What is Diabetes Mellitus?

Diabetes mellitus is one of the most common diseases of the endocrine system which is characterized by the disorder of metabolism, so that glucose is not ingested by the body. Due to these physiological changes, the glucose level goes up in the blood, and a resistant deficit of the insulin hormone is observed.

What is diabetes mellitus 2

Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease and hardly treatable. The diagnosis is determined on the basis of the blood test, when the glucose level is measured in the plasma. If the obtained results exceed reference range within a long period, a patient is diagnosed diabetes mellitus. The main task of the pharmaceutical therapy is to control the glucose level in the blood and avoid a development of hyperglycemia.

The main risk during diabetes mellitus is an affection of the cardiovascular system, when a risk of the stroke and damage of kidneys grows, so that a renal failure may be developed. The complications may be latent during diabetes mellitus, and a patient will not feel any symptoms for a long period. This is the danger of this disease.

Brief Statistics of Diabetes Mellitus in the World

According to World Health Organization, diabetes mellitus is an epidemic, and a spread of the disease quickly grows. A number of people with diabetes mellitus diagnosis has grown by 4 times for the past 35 years – from 100 million to 420 million.

The results of the studies conducted by WHO in 2016 show that more than 420 million people at the age of over 18 live with diabetes mellitus. At the same time, according to the opinion of scientists, this number will grow by two times till 2030.

Citizens in the industrialized countries are more exposed to diabetes mellitus because there are more preconditions to the development of this diagnosis. It includes unhealthy diet, stress, bad ecology, and many other factors.

About 1,5 million people die of diabetes mellitus and diseases which have been caused by the high glucose level in the blood every year. Therefore, the treatment of diabetes mellitus is the main task of the modern medicine.

What Causes Diabetes?

Scholars contend that the main factor of the diabetes mellitus development is a genetic disposition. This theory was proposed in the 19 century based on the statistical observations. Then, in 1974, this theory was proved by the clinical studies.

What causes diabetes?

Nowadays, a risk of the diabetes mellitus type 1 in people whose mother or father has this disease is by 10% higher, and a risk of the diabetes mellitus type 2 is by 80% higher.

Genomes are kept till the 3rd generation, and therefore a development of pancreatic diabetes grows, and it is impossible to stop the disease development, it can be just controlled.

However, there are other factors that may become a cause of diabetes mellitus:

  • Chronic stress. The body produces adrenalin and noradrenaline, and also glucocorticoids. These hormones stimulate the glucose synthesis, so that its uptake is affected.
  • Obesity. The tissues lose the sensitivity to insulin during the excessive body weight, and so this hormone is not able to transfer glucose from the blood.
  • Cardiovascular diseases: Ischemic heart disease, atherosclerosis, and arterial hypertension.
  • Chronic adrenocortical insufficiency.

According to all these causing factors, scientists have managed to distinguish two categories of causes as a result of which the glucose level grows in the blood, and diabetes mellitus appears.

Category 1: diabetes mellitus is caused by the disorder of the insulin production (failure).

Category 2: diabetes mellitus is caused by a resistance to insulin.

According to these terms, a classification of this disease has been done:

  • Diabetes mellitus type 1;
  • Diabetes mellitus type 2.

Diabetes mellitus type 2 is the most common type which is more subject to the genetic transmission and may appear as a result of the disorder of any physiological or biochemical processes in the body.

What is Type 1 Diabetes? Type 1 Diabetes Symptoms

Diabetes mellitus type 1 occurs in two cases:

  • If own insulin is not produced in the body.
  • If produced insulin is not enough in the body.

This way, the carrier hormone insulin is not able to transfer glucose from the body to the cells, and it is accumulated in the plasma.

The main cause of diabetes mellitus type 1 is considered a destruction of the endocrine cells of the pancreatic gland. It may be caused by the viral or infectious diseases, pancreatitis, toxic affections of the pancreatic gland, and severe stress.

A special attention is paid to the malignant tumors of the pancreatic gland, so that the pancreatic gland may be eliminated, and an acute insulin deficit may happen in the body. People at the age of 30 are more exposed to diabetes mellitus type 1.

The main difference of diabetes mellitus type 1 from type 2 is that a patient is observed an absolute insufficiency of insulin. Therefore, patients are prescribed a hormone replacement therapy, and a regular control of the glucose level in the blood.

It is more difficult to control diabetes mellitus type 1 because the body itself cannot do it and cannot react to the sudden raise of the glucose level. So, patients with diabetes mellitus type 1 often have attacks of hyperglycemia, and the disease is severer in comparison with patients with diabetes mellitus type 2.

Type 2 Diabetes. Type Two Diabetes Symptoms

Diabetes mellitus type 2 appears as a result of the developed resistance of the tissues to insulin. Insulin may be synthesized by the body at the normal or increased range, but the interaction of insulin with the body cells is affected.

