Diabetes Mellitus: Types, Causes, Symptoms & Tests
Diabetes mellitus is a medical condition in which the body becomes unable to utilize the energy produced by the food we eat.
The pancreas is a significant organ that produces insulin, which helps the body utilize sugar for energy.
When the pancreas produces insulin, but it doesn’t work as it should be, diabetes mellitus occurs. To have a more in-depth insight into the disease, continue reading the blog, and get answers to all of your questions.
First, you need to understand how the body uses food for energy. There are millions of cells in the body. The cell requires food to produce electricity. When you consume food, a great deal of food split into a pure sugar called glucose. This glucose provides you with the energy you need to perform day-to-day activities.
Blood vessels act as a highway and convey the sugar from where it is consumed or manufactured to the location in the body where it is utilized or accumulated. In the whole process, insulin acts as an assistant and releases the sugar into the cells to use as energy. When sugar exits the bloodstream and enters into the body cells, the sugar level of the blood lowers down.
In the absence of insulin, sugar can’t reach to the blood cells. It increases the blood sugar level, and the condition is called diabetes.
Alternative names for diabetes:
- Type 1 diabetes
- Type 2 diabetes
- Sugar diabetes
- Juvenile onset diabetes
- Non-insulin dependent diabetes
- Insulin dependant diabetes mellitus
What Are The Types Of Diabetes Mellitus?
Type 1 diabetes
- Type 1 diabetes happens when beta cells or the insulin-producing hormones in the pancreas gets impaired.
- The pancreas produces little or no insulin; therefore, the sugar cannot get into the body cells to utilize as energy.
- Most of the people with type 1 diabetes, should utilize insulin injections to keep their blood sugar level under control.
- People under 30 years of age are more likely to get the disease as compared to older people.
Type 2 diabetes
- In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas produces insulin, but either it is not sufficient, or it is unable to get utilized properly by the body.
- The type 2 disease is more common in individuals than type 1 disease. It occurs mainly in people over the age of 40, but in the presence of risk factors, it can occur even in younger people.
To control type 2 diabetics, you can-
- Switch to a healthier diet
- Exercise regularly
- Manage your body weight
- Sleep properly
- Quit smoking
- Stop consuming alcohol
- Reduce your stress levels
Also, you can opt to take insulin pills or injections to treat type 2 diabetics.
The high sugar level in the blood in pregnant women can give rise to gestational diabetes. With the progression of pregnancy, the glucose needs of the baby also increases. During pregnancy, hormones also change that can cause gestational diabetes in women.
Following are the class of pregnant women who are the highest risk of getting the disease -
- Those who are overweight or obese
- Have someone in their family with diabetes
- Are at least 35 years old
- Have a family history of polycystic ovarian syndrome
After giving birth to a child, the blood sugar levels go back to normal. But, they remain at serious risk of getting the disease in the later phases of their life.
What Are The Symptoms Of Diabetes Mellitus?
- Extreme hunger
- Excessive thirst
- Frequent urination
- Dryness in skin
- Vision problems
- Unintended weight loss
- Numbness in hands and feet
- Slow-healing sores
- Recurrent infections
What Causes Diabetes Mellitus?
- Family history of diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Physical stress
- Autoimmune diseases
- Pancreatic injury
- Use of some medications including steroids
- Abnormal blood sugar level
It is important to note that consuming high amounts of sugar cannot be the only cause for diabetes. A combination of the above-listed factors also plays an important role.
Tests For Type1 and Type 2 Diabetes and Prediabetes
Glycated hemoglobin test
- It is a type of blood test that does not require fasting
- It demonstrates the blood sugar level of past 2-3 months
- It measures the percentage of blood sugar in the blood.
- If you have 6.5% or more in two individual tests, it means you have diabetes.
- 5.7-6.4% is a condition for prediabetes.
- Less than 5.7% is considered normal.
The doctors can also take the following tests to diagnose your diabetes:
Fasting blood sugar test
- The doctor takes the blood test after an overnight fast.
- You can analyze your blood test report based on the following-
Normal: less than 100mg/dL
High: More than 126mg/dL on two individual tests
Random blood sugar test
- The doctor takes the blood test irrespective of the time you last ate.
- You have diabetes if your blood sugar level is higher than 200mg/dL.
Oral glucose tolerance test
For this test, you will require to fast overnight. The doctor will note your blood sugar level. After that, you drink a sugary fluid and again undergo periodical tests for the next couple of hours.