Diabetes Mellitus is a chronic disease of absolute or relative insulin deficiency or resistance. It is characterized by disturbances in carbohydrate, protein, or fat metabolism. It is classified as Type 1 (Insulin dependent or juvenile- onset diabetes) and Type 2 (Non- insulin dependent or also called as insulin- resistant disease).
Insulin, a hormone released in the pancreas, regulates the amount of glucose in the blood. When a person eats or drinks, food is broken down into materials, including glucose that acts as fuel in the body. Glucose is absorbed into the bloodstream and stimulates the pancreas to produce insulin. Insulin acts as a key for the glucose to enter the cells. Once inside the cells, glucose is converted to energy, which is either used immediately or stored until it is needed. If the body does not produce enough insulin to move the glucose into the cells, the resulting high levels of sugar or glucose in the blood and the inadequate amount of glucose in the cells together produce the symptoms and complications of diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes mellitus usually develops in childhood or today it can still be diagnosed with patients aging below 30 years old. Current research implicates β cell destruction and absence or severe lack of insulin as the cause of IDDM. The combination of environmental, stress, genetic, and immunologic factors is believed to cause Type 1 diabetes which is thought to be triggered by viruses. However, the cause of the idiopathic form is not yet known because patients with this form exhibit no evidence of an autoimmune process. On the other hand, Type 2 diabetes mellitus is the most common type of diabetes and accounts for approximately 80% of all cases. The cause of Type 2 diabetes is thought to be beta cell exhaustion due to sedentary lifestyle habits, obesity, stress, and hereditary factors. Black, Hispanic, or Native American ethnicity and history of gestational diabetes during pregnancy are also risk factors that contribute to the development of Type 2 diabetes. The pathogenesis lacks specificity, but two alterations in endocrine function have been identified: inadequate insulin secretion and insulin resistance, which is a defect in the response of peripheral tissues to insulin.
Diabetes Pathophysiology & Diseases Process (Diagram)
Signs and symptoms of hyperglycemia reported by patients with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes include:
- Excessive urination (Polyuria)
- Excessive thirst (Polydipsia)
- Excessive eating (Polyphagia)
- Weight loss
- Vision changes
- Frequent skin infections
- Dry, itchy skin
- Vaginal infections or discomfort.
The complications of diabetes mellitus usually affect the heart, brain, legs, eyes, kidneys, nerves and skin, resulting in angina, heart failure, strokes, leg cramps on walking (claudication), poor vision later resulting to diabetic retinopathy, renal failure, damage to nerves ( diabetic neuropathy) and skin breakdown due to poor circulation leading sad to say to amputation (diabetic foot).