Diabetes mellitus is categorized as one of the main diseases that affects people at present. Different age groups of males and females develop the condition. Nevertheless, it largely appears as a consequence of disorders in the secretion of insulin. Since humans are different, the management of diabetes mellitus must be tailored to the particular needs of an individual. The given research on diabetes aims to explore overall information on the condition, its causes, effects, signs, and symptoms. The subject was chosen to acquire more details concerning this disease and to assist individuals in increasing their understanding and sentience of diabetes prevention to avoid its complications. Ultimately, treatment and prevention of the ailment will also be assessed and presented. Through the literature review, different aspects of diabetes mellitus were studied in order to broaden the knowledge on the subject of diabetes. The study demonstrates that various common drugs can be used, which together with appropriate exercise and diet, can help in controlling high levels of sugar in the blood and contribute to the reduction of complications associated with the condition, namely problems with sexual function, loss of limbs, nerve issues, blindness as well as kidney damage among others. Therefore, proper management of diabetes decreases the chances of heart attacks and strokes as a result of the major categories of diabetes such as type 1 and type 2.
Diabetes mellitus, or diabetes, is a severe condition that manifests when an individual’s body does not adequately regulate the amount of dissolved sugars in the blood. It is not connected to diabetes insipidus, which is a disorder with a similar name, but it entails issues associated with the retention of fluid by kidneys. Therefore, in diabetes, the amount of glucose, which is also referred to as blood sugar, in the body is high. Glucose is the energy required by cells that constitute tissues and muscles as well as fuel the brain. When an individual has diabetes, it implies that the body is unable to produce or create sufficient insulin that can move the glucose within body cells. Insulin is a hormone required for the conversion of starches and sugar into energy and it is produced in the pancreas that is adjacent to the stomach. Numerous people have diabetes with the majority of them not being aware of their condition.
Diabetes can be classified into four categories: pre-diabetes, and gestational diabetes, along with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The body of an individual with type 1 diabetes does not produce insulin, or their immune systems destroy the cells that produce insulin. The immune systems are responsible for the destruction of bad germs and bacteria thereby impeding insulin production within the pancreas. Type 1 diabetes is denoted as juvenile diabetes in some instances; insulin-dependent diabetes, and early onset diabetes. Hence, this form is developed in childhood or during the adolescent years (Bagchi and Sreejayan 513). On the other hand, type 2 diabetes is revealed when the body is not capable of producing insulin or is not in a position to productively use it. In the instances where glucose is retained in the blood, it may result in severe problems since the sugar accumulates within the bloodstream. The manifestation of type 2 diabetes is more prevalent. There is also gestational diabetes, which can only be found in women during pregnancy. Therefore, diabetes is a potentially fatal condition if not diagnosed early or treated properly, but there are different methods that can be applied to ensure that the disease is prevented or well-managed.
Causes and Effects of Diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes advances when the insulin that is formed in the pancreas is not sufficient to sustain the body. Thus, the disorder occurs when the immune system starts attacking and destroying the cells that produce insulin within the pancreas. Between ten and fifteen percent of all diagnosed diabetes cases are type 1, and it is the most common prolonged infantile disease in developed countries. However, it is not the same as type 2 since its development does not result from the lifestyle aspects of an individual (Goff and Dyson 58). The occurrence of this form of diabetes has been on the increase, with the precise cause still being unidentified. One of the theories is that people are genetically predisposed to developing the condition, and when they interact with an environmental trigger such as a viral infection, their immune systems destroy the cells that produce insulin. Studies have found that the interconnection between the environment and heredity in the rapid rise of type 1 diabetes opened new frontiers in the scientific area in regard to the investigation of possible effects of climate and seasons on the development of diabetes in children. Research has considered the likelihood that the beginning of the type 1 diabetes autoimmune process in genetically predisposed patients starts during the perinatal period as a result of viral infections. Hence, the mothers who conceive during the annual viral epidemics transmit antiviral antibodies or viruses to their fetus, which determines whether the child develops the condition.
