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Diabetes mellitus - an introduction to this common chronic disease

Diabetes Mellitus Types

Diabetes mellitus affects millions of people all over the world. This is a type of metabolic disorder which affects metabolism of carbohydrates in the body. People suffering from this disorder can’t use glucose from their blood because of the problem related to insulin in their body.

There are two types of this disorder, known as diabetes type 1 and type 2. Some claim that there is also the third type, occurring in pregnancy and called gestational diabetes, but most scientists agree that this type is actually form of diabetes type 2. The basic differences between these two types of diabetes are the age when the disorder appears and changes in the body which led to the disorder.

Diabetes mellitus type 1 was earlier known as childhood or juvenile diabetes, because it usually occur in children. Some also call it insulin-dependent diabetes. This disorder develops when the beta cells in Islets of Langerhans can’t produce insulin. There is no insulin to help the transfer of glucose from the blood to different cells and tissues of the body. For that reason, patients suffering from diabetes type 1 need to monitor glucose level very closely and administer insulin whenever necessary.

Diabetes type 2 is the result of insulin resistance in the body. The body produces insulin but the cells have developed resistance to this substance and don’t react on it any more. In some cases, diabetes type 2 can be combined with absolute insulin deficiency. Since this disorder is commonly find among adults, it is not surprising doctors also call it adult-onset or non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus.

As already mentioned in the article, gestational diabetes is the condition which may affect pregnant women. After the childbirth blood glucose level can get back to normal, but these patients are exposed to greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in their lives.

Diabetes Treatment

Type 1 diabetes requires insulin shots, while diabetes mellitus type 2 can be treated with lifestyle changes in early stages. Patients who were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are frequently advised to decrease amount of carbohydrates they use every day. Regular physical exercise and loss of excess weight are also proven to be beneficial for these patients and their condition. If these preventive measures happen to fail in maintaining normal level of blood sugar, these patients are prescribed with medications.

Regardless the type of diabetes they are suffering from, most of diabetes patients must use their treatment for the rest of their lives.

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