Diabetes is a chronic condition linked with unusually high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. It occurs as a result of insufficient production of insulin.
Diabetes mellitus is a group of metabolic diseases characterized by high blood sugar (glucose) levels that result from deficiency in insulin secretion, or its action, or both. Diabetes is a chronic medical condition, because it lasts a lifetime even if it can be controlled with drugs and changes in meals.
Diabetes mellitus was first identified as a disease associated with “sweet urine,” in the past. Elevated levels of blood glucose (hyperglycemia) lead to spillage of glucose into the urine, causing the urine to be sugary in taste.
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Normally, blood glucose levels are controlled by insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas. Insulin lowers the blood glucose level. When the blood glucose elevates after eating food, insulin is released from the pancreas to normalize the glucose level by promoting the uptake of glucose into body cells.
The two types of diabetes are referred to as type 1 and type 2.
Symptoms of diabetes
Symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes include;
- Frequent passing out of urine
- Loss of weight
- Excessive thirst
- Hunger and fatigue
- Wounds takes long to heal
- Skin problems
- yeast infections, and
- tingling or numbness in the feet or toes.
- Blurred vision
- Some of the risk factors for getting diabetes include;
- Leading a sedentary lifestyle
- Being overweight or obese
- Family history of diabetes
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Low levels of the “good” cholesterol (HDL)
- Elevated levels of triglycerides in blood
Common differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes
Despite the improbability that often surrounds a diagnosis of diabetes, there are a few common characteristics of each diabetes type.
- Type 1 diabetes can be controlled without taking insulin while sometimes it is possible to come off diabetes medication in Type 2 diabetes.
- Type 1 Diabetes is associated with higher than normal ketone level while Type 2 is often associated with high blood pressure and/or cholesterol levels at diagnosis.
- Type 1 is often diagnosed in childhood while Type 2 is usually diagnosed in adults over 30 years.
- Type 1 is not associated with excess body weight while Type 2 is associated with excess body weight
- Type 1 can be treated with Insulin injections or pump while Type 2 is usually treated without medications initially