A resistance may happen due to many reasons:

  • Obesity is the main reason why the functional change of the membrane receptors of insulin happens, so that the hormone is not able to interact with the cells.
  • Genetic changes in the insulin hormone structure.
  • Other factors may also influence on the resistance of insulin: arterial hypertension, overeating, a consumption of a lot of carbohydrates, sedentary lifestyle, alcohol abuse, and smoking.

All these factors influence on how the cells of the tissues will interact with insulin hormone. And the worse the interaction is, the more glucose will be accumulated in the blood plasma.

A peculiarity of diabetes mellitus type 2 is that the range of the glucose in the blood is irregular and depends on the external factors only. Stress or disorder of the nutrition results in a poor transfer of the glucose into the cells, and the glucose level may suddenly go up in the blood. Therefore, it is easier to control diabetes mellitus type 2 but the treatment should be regular in order to avoid hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia.

Moreover, diabetes mellitus type 2 appears in adults at the age of over 30 because a lot of external factors begin to influence on the human health during this period. The symptoms of diabetes mellitus type 1 and 2 do not differ because it is the same disease. The difference between them consists only in causes and a treatment approach.

Degrees of Diabetes Mellitus. Types of Diabetes

The intensity of the pharmaceutical therapy of diabetes mellitus depends on a severity of the disease. The glucose level is the base in the classification of diabetes mellitus. There is 4 degrees of the diabetes mellitus severity, and they indicate the glucose level in the blood and a severity of the complications.

Diabetes Mellitus: Degree 1

It is the beginning period of the disease which is characterized by the compensated process. A compensation of diabetes mellitus means a stable maintenance of the glucose level in the blood which maximally corresponds to the normal range. It means that the glucose level in the blood does not exceed 7 mmol/L, and a patient does not need to have a pharmaceutical therapy.

Glycaemia may be controlled at this stage by means of the balanced diet and giving up bad habits. Glucose is not excreted with urine, the affection of kidneys is not observed, and the rates of glycosylate hemoglobin do not exceed the reference range.

Patients usually do not feel any changes in the body functioning, and the signs of the complications are not observed during the first degree of diabetes mellitus.

Diabetes Mellitus: Degree 2

About 70% of patients feel the first signs of diabetes mellitus. It is characterized by the high level of glucose – from 7 to 10 mmol/L, and an occurrence of the first signs of the disease.

First, a patient experiences insignificant worsening of vision, the blood vessels are affected, and the complications happen in the work of heart and kidneys. The healing of wounds takes a longer period, and the affections of the tissues bring more damage.

At this stage, an excretion of glucose with urine is not observed, and the functional load on the internal organs slightly grows.

A patient is prescribed hypoglycemic products which help to control the glucose level in the combination with a diet.

Diabetes Mellitus: Degree 3

The third stage of diabetes mellitus tells about severe functional changes of the endocrine functions. The standard pharmaceutical therapy turns out ineffective at this stage for most patients because the range of the glucose in the blood reaches 13-14 mmol/L, and a sensitivity of the tissues of insulin drops to the minimal level.

Glucose and protein is excreted with urine, and the kidneys are affected at this stage.

A vision acuity is reduced, a severe arterial hypertension is kept, a sensitivity drops during the development of severe pains, and numbness of toes happens.

Patients are recommended to have injections with insulin in combination with a diet and other procedures. The glucose level should be controlled every day.

Diabetes Mellitus: Degree 4

This degree of diabetes mellitus is characterized by the severe complications for the body. The glucose level is kept at the level of 15-25 mmol/L and is not adjustable. Due to the high level of the glucose in the blood, the first signs of the renal failure, heart failure, diabetic ulcers and dysfunction of the nervous system are observed.

Another criterion of the 4th degree is a tendency to the development of frequent diabetic comas. A patient needs a hospitalization during this stage, and the therapy should be provided during the community setting, under doctors’ supervision.

Most doctors state that the 4th degree of diabetes mellitus is not treatable, and it leads to death in more than 70% of cases.

Early Signs of Diabetes

The clinical signs of diabetes mellitus are characterized by slow and gradual growing. If diabetes mellitus, first degree, is barely felt, the signs are more obvious during the second degree of the disease. If these symptoms are noticed, a medical examination may be done in time.

The clinical signs of diabetes mellitus

Diabetes mellitus seldom gives the signs of the acute hyperglycemia, and therefore patients at the risk group are recommended to control the glucose level in the blood and health on a regular basis.

