Diabetes Mellitus Essay

1738 words - 7 pages

Diabetes mellitus (DM) or simply diabetes, is a chronic health condition in which the body either fails to produce the amount of insulin needed or it responds inadequately to the insulin secreted by the pancreas. The three primary types of diabetes are: Diabetes Type 1 and 2, and during some pregnancies, Gestational diabetes. The cliché for all three types of diabetes is high glucose blood levels or hyperglycemia. The pathophysiology of all types of diabetes mellitus is related to the hormone insulin, which is secreted by the beta cells of the pancreas. This hormone is responsible for maintaining an optimal glucose level in the blood. It allows the body cells to use glucose as a main energy source. Due to abnormal insulin metabolism, in a diabetic person, the body cells and tissues cannot make use of glucose from the blood, resulting in elevated blood glucose level or hyperglycemia. Over time, elevated blood glucose level in the bloodstream can lead to severe complications, such as disorders of the eyes, cardiovascular diseases, kidney damage and nerve destruction. In Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas is not able to produce sufficient amount of insulin as required for the body. The pathophysiology of type 1 diabetes suggests that it’s an autoimmune disease, in which the body’s own immune system generates secretions of substances that attack the beta cells of the pancreas leading to low or no insulin secretion. This is more common in children and young adults before the age of thirty. Type 1 is also referred as Insulin dependent Diabetes Mellitus or Juvenile Diabetes, exogenous insulin is needed for its treatment. In type 2 diabetes mellitus we find insulin resistance with varying degrees of insulin secretory defects and is more common in adults in their 40s. Type 2 diabetes mellitus can be non-insulin-dependent or insulin-dependent. With gestational diabetes it is glucose intolerance during pregnancy in a woman not previously diagnosed with diabetes. It may occur if placental hormones counteract insulin, causing insulin resistance.
The exact cause of type 1 diabetes mellitus, previously known as insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, is unknown. What we know today is that in most people with type 1, their body’s own immune system which normally fights against infections mistakenly destroys the beta cells of the pancreas making insulin secretion impossible. Genetics also plays a role in this process, and exposure to certain viruses could trigger the disease. Whatever the cause, once 90% or more of the beta cells are destroyed, the pancreas will produce little or no insulin. In type 1 diabetes due to the lack of insulin, the glucose is not able to enter the cells to be used for energy and instead it builds up into the bloodstream, where it can cause life-threatening complications.
The cause of type 1 diabetes is different from the cause of the more common type 2 diabetes in which the beta cells of the pancreas are still functioning, but the body...

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