The symptoms of the disease are typically abrupt and may include irritability, fatigue and weakness, unexplained loss of weight, as well as extreme urination and thirst. Since there is insufficient insulin in the body, the latter begins substituting it by burning its own fats (Crowley 389). Unless the disorder is treated through administering insulin injections on a daily basis, individuals with type 1 diabetes build up risky chemical substances within their blood due to the burning of fat (Poretsky 194). Therefore, this may result in ketoacidosis which may be fatal if not dealt with. In order to remain alive, people with this condition rely on up to four injections of insulin per day for the rest of their lives, and they are required to test the levels of glucose in their blood several times every day. Even though the area has been subjected to extensive research, methods of the prevention of type 1 diabetes have not been found yet.
Type 2 Diabetes
One is diagnosed with this type of diabetes given his or her body is not in a position to generate sufficient insulin or insulin resistance. It is different from type 1 diabetes since it is not associated with the immune system of the body, as its development occurs solely from the blend of environmental factors and genetic predisposition. It is the most prevalent form of diabetes that contributes to approximately eighty-five percent of all cases. It is usually diagnosed after an individual reaches the age of forty; however, in the recent past, it has been diagnosed at an earlier age, for example, among teenagers. Type 2 is largely connected to genetic susceptibility, and the factors linked to lifestyle are its main triggers (LeRoith 169). Studies have identified the epigenetic factor to be a DNA strand chemical change that follows a particular pattern referred to as DNA methylation. Notwithstanding, this news is positive since it suggests that even though individuals might be susceptible to type 2 diabetes, the disease can be prevented if they take precautions and make lasting alterations to their lifestyles to hinder its development.
People who have hypertension, are not physically active, eat diets that have high sugar content, are overweight, and are above the age of forty are at high risk of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Further Middle Eastern, African Caribbean, African, and South Asian populations are more likely to develop this condition at an earlier age. Generally, the predisposition to this disease rises with age since individuals usually gain weight and become less physically active as they grow older. Maintaining a normal weight and following a balanced diet, together with consistent exercise will undoubtedly help in preventing and managing type 2 diabetes. It is also imperative to note that genetics is among the key risk factors for this form of diabetes. Thus, the risk is higher if close relatives such as sisters, brothers, or parents have the condition. The risk increases with the closeness of the relative; hence, a child whose parent has type 2 diabetes is about thirty percent likely to develop the condition. The symptoms of type 2 diabetes take some time before they manifest themselves and may remain undetected for long periods. Some of the symptoms include nausea, poor vision, tiredness, recurrent infections, too much urination and thirst as well as tingling in feet and hands among others (Goldstein and Müller-Wieland 27). Usually, this ailment can be initially managed through a healthy diet and active lifestyle; however, with time, the majority of individuals also require medication and insulin. Presently, there is no cure for type 2 diabetes.
Gestational diabetes manifests itself when the glucose levels are higher than they should be throughout pregnancy. During pregnancy, hormones are produced by the placenta, which assists in the growth and development of the fetus. The same hormones inhibit the actions of insulin in the mother resulting in a twofold or trifold increase in the insulin requirement. If the mother’s body is not in a position to produce sufficient amounts of insulin to satisfy the requirement, gestational diabetes occurs. Pregnant women with more than one fetus in the womb have a higher likelihood of suffering from this form of diabetes (Lafond and Vaillancourt 138). Other categories of females include those who face difficulties carrying pregnancies to term, those who have previously experienced gestational diabetes, are obese or overweight, and women whose maternal age is great. Normally, this diabetes does not affect the development of the fetus; however, as glucose moves across the placenta, the fetus is exposed to high levels of glucose, which fuels the production of more insulin in the pancreas of the fetus (Ladd and Altshuler 65). Hence, this may result in heavier babies and early delivery. After childbirth, the exposure to the considerable glucose levels of the mother comes to an end, and extra insulin in the baby may cause low blood glucose for a short time.