The increase of the sugar level in the blood may be determined by the following signs:

  • Regular dry mouth;
  • Persistent thirst (a patient is thirsty even after consumed 2-3 liters of water);
  • Increase of diuresis (the frequency to urinate grows, and the volume of the excreted urine is also increased during a day);
  • A sudden increase of the fatty tissue;
  • Dry skin and regular itching of the skin;
  • High sweatiness and a muscle weakness;
  • Frequent pustule and small wounds on the skin and soft tissues.

A development of these signs does not tell about diabetes mellitus but it should be a reason to go to a doctor.

Patients with diabetes mellitus usually have 2-3 signs: dryness in the mouth/thirst, skin itching, and high diuresis. These are the main symptoms that may be noticed even at the initial stage of the disease, if you really follow your health.

Diabetes Symptoms. Symptoms of High Blood Sugar

Due to a progress of diabetes mellitus, light signs are replaced by the intensive symptoms. The complications of diabetes mellitus touch all vital human organs. The following symptoms are not dangerous and controlled during the second degree of diabetes mellitus:

  • Worsening of vision/blurred vision;
  • Permanent headaches;
  • Pain in heart and tachycardia;
  • Increase of liver and bad rates of the liver test without obvious cause;
  • Low sensitivity of the skin including lower limbs;
  • A significant increase of the average rates of the blood pressure;
  • Edemas.

It is difficult to confuse these symptoms, and they say clearly that a patient has a disorder of the glucose uptake in the blood. However, one symptoms is not a sign of diabetes mellitus, and so a diagnosis is made due to 2-3 symptoms and ranges of the blood tests.

The third degree of diabetes mellitus is characterized by severe symptoms, and therefore patients usually go to a doctor during the second degree of the disease development.

Signs of Diabetes in Women. How is It Manifested?

According to the statistics, women are more exposed to the development of diabetes mellitus. At the same time, pregnant women and women at the age of 40 to 60 are at a risk group.

Signs of diabetes in women

A development of diabetes mellitus during pregnancy is a common thing. It is called as a gestational diabetes and is manifested in pregnant women only. A cause of the development of this type of diabetes is a change of the hormone balance when the work of insulin is affected. The disease passes in 90% of cases after having a baby, or a light diet helps to treat it. But a risk of diabetes mellitus type 2 grows by two times in women with gestational diabetes after pregnancy.

Diabetes mellitus is manifested by a sudden change of the body mass in women. The increase of the fatty tissue happens quickly, during the unchanged feeding, and fat is mainly accumulated in the area of the abdominal cavity and pelvis.

Another very important symptoms of diabetes mellitus in women is a manifestation of candidiasis (thrush). Candidiasis becomes chronic during diabetes mellitus, and is hardly treatable. Even the use of the antifungal products gives a temporal result, and then the symptoms of the fungal infection of genitals return.

Another symptoms peculiar for women with diabetes mellitus is a polycystic ovarian syndrome. Due to the changed work in the endocrine system of a woman, a disorder of the menstrual cycle may happen. Often late periods and a change of the bleeding duration may tell about the first signs of the diabetes mellitus. Moreover, unlike men, women with diabetes mellitus are more exposed to the development of acne and depression.

All these symptoms are developed slowly, and therefore the unique female signs of diabetes mellitus are manifested during the significant raise of the glucose level in the blood.

Signs of Diabetes in Men

Signs of diabetes in men

The unique signs of diabetes mellitus for men include:

  • Erectile dysfunction (absence of erection during the sexual arousal);
  • Retrograde ejaculation (a physiological disorder when the seminal fluid is released into the bladder, and not through urethra to the outside);
  • Low level of testosterone.

Due to the reduced testosterone level and a general weakness during pancreatic diabetes, a man experiences a gradual reduction of the sexual drive.

Curious to relate, most signs of diabetes mellitus in men are manifested in the sexual function. It is one of the most sensitive zones in the male body, and depends on the quality of the blood and the work of the blood vessels. As soon as the glucose level grows in the blood, the worsening of the blood circulation happens in the genitals, and various diseases appear. So, two thirds of men with diabetes mellitus experience the erectile dysfunction.

Besides these signs, a man should pay attention to the increase of the body mass, mainly by means of the increased fatty tissue in the area of the belly. The rest signs are just like in women: dry mouth, frequent urination, itching of the skin, and others.

It is important to mention that men faster feel the symptoms of diabetes mellitus. The body reacts to it brightly, and that is why the development of the disease may be detected at early stage.

Complications of Diabetes

The complications of diabetes mellitus may be divided into two stages:

  • Short-term – the main signs are characterized by the worsening of vision, tachycardia, arterial hypertension, and others;
  • Long-term – the signs develop during long, insufficient control of diabetes mellitus.

The long-term complications are irreversible because they are developed within many years, and affect many organs. Therefore, the symptomatic treatment is often used during the complications.

