Home » Topic » Diabetes mellitus
 

 
What is diabetes mellitus?
What are the symptoms?
What is the diagnosis?
What is the treatment?
 
Tue,13 Nov 2001 05:30:00 +0530
Written by : DoctorNDTV Team
Checked by :
 
  • What is diabetes mellitus?
    What is diabetes mellitus?
    Tue,13 Nov 2001 05:30:00
    Diabetes mellitus (DM) is the body's inability to regulate the level of glucose in the blood. Glucose is the main form of sugar in the body. The body breaks down food into glucose and uses it as a source of energy. In healthy people insulin helps to regulate the glucose (sugar) levels. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas (a long, thin organ located behind the stomach against the back).

    In diabetics, the body does not produce enough insulin or does not use the produced insulin effectively. This results in a high level of glucose in the blood ("hyperglycaemia").

    There are four main types of diabetes mellitus:

    a) Type 1, earlier known as insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) or juvenile-onset diabetes mellitus. People with this type of diabetes make little or no insulin in their body, and need regular insulin injections for survival and management of diabetes. It usually starts in childhood, but can occur at any age.

    b) Type 2 (DM2), earlier known as non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) or adult-onset diabetes. This is the most common form of diabetes, and is strongly associated with genetic tendency and obesity. The body produces normal or even high levels of insulin, but certain factors make its utilization ineffective ("insulin resistance"). Sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy dietary patterns, and the consequent obesity are common causes. It usually starts in adulthood, but is beginning to be seen in obese adolescents also.

    c) Gestational diabetes mellitus, or pregnancy-induced diabetes.

    d) Secondary diabetes mellitus, caused by genetic conditions, pancreatic diseases (e.g. inflammation, surgery or malignancy of the pancreas, etc.), drugs (e.g. steroids like prednisolone, pentamidine, excess thyroid hormone, etc.) or other medical conditions (acromegaly, Cushing syndrome, pheochromocytoma, hyperthyroidism, congenital rubella, etc). Medications such as thiazide diuretics or oral contraceptives can precipitate diabetes in a person predisposed to get it later.

  • What are the symptoms?
    What are the symptoms?
    Tue,13 Nov 2001 05:30:00
    Symptoms depend on the type and duration of diabetes. Some of the signs and symptoms are related to the high blood sugar levels. These include:
    • Increased urination
    • Increased thirst
    • Hunger
    Other common symptoms:
    • Fatigue
    • Blurred vision
    • Urinary and vaginal infections
    • Skin infections, especially fungal or more serious bacterial infections
    • Frequently upset stomach, stomach pains, nausea and vomiting
    There may be weight loss, especially if the amount of insulin made by the body is decreasing. If insulin deficiency is marked, the person can become drowsy and then go into coma. This is called Ketoacidosis, and usually occurs in DM1. Rarely, if the diabetes is completely out of control, it can also occur in DM2. Other symptoms of ketoacidosis include:
    • Deep rapid breathing, sometimes with a fruity odour to the breath
    • Pain in the stomach, with nausea and vomiting
  • What is the diagnosis?
    What is the diagnosis?
    Tue,13 Nov 2001 05:30:00
    Diabetes mellitus is diagnosed based on a high level of glucose or sugar in the blood. The doctor may suspect diabetes mellitus after taking the medical history and doing a physical examination. There are several blood sugar tests used for diagnosis:
    1. Fasting plasma glucose test: In this test, a person is asked to fast overnight, at least 8 hours, and the level of glucose in the blood is then checked. Normal fasting plasma glucose levels are less than 110 mg/dl. A fasting plasma glucose level of more than 126 mg/dl usually indicates diabetes mellitus. A level of 110-125 mg/dl is called "impaired fasting glucose".
    2. Post prandial (PP) plasma glucose: This is tested two hours after having a meal, which serves as a challenge for the body to regulate the blood sugar. Normal PP levels are <140 mg/dl; a glucose level of more than 200 mg/dl indicates diabetes mellitus, while a level between 140-199 mg/ dl is called "impaired glucose tolerance".
    3. Random plasma glucose test: is that which is done at any other time. A level of 200 mg/dl or higher generally indicates the presence of diabetes.
    4. Oral glucose challenge test (oGTT): The blood glucose is tested 2 hours after giving 75 gm glucose by mouth. This is useful for detecting borderline diabetes and a condition called "impaired glucose tolerance".
    5. Oral glucose tolerance test: is the preferred way to diagnose pregnancy-induced diabetes. Ideally all pregnant women in India should have a blood glucose test done 30 minutes after taking 50 gm gluocse (screening test). If this is abnormal, the lady should undergo an oGTT: with 100 gm glucose (not the conventional 75 gm). Blood samples are then drawn at intervals of one hour upto 3 hours (ie at 1, 2 and 3 hours post-glucose).
  • What is the treatment?
    What is the treatment?
    Tue,13 Nov 2001 05:30:00
    The treatment of diabetes depends on the type of diabetes. It is aimed to decrease symptoms and prevent complications such as low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia), eye problems, kidney disease, and nerve damage.

