Diabetes mellitus, or simply diabetes, is a severe medical condition characterized as fasting blood glucose of 126 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or more. In this condition, the body fails to produce enough of insulin, or it fails to use the insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas, which is crucial for regulation of carbohydrate and fat metabolism in the body. Insulin allows the cells of liver, muscle and fat tissue, to collect glucose from the blood and store it as glycogen in the liver and muscle. Whenever this process is permanently disturbed, the glucose (sugar) levels in the blood are elevated, progressing to a chronic disease, which is difficult to cure. It is estimated that about 171 million people worldwide (2.8% of population) suffer from diabetes. There are many different types of diabetes but type 2 is the most common and it affects 95% of diabetes patients in the United States.
Prediabetes is a medical state in which some, but not all, of diagnostic criteria for diabetes are met. People in prediabetes stage usually have elevated blood sugar levels and they are at an increased risk of developing diabetes type 2 and various cardiovascular diseases. The symptoms of this stage include blurred vision, constant hunger, weight loss or weight gain, slow healing of cuts and bruises, and flu like symptoms.
Diabetes mellitus type 1
Causes of diabetes mellitus type 1 are rooted in the autoimmune destruction of insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. As in any other autoimmune reaction, the body here mistakes its own cells for invaders and tries to destroy them. Classic symptoms of this type of diabetes include frequent urination, increased hunger, increased thirst and weight loss. This type of diabetes is very dangerous and may even be fatal if the affected person does not get the insulin treatment.
Diabetes mellitus type 2
This type of diabetes is characterized by high blood glucose levels due to the insulin resistance or insulin deficiency. This type of diabetes occurs in a combination of lifestyle habits and genetic factors. Sedentary life style, obesity, unhealthy diet, smoking and excessive alcohol intake are tightly associated with this condition. These patients are at increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, amputation, and kidney failure.
This type of diabetes occurs during the pregnancy. It is defined as a condition in which a woman that has not been previously diagnosed with diabetes exhibits high blood glucose levels. The problem occurs because hormones from the growing placenta make the cells more resistant to insulin. This is only a temporary health problem but these patients are typically at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.