WHAT IS DIABETES?
The correct name for Diabetes is Diabetes
Mellitus. Diabetes Mellitus is a group of
metabolic diseases characterized by high
blood sugar (glucose) levels that result from
defects in insulin secretion, or its action, or
Insulin secretion in beta cells
is triggered by rising blood
glucose levels. Starting with
the uptake of glucose by the
GLUT2 transporter, the
glycolytic phosphorylation of
glucose causes a rise in the
ATP:ADP ratio. This rise
inactivates the potassium
channel that depolarizes the
membrane, causing the
calcium channel to open up
allowing calcium ions to flow
inward. The ensuing rise in
levels of calcium leads to the
exocytotic release of insulin
from their storage granule.
When persons have blood sugar levels that are
higher than normal, but not high enough to be
classified as diabetes, this is known as pre-
diabetes, or impaired glucose tolerance. While
people with pre-diabetes usually have no
symptoms, it’s almost always present before a
person develops type 2 diabetes. However,
complications normally associated with diabetes,
such as heart disease, can begin to develop even
when a person has only pre-diabetic.
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes occurs because the insulin-
producing cells of the pancreas (called beta
cells) are destroyed by the immune system.
People with type 1 diabetes produce no
insulin and must use insulin injections to
control their blood sugar. Type 1 diabetes
most commonly starts in people under the
age of 20, but may occur at any age.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes, is when the body continues
to produce insulin, although insulin
production by the body may significantly
decrease over time. The pancreas produces
either not enough insulin, or the body is
unable to recognize insulin and use it properly.
When there isn't enough insulin or the insulin
is not used as it should be, glucose can't get
into the body's cells to be used as energy. This
glucose then builds up in the blood.
Hormone changes during pregnancy can affect
insulin's ability to work properly and may result in
the condition Gestational Diabetes. The condition,
called GESTATIONAL DIABETES, occurs in about 4%
of all pregnancies.
Pregnant women who have an increased risk of
developing gestational diabetes are those who are
over 25 years old, are above their normal body
weight before pregnancy, have a family history of
diabetes, or are Hispanic, black, Native American,
CAUSES OF DIABETES
Production of defective insulin (which is uncommon),
Pregnancy (gestational diabetes).
The body not responding to the effects of insulin (this is TYPE 2 DIABETES.)
The body's failure to make insulin,( this condition is known as TYPE 1 DIABETES)
The Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes
INCREASED HUNGER (ESPECIALLY
UNEXPLAINED WEIGHT LOSS (EVEN THOUGH
YOU ARE EATING AND FEEL HUNGRY)
FATIGUE (WEAK, TIRED FEELING)
SLOW-HEALING SORES OR CUTS
ITCHING OF THE SKIN (USUALLY IN THE
VAGINAL OR GROIN AREA)
RECENT WEIGHT GAIN
NUMBNESS OR TINGLING OF THE HANDS
IMPOTENCE OR ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION
THE SYMPTOMS OF TYPE 2 DIABETES
How Is Diabetes Treated?
Diabetes can't be cured, but it can be treated and
Treating either type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes
involves medicines, diet, and exercise to control
blood sugar level.
Getting better control over your blood sugar,
cholesterol, and blood pressure levels helps reduce
the risk of kidney disease, eye disease, nervous
system disease, heart attack, and stroke.
Manage your weight.
Eat a balanced, healthy diet.
Limit takeaway and processed foods.
Limit your alcohol intake.
Control your blood pressure
See your doctor for regular check-ups.
Reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.
• American Diabetes Association. Diabetes Basics.
• CDC.gov. Diabetes Public Health Resource.
• MedscapeReference.com. Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.
• Previous contributing author: Ruchi Mathur, MD,
• r medications for nerve pain include Pregabalin (Lyrica)
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