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What is a Diabetes Mellitus?

Diabetes is a chronic, incurable systemic disorder of the metabolism, which is characterized with hyperglycemia - permanently increased level of glucose in the blood. It is mainly caused by hereditary factors. Diabetes occurs due to reduced secretion or reduced biological action of hormone - insulin or the combination of these two factors. Lack of insulin hinders the exchange of carbohydrates, fats and proteins in the body, and as disease progresses, it also affects the structure and function of blood vessels, nerves and other vital organs and body systems.

Today, diabetes is among the most common Endocrine diseases, and this prevalence continues to rise (especially in the developed countries). This is a consequence of modern lifestyle and the number of external etiological factors, among which obesity stands out in particular.

Diabetes is the most common in old age as a result of general degenerative and sclerotic changes in the body which affect the pancreas. Young people may get sick due to genetic disorders or pancreas damaging by certain infectious diseases.

Causes and Risk Factors

Genetics Hereditary factors often play a major role in the development of diabetes in certain individuals. They cause increasing beta-cell sensitivity to viruses, the development of autoimmune antibodies against their own cells of the pancreas, degenerative changes in cells that result in changing the structure and function of the insulin. Tendency to diabetes is transmitted directly to offspring, a manifestation of the illness depends on other life factors. Obesity Obesity is one of the leading diabetic factors, which testifies the fact that about 60% of adult diabetics are obese. The sensitivity of beta-cells to increasing concentrations of glucose in the blood is reduced over time in obese people. Furthermore, the number of insulin receptors in target tissues (on its own and exogenous insulin) is reduced. This results in a reduced supply of cells with sugar and subsequent increase in its levels in blood (hyperglycemia). Diseases

Unlike the hereditary (primary) diabetes, there are diseases and conditions in which diabetes occurs as a complication. This is secondary diabetes, because it develops under the direct influence of present illness or adverse factors affecting the body. These diseases include chronic alcoholism, inflammation or cancer of the pancreas, various endocrine disorders ( Acromegaly , Hyperthyroidism , Cushing syndrome ), hemochromatosis, viral diseases and others. Pregnancy The period of pregnancy is a kind of stress for the organism, which easily converts latent diabetes in expressive disorder that can become permanent. This condition is known under the name of Gestational Diabetes. During pregnancy decreased sensitivity to insulin occurs due to increased amounts of fatty acids and glucocorticoids in the blood and increased degradation of this hormone under the influence of placenta enzyme. Healthy pregnant women react to this by increased insulin secretion, and those with prediabetes or latent diabetes get expressed form of this disease. Drugs and Chemical Agents The first group of drugs that may affect the occurrence of diabetes include drugs which are used in treating rheumatic diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, some kidney and skin diseases and various allergic conditions. Another group of drugs are medicines that act on high blood pressure and improved urination. Also, oral contraceptives may have an impact on the behavior of blood sugar. Other Factors In addition to mentioned factors, there are others which promote the development of diabetes: the tendency to consume large quantities of sweets, reduced physical activity, a transition period for men and women (climacteric), tendency to infections, cold and inflammation, the birth of the child over 4 kg, stress, injuries, surgery, etc.

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