What is Diabetes?

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes Mellitus is the name given to a group of conditions that occurs when the level of glucose in the blood becomes higher than normal.

Insulin is a hormone that is secreted by the pancreas. Insulin helps to move glucose from your blood stream, into the cells of your body where it is used for energy.

There are two main types of diabetestype 1 and type 2. In type 1 diabetes the pancreas are unable to generate enough insulin. This leads to an increase in the blood glucose level. In type 2 diabetes the body is unable to respond normally to the insulin that is made. This is another reason for elevated levels of blood glucose.

The most common symptoms of diabetes mellitus are polyuria or increased urination, polydypsia or increased thirst and unexplained weight loss.


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. Lifestyle factors such as sedentary lifestyle with lack of physical activity and unhealthy eating habits can contribute to the early development of type 2 diabetes mellitus.

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Type 1 Diabetes

It is also known as juvenile diabetes or insulin dependent diabetes mellitus. Type 1 diabetes is the less common form of diabetes, with just 10 to 15 per cent of all people with diabetes having this type.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune diseases are disorders in which the body’s tissues are attacked by its own immune system. The pancreas cannot produce enough insulin because the cells that make insulin have been destroyed by the body’s own immune system. If type 1 diabetes is not detected early, a condition known as Diabetic Ketoacidosis can develop. This is very serious complication of diabetes mellitus and it needs urgent medical attention in hospital.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes mellitus is the more common form of diabetes. People at risk of developing type 2 diabetes usually present with a family history. 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.

In type 2 diabetes the body is unable to respond normally to the insulin that is made. Insulin helps to move glucose from your blood stream, into the cells of your body. Glucose is a form of sugar and it is the main source of the body’s energy. As the cells of the body are starved of glucose the person suffering from diabetes mellitus begins to show extreme hunger, intense thirst followed by frequent urination. As the body cells get insufficient glucose it also leads to an unusual and unexplained weight loss.

Gestational Diabetes Mellitus

Gestational Diabetes Mellitus is a condition of high blood glucose level in pregnant women who have previously not been diagnosed with diabetes mellitus. Babies born to such women are at a higher risk of developing diabetes mellitus in later life.

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