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Knowing Diabetes Mellitus

Updated on May 6, 2013
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What is Diabetes?

What is diabetes? This is a common question that you can hear anywhere in the world. This is because the popularity of this health condition is fast rising. The term diabetes is also called diabetes mellitus representing a group of metabolic disorder concerning blood glucose level and insulin. This health condition is commonly manifested by polyuria or frequent urination, polydipsia or extreme thirst sensation, and polyphagia or extreme hunger sensation. These are signs and symptoms arise each time hyperglycemia or high blood glucose level in the body occurs. Diabetes is developed due the pancreas’ inability to produce sufficient amount of insulin or inability of the cells to respond to insulin, or both.

Normal Body Processes

Normally, the insulin is produced by the special cells in the pancreas known as the beta cells of the Islets of Langerhans. Insulin has two main functions in the body namely:

  1. It serves as a channel to bring glucose inside the cells through the insulin receptors for consumption and proper performance of their functions.
  2. It counters the action of glucagon, which is, stimulating the liver to convert glucose to glycogen and inhibits the conversion of non-carbohydrate materials to glucose.

Both of these function of insulin focuses to lower the blood glucose level and promoting proper body usage of glucose by the cells and tissues. The secretion of insulin is from a negative feedback from the body in cases of sudden rise of glucose level in the body.

The Basic Pathophysiology of Diabetes Mellitus

With the case of diabetes mellitus, the problem with the level of insulin or the rejection of the cells on the action of insulin or both; causes the glucose to stay out of the cells where it is not supposed to stay. This leads to their accumulation in the blood and goes with the general circulation. This is the reason why glucose level is high in the blood while the cells and tissues are gradually turning weak and die due to glucose depletion as manifested by poor wound healing and organ failures among diabetics.

The simple issue of blood sugar and insulin imbalance in diabetes mellitus poses great impact in the body for it affects number of cells which disturbs the normal functioning of an organ. The modification in the functioning of an organ means life-threatening condition if not properly attended for it has the capacity to cause domino effect among organs and systems. In the case of diabetes mellitus, there is simultaneous affecting of many organs, and not just simple organs, but major organs like the kidneys, the brain, the heart, and the skin.

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How Diabetes Become Deadly

Its complications are among the top-ranking health problems causing mortality across the globe. Its complications like stroke and heart problems has higher mortality rate over breast cancer and AIDS combined.

Diabetes mellitus is a gradual developing health problem, alarming health practitioners worldwide for it has a significant incidence rate. It has no known cure yet despite the aggressive researches that scientist conduct. The only available treatment course nowadays are managements on how to reduce the blood glucose level and relieving its symptoms.

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Responses To Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes is costly to manage and control its complications. This is the reason why responses to diabetes vary among countries. People from developed countries have more sophisticated gadgets and more aware of the negative effects of diabetes that is why they are more responsive to special treatment regimens for diabetics. Meanwhile, only a few diabetics from third world countries can afford the medications and diagnostic tests for diabetes. There are even some who just let this health problem ruin everything due to hopelessness. Diabetes mellitus is not a communicable disease that can be transmitted through direct contact or via airborne manner; this is the reason why most governments do not pay much attention to this health problem as much as pulmonary tuberculosis.

Though diabetes cannot cause immediate disabilities and death just like other diseases, it is equally or much more deadly than any other health problems once it complicated to other body organs. By the time it affects one or more of the major organs; it’s too late to handle with simple medical interventions.

Once diabetes occurs, it means lifetime continuous health care process. It can never be cured, but it can be prolonged from occurrence and developing its complications. Adhering to treatment regimens like religious taking of prescribed hypoglycemic agents plus a healthy lifestyle is the only left response to this health problem. Having a healthy balanced diet, regular exercise, and routine check-ups are also beneficial components of a perfect treatment regimen.

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