Diabetes mellitus

Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease characterized by high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia). It occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin, the hormone that regulates the uptake of glucose (sugar) from the blood into cells, or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin produced. Diabetes mellitus is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, vision loss, and lower extremity amputations.

Types of diabetes

  • Type 1 diabetes : An autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. People with type 1 diabetes must take insulin for life.
  • Type 2 diabetes : Develops when the body cannot use insulin properly (insulin resistance). Over time, the pancreas may produce less insulin. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form and is strongly linked to obesity, lack of physical activity and genetic factors.
  • Gestational diabetes : Occurs during pregnancy and usually disappears after birth, but increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.


Although symptoms can vary depending on the type of diabetes, some of the most common signs include:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Unintentional weight loss (especially with type 1 diabetes)
  • fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Slow wound healing
  • Frequent infections


Diabetes is diagnosed through various blood tests including:

  • Blood sugar test : Measures glucose levels in the blood.
  • HbA1c test : Measures the average blood sugar level over the last two to three months.
  • Oral glucose tolerance tests : Measuring how the body processes glucose after consumption.

Treatment and management

While type 1 diabetes is managed with daily insulin injections or an insulin pump, treatment for type 2 diabetes often involves lifestyle changes such as diet changes, regular exercise, and weight loss. Medications, including oral medications or insulin, may also be necessary to control blood sugar levels.

Prevention and management

For type 2 diabetes:

  • A balanced diet with limited sugar and fat consumption
  • Regular physical activity
  • Weight control
  • Quit smoking

There are no known preventive measures for type 1 diabetes because the causes are largely genetic and environmental factors that are not fully understood or controllable.

Important to note

Diabetes requires long-term care and self-management to prevent complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney damage and vision problems. Regular medical examinations are crucial to monitor health status and make timely adjustments in treatment.

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