The long-term complications are related to the affection of the small and/or large blood vessels. Due to the affected blood vessels, the following pathologies are observed:

  • Artery microthrombosis;
  • Disorder of immunity conditioned by the direct influence of hyperglycemia on the cells of the immune system;
  • Stenocardia and myocardial infarction;
  • Ischemic attacks and stroke;
  • Affection of the peripheral arteries.

A poor healing of wound has also to do with the affected microcirculatory vessels, deep ulcers may be formed even during small wounds on the skin, especially on legs.

Due to the affected microcirculatory vessels, a diabetic retinopathy may occur in patients with diabetes mellitus. It is a disorder of the blood supply of the eye retina, so that a patient has blindness. This diagnosis is the most often cause of the blindness in adults in the USA.

A diabetic nephropathy is one of the most common compilations which develops during diabetes mellitus. It is pathological changes of the hepatic vessels, so that a filtration kidney function is affected, and the conditions to the development of the renal failure are created.

Another severe complication during diabetes mellitus is a diabetic neuropathy. It is an affection of the peripheral section of the nervous system, so that the numbness of limbs and other symptoms appear. A sensitivity of the nervous system is reduced, and the vegetative function drops, so that tachycardia, hypotension, and other symptoms appear.

Diabetes Diagnosis, Diabetes Treatment and How to Prevent Diabetes

An early diagnostic is important during diabetes mellitus. First, it will help to avoid complications, and secondly, during the early diagnosing, there is a chance to reduce the glucose level in the blood without using medications.

Establishing diagnosis needs:

  • Analysis of the glucose level in the blood on an empty stomach;
  • Analysis of the glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c).

The blood test is taken after abstinence from food within 8-12 hours. A diagnosis diabetes mellitus is made if several factors coincide:

  • A concentration of the sugar (glucose) in the capillary blood on an empty stomach exceeds 6,1 mmol/L;
  • A level of glycated hemoglobin exceeds 6,5%.

A patient may be also prescribed to take urine test, and if urine has glucose, it says about diabetes mellitus.

At the same time, diagnosing diabetes mellitus should be done after 2-3 blood tests. There are gaps and various factors that may distort the test results. If the tests showed the same results, a patient is prescribed the treatment.

The treatment suggests a control of hyperglycemia to relieve the symptoms and prevent the complications. As there is no effective method of the complete healing of diabetes mellitus, the methodology of the therapy is based on several main principles:

  • Diet therapy;
  • Regulation of the body mass;
  • Compensation of the carbohydrate metabolism;
  • Physical exercises;
  • Pharmaceutical therapy. Metformin is used for treating type 2 diabetes. It is used along with diet and exercise. Metformin is a biguanide antidiabetic. It works by decreasing the level of sugar that the liver produces and the intestines absorb.

Metformin is used for treating type 2 diabetes

Learning to have a proper lifestyle during diabetes mellitus plays an important role. A patient should know what pancreatic diabetes is, why it is dangerous, and what a patient should do during the attacks of hypo- and hyperglycemia. A patient should also know how to detect the high level of the glucose in the blood and react to it.

Dietary therapy and physical activity are the main tools to fight diabetes mellitus of 1-2 degree. Due to the reduced consumption of the fast carbohydrates and increased consumption of fibers, it is possible to reduce the supply of the glucose. At the same time, the release of insulin is increased due to the physical activity, and the resistance of the body to insulin is reduced. If diet and physical exercises did not help, a pharmaceutical therapy is used (Metformin).

The treatment is started from the hypoglycemic products that increase a sensitivity of glucose and tissues to the insulin and a synthesis of the endogenous insulin.

Do not take exogenous insulin during the diabetes type 2, 1-2 degree. It may be dangerous because of a risk of a sudden development of the acute hypoglycemia. Insulin may be used only during diabetes mellitus type 1, or severe types of diabetes type 3.

If the peroral medical products are ineffective and level of the glucose in the blood still grows, the only tool to control it is insulin injections. This way, you give the body the additional resource to uptake the glucose and transfer it into the cells. In case of the weak sensitivity, insulin is used in combination with hypoglycemic products of the peroral meaning.

Nowadays, the treatment of diabetes mellitus type 1 and 2 is a serious problem, because the treatment helps only to control the symptoms, not to get rid of the causes.

So, it is better to prevent the disease and avoid the increased glucose level more than 5,5 mmol/L. To prevent diabetes mellitus, it is enough to follow the diet regimen and avoid a consumption of sweets, starchy food, and other fast carbohydrates, and to do sports. You can do any physical exercises that help to improve the utilization of the glucose in the muscle cells.

It is proved that patients who have the glucose level in the blood at the reference range have an active lifestyle, seldom die of the cardiovascular diseases, and feel good at old age.

Diabetes mellitus is another main precondition to the early ageing and chronic diseases, and therefore our task is to stop this disease in time.