Nevertheless, there are indications that when gestational diabetes is not properly managed, it may be linked to long-term health issues in the child such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. Approximately one in ten women will develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy, and most of them will have it diagnosed at around six months of the pregnancy. During this period, the mother undergoes distinctive blood tests, except for females who are more genetically predisposed and have to be tested at the initial stages of pregnancy. In order to manage this condition, pregnant mothers should take balanced diets, engage in regular physical activity throughout the entire pregnancy, and constantly monitor their blood sugar levels (Brown and Isaacs 142). After the baby is delivered, the blood sugar level of the mother returns to its usual state. Nonetheless, there is an increased risk for mothers with gestational diabetes to get type 2 diabetes, particularly within five years after childbearing.
Long-Term Effects on the Body
In the event that diabetes is not managed or treated appropriately, severe and long-term complications may develop. Some of the complications include a higher likelihood of suffering from strokes and heart attacks as a consequence of heart ailments, eye complications that may lead to vision issues and blindness as well as kidney diseases since diabetes damages the kidney leading to its failure. People whose diabetes is not treated may further experience neuropathy in all nerves running through their body. Moreover, they have skin problems, namely itching, sores, and infections, dental issues such as periodontitis and gingivitis affecting gums and teeth, foot complications that result from the damage to nerves that causes infections to feet, as well as poor flow of blood.
Signs and Symptoms
Early detection of diabetes is critical to improving one’s health. The majority of the symptoms and signs of type 1 diabetes are similar to those of type 2 although the causative agents differ due to the impact of excess glucose within the blood. The two forms of diabetes can affect an individual of any age group. Nevertheless, type 1 is more likely to develop in children and teenagers while type 2 is more common among people who are older than 40. In some humans, type 1 diabetes is potentially fatal, particularly as a consequence of ketoacidosis, however, it can be detected early because it is an autoimmune disease that leads to the destruction of cells that produce the insulin required to stabilize blood sugar levels (Brook and Dattani 267). Development of type 2 diabetes is slower and more difficult to detect, and it may begin with a slow increase of blood sugar over a prolonged period.
Type 1 Diabetes
The major signs of type 1 diabetes include polyuria, polyphagia, and polydipsia. Glucose requires insulin in order to be used in numerous body cells, and the absence of insulin results in the accumulation of glucose (Porth 811). Therefore, the kidneys will not function since there is excess glucose concentration in the body, even though their main task is the prevention of glucose elimination through urination. Excess glucose extracts fluid from tissues in the body and excretes it through urine leading to a significant increase in urine and ultimately dehydration, which the body attempts to compensate for with intense thirst (Bergmann 167). The body cells also have to be nourished which in turn causes extreme hunger thereby creating a potentially dangerous situation. Therefore, these signs must be considered with great seriousness.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is dissimilar from type 1, as it takes time to manifest even as insulin production that is not used effectually is ongoing or the body cells resist the insulin. Medications may be required to reduce this resistance, however, with time, patients with type 2 diabetes may need to administer insulin. The symptoms and signs of type 2 diabetes are similar to those of type 1 since both are associated with excessive blood sugar. Since type 2 diabetes takes longer to reveal itself, initially, patients may not exhibit any symptoms making it important to regularly visit a doctor to conduct tests (Porth 811). It is imperative to be aware of the symptoms and signs of this condition, and whenever they are spotted, individuals should undergo a medical examination to take measures immediately. It is particularly significant to treat any signs of type 1 diabetes as a medical emergency and ensure medical assistance is sought promptly.
