Diabetes mellitus: Causes, symptoms, and treatment
Diabetes mellitus, from Greek "honey-sweet flow" is a metabolic disease of the glucose (sugar) metabolism. The main characteristic of diabetes is an elevated blood sugar level. In general, a distinction is made between type I and type II diabetes. One out of ten diabetics has diabetes type I. This form is characterised by insulin deficiency so that cells are unable to take up enough sugar and too much sugar accumulates in the blood. In contrast, 90 percent of diabetics have diabetes type II, the most common form of diabetes. A combination of slowed insulin production and a less sensitive response of the body to insulin is seen in this form. Specifically: The "fast" insulin after a meal is absent because of abnormal insulin secretion from the pancreas; at the same time, insulin cannot correctly perform its role of transport-ing glucose. This malfunction is referred to as insulin resistance.
How to recognise diabetes
Symptoms that may be indicative of diabetes include:
• Frequent urination because the body is trying to excrete the excess blood sugar through the urine
• Strong thirst as a result of increased urination
• Dry, itchy skin as a result of increased urination
• Poor wound healing as a result of a weakened immune system
• Tiredness as a result of a weakened immune system
• Increased susceptibility to infection as a result of a weakened immune system
Often, a lot of people with diabetes have other metabolic diseases at the same time, such as increased blood lipid values, high blood pressure, and obesity. If these symptoms appear together with high blood glucose values and a high insulin level, one speaks of metabolic syndrome, which in turn is considered to be its own disease. Conversely, obesity, high blood pressure and elevated blood lipid values are the main risk factors for developing diabetes mellitus type II. However, a genetic predisposition for abnormal metabolism and food processing can also be the cause. Smoking and lack of exercise significantly contribute to the disease.
Type II diabetes develops gradually, unnoticed and slowly, over the course of many years. Therefore, the blood glucose level should be tested in annual routine and preventative tests – especially if there is a family history of diabetes and risk factors are present. Because: If diabetes is undetected and left untreated, various accompanying diseases of the small and large vessels can appear. These include arteriosclerosis, stroke, and heart attack. In addition, potential downstream diseases can develop, such as kidney disease (diabetic nephropathy), disturbed sensations at the nerves (diabetic neuropathy) to severe foot disease/amputations and non-healing wounds. and impaired vision to vision loss (diabetic retinopathy).
How diabetes type II is treated
Diabetes type II is considered incurable so far. However, a healthy lifestyle and a corresponding diet, lots of exercise, weight loss, and non-smoking in combination with efficient medicines can help manage diabetes, so you can live a normal life. Metformin is one of the most frequently prescribed oral antidiabetics for people with type II diabetes. Metformin supports the transport of glucose into cells, and as a blood glucose-lowering drugs helps normalise glucose metabolism. Over the course of the disease, many diabetics have to switch to insulin. In each case an individual mixture of lifestyle and medication help to manage diabetes, even in the long-term.