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Diabetes is a disease in which a person's blood glucose (or sugar) levels are too high. Normally, the hormone insulin allows the body to absorb glucose for energy. People with diabetes do not make or use insulin well. Without enough insulin, the glucose stays in the blood. Over time, this can cause serious problems, such as damage to the eyes, kidneys, and nerves. Diabetes can also cause heart disease, stroke and even the need to remove a limb.

Exercise, weight control and a careful diet can help control diabetes. People with diabetes should also monitor their glucose level and take medicine if prescribed.


Diabetes Types

There are three main types of diabetes, they are:

  • Type 1 diabetes: due to no or low insulin production by the body. So a type 1 diabetic requires injecting insulin. Type 1 diabetes also called as insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, IDDM and juvenile diabetes.
  • Type 2 diabetes: mostly due to insulin resistance, a condition in which muscle cells fail to use insulin properly. Formerly type to diabetes is called as non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, NIDDM for short, and adult-onset diabetes.
  • Gestational diabetes: is during pregnancy, one who has never had diabetes before, but have a high blood sugar level during pregnancy.

Diabetes Symptoms

The common diabetes symptoms are polyuria (frequent urination), polydipsia (increased thirst) and polyphagia (increased hunger). Symptoms may develop rapidly (weeks or months) in type 1 diabetes while in type 2 diabetes they usually develop much more slowly and may be subtle or absent.

Diabetes Causes

Type 1 diabetes is partly inherited and then triggered by certain infections. Diabetes type 1 is caused by auto immune disorder, our body defense mechanism mistakenly attacking pancreas by considering it as our enemy (infection). And damage it and so it stops producing insulin any more, end up with type 1 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is due primarily to lifestyle factors and genetics.

Diabetes Diagnosis

Diabetes mellitus is characterized by recurrent or persistent hyperglycemia (high level of sugar in blood), and is diagnosed by the following blood tests:

  • Fasting plasma glucose level of greater than or equal to 7.0 mmol/L (126 mg/dL).
  • Plasma glucose level of greater than or equal to 11.1 mmol/L (200 mg/dL) two hours after a 75 g oral glucose load as in a glucose tolerance test.
  • Symptoms of diabetes as well as casual plasma glucose level of greater than or equal to 11.1 mmol/L (200 mg/dL).
  • Glycated hemoglobin (Hb A1C) level of greater than or equal to 6.5%.

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