Treatment and Prevention
Diabetes can be a significant hurdle in one’s daily life. Nevertheless, there are a number of approaches to the management of the illness in order to decrease its undesirable effects. Generally, there are two main approaches to the treatment of diabetes, namely medical treatment and home treatment. Practically, diabetes is more effectively managed when treated using medications, with different drugs being utilized for specialized and general healing of varying processes. For example, sulfonylureas are prescribed for the stimulation of the pancreas to produce more insulin and therefore normalize sugar levels in the blood. On the other hand, thiazolidinedione is administered to heighten cell sensitivity towards insulin and at the same time to maintain normal glucose levels in the blood. When there is production of insulin, derivatives of D-phenylalanine are given to the patient in order to increase its production (Katzung et al. 753). Injections of insulin provide for proper levels of insulin in the bloodstream and reduce allergic reactions.
Further, home treatment may entail adhering to particular diets, regular testing of glucose, restricted consumption of alcohol, and exercising. An appropriately balanced diet with high fiber but low sugar and fat as well as relatively the same amount of calories eaten in different parts of the day can assist an individual to obtain a sound understanding of how the body responds to particular foods and to maintain normal glucose levels in the blood. Moreover, this may help physicians to prescribe the proper doses of drugs. It is also important to consult a doctor on the range and amount of exercise that can be useful on a daily basis. Any physical activity minimizes the risks of various complications resulting from the harmful effects of diabetes. Besides, it is crucial to restrict alcohol intake as a component of the daily diet (Kahan et al. 160). Excess consumption of liquor, wine, and beer may lead to type 2 diabetes and neuritis. Smoking may also be fatal and hazardous for diabetic people since it causes damage to blood vessels and negatively affects the heart thereby increasing chances of strokes and heart disease.
Attending special educational seminars in health institutions may contribute to the well-being of a diabetic individual. Thus, this makes it possible to acquire critical information concerning the control of blood sugar levels and new approaches to adjusting to the condition through interacting with other patients. Regular examinations are also imperative and should not be avoided. Additionally, the patient must be aware of the signs of low blood sugar as well as prepared to respond effectively and appropriately. Even though the disease can result in severe and fatal complications, there are numerous ways through which the flow of the condition can be managed. The use of insulin injections and other forms of medication assists in the mitigation of negative effects on the health of patients. Apposite health care and medication reduce associated complications while at the same time preventing the development of diabetes mellitus. It is essential to remain aware that the illness flows quickly; thus, instant actions are to be taken to avoid its development and save the health of a patient. Testing for diabetes is an important procedure since it helps in diagnosing diabetes mellitus while in its incubation. Therefore, overlooking the symptoms may lead to dangerous ramifications that may only be treatable but not entirely curable.
In conclusion, even though diabetes mellitus is a disease that may have a fatal outcome if not detected early or managed on time, there are various approaches to its management that can be used to ensure that the patient stays healthy. Diabetes mellitus is a condition that affects metabolism, particularly sugar levels in the bloodstream making them high. It may also be a consequence of the inadequate production of insulin within the pancreas or a result of the inability of cells to react to insulin that the body creates. Frequent urination, heightened thirst, and amplified hunger are some of the common signs of diabetes. Individuals with type 1 diabetes are not able to produce insulin, while those with type 2 have cells that do not adequately utilize insulin because of insulin resistance. Conversely, pregnant women can be diagnosed with gestational diabetes even if they have never had it before. People with type 1 are dependent on insulin injections throughout their lives and are obligated to undertake consistent examinations of glucose levels in the blood, while at the same time sticking to a special diet designed to ensure that glucose levels in the blood remain appropriate. Cases of type 2 diabetes are more common and prevalent around the globe, with overweight and obese individuals being more predisposed to the risks of developing it. Nevertheless, there are no specific approaches to preventing type 1 diabetes since environmental causes increase the risk of suffering from the disease. Type 2 diabetes, which is largely linked to excessive weight, can be avoided by leading an active lifestyle. Even though prevention is typically better, however, when diabetes develops, some measures are to be taken to deal with the condition.