    DM1 needs treatment with insulin injections to replace the insulin that is not produced in the body. There are several types of insulin available. The most commonly used are the genetically engineered that are similar to human insulin. The difference in the various types of insulin is the times at which they "peak" or are most effective. Insulin schedule depends upon the meal pattern of the individual. This is required to avoid low blood glucose levels, causing hypoglycaemia. Insulin is administered with a syringe, and newer devices such as insulin pens and insulin pumps. The latter devices control diabetes more efficiently.

    DM2 (earlier called NIDDM) is initially treated with weight reduction, diet control and regular exercises. When these measures fail to control the blood sugar levels, oral medicines are used. Sulphonylureas are a group of drugs that stimulate the release of insulin from the pancreas. Metformin reduces insulin resistance, and the production of glucose by the liver. Thiazolidenediones also increase insulin efficiency and sensitivity. Acarbose delays the absorption of glucose by the intestines. When the action of oral drugs is insufficient, insulin injections are added.

    Exercise: It is an important component of diabetes therapy. Exercise utilizes blood sugar and makes the body more sensitive to insulin. It also reduces high blood pressure and high lipid levels, which are often associated with diabetes.

    Diet: There is no such thing as a "diabetic diet". Persons with diabetes should eat a normal, balanced diet, which is designed to meet their nutritional requirements, maintain normal blood sugar levels and at the same time to help in achieving appropriate weight (i.e. reduction in case of obese persons, regain in case of very lean persons). It is also important to eat meals at regular time intervals, especially if insulin is used.

................... Advertisement ...................

   

FAQ

ASK OUR EXPERTS

Using 0 of 1024 Possible characters
Choose Topic

Latest stories

Yoga Can Hurt If Not Done Properly, Say Experts

Tue, 26 Sep 2017 15:30:15 IST
Where yoga is known to be a great healer and a contributor in improving physical strength and body flexibility, it can also have adverse effects if not done properly. Deepak Jha, yoga expert, has pointed out certain health problems you may face if you practice yoga poses incorrectly.

Marijuana Helps In Avoiding Hard Drugs, Study; Health Benefits Of Marijuana

Tue, 26 Sep 2017 13:30:36 IST
Marijuana may in fact prevent people from progressing to harder drugs like cocaine or ecstasy, as per scientists. Know the rare health benefits of marijuana.

Maharashtra: Anganwadi Workers Continue To Strike, Parents and Children Suffer

Tue, 26 Sep 2017 12:30:24 IST
Anganwadi workers have been on strike across the entire state of Maharashtra since September 11th, and this, of late, has started bothering the parents of children who rely on these anganwadis for their daily meals. The children have now resumed eating home-cooked meals and are even resorting to cheap, junk food.

894 New Dengue Cases Reported In Delhi Last Week: Tips To Prevent Dengue

Tue, 26 Sep 2017 11:30:30 IST
894 new dengue cases reported in Delhi last week. This takes the number to 3109 cases till now. As for malaria and chikungunya, the numbers were 85 and 61 last week.Here are a few tips to prevent dengue.

World Pharmacists Day 2017: A Brief History of Pharmacy And Pharmacists In India

Mon, 25 Sep 2017 20:00:16 IST
September 25th is observed as the World Pharmacists Day every year. Here's a brief history of how the profession of pharmacy and pharmacists came into being in India.