accumulates in the blood.

DIABETES: - TYPES, SYMPTOMS AND CAUSES (source)

It is most common type of diabetes. About 90-95% people with diabetes have this type. The exact cause as to why this happens is uncertain. Contributing factors may include: –

  • Genetics
  • Lack of exercise
  • Being overweight – Although this factor is strongly linked to Diabetes Type – 2 but not everyone who has diabetes type – 2 is overweight.
  • Environmental factors.
  1. GESTATIONAL DIABETES: – This type occurs in pregnant women. During pregnancy, the hormones produced by placenta make body cells more resistant to insulin. Normally the pancreas produces enough extra insulin to overcome this insulin blocking effect of placental hormones. But sometimes the pancreas is not able to meet up the demand. This results in too small amount of glucose to enter into the body cells and a large amount stays in the bloodstream leading to diabetes.

Most women who have gestational diabetes deliver healthy babies but if not, properly managed serious complications can occur affecting both mother and the baby. Gestational diabetes generally resolves after pregnancy period but in some cases can lead to Type-2 Diabetes.

 
(source)

Type 1 diabetes can occur at any age, though it usually appears during childhood or adolescence. Type 2 diabetes, the more common one, can develop at any age, though it’s more common in people above 40 years of age.

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