Diabetes mellitus is a condition in which the beta cells of pancreas no longer produce enough insulin or the body cells stop responding to the insulin that is produced. As a result of this the glucose in the blood stream cannot be moved into the cells of the body. Glucose is a type of sugar and it is the main source of energy necessary for the proper functioning of the body cells. As the cells are starved of glucose the affected person begins to experience extreme hunger, intense thirst, frequent urination, lethargy and an unexplained weight loss.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus is the more common form of diabetes. In this condition the body does not respond efficiently to the insulin produced and this results in elevation of the blood glucose levels.
Who is at risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus?
The exact causes of type 2 diabetes mellitus are not known. However people above the age of 45 are more prone to develop this condition, the chances of developing diabetes start increasing as your age advances. This condition is also commonly found in people who lead a sedentary life with lack of exercise or physical activity, especially people who are involved in desk jobs.
Diabetes mellitus is common in certain races like Asians, Hispanics, African Americans, American Indians and Caucasians. Obesity is also one of the major risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes mellitus. People who lead a stressful life and people affected by emotional disturbances are also at a risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus. People with high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels are also susceptible to the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Pre-diabetes is a condition when blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not yet high enough for a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. If left untreated may develop into type 2 diabetes over a period 5 to 10 years.
Diagnosis of type 2 diabetes mellitus
Diabetes is mainly based on symptoms. The person complains of intense thirst, extreme hunger, unexplained weight loss and a feeling of lethargy and tiredness. He may often come with an infected wound that does not heal. He may also complain of chronic infections of the gums and urinary tract infections. The affected individual may come with associated complaints like high blood pressure or cardiac disease.
Urine tests and blood tests are used to determine the level of glucose in blood. Higher than normal blood glucose confirm the diagnosis of diabetes mellitus. Urine tests are performed to detect the levels of proteins and ketones in the urine. These tests help to diagnose diabetes and assess how well the kidneys are functioning. These tests also can be used to monitor the disease once the patient is on a standardized diet, oral medications, or insulin.
Line of Treatment
There is currently no cure for diabetes. The condition, however, can be managed so that patients can live a relatively normal life. Treatment includes administration of insulin and oral medications to prevent complications of diabetes. Carefully planned diabetes diet and exercise help in management of diabetes.