Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes Mellitus is what most people think of when they hear the word “diabetes”. Diabetes mellitus is the diagnosis given when the body either does not produce insulin (or not enough insulin), or when the body develops a resistance to the effects of insulin. This leads to dangerously high blood sugar levels, and can lead to many serious and/or fatal long term health effects if the diabetic patient does not adequately control their blood sugar levels.

Doctors distinguish between two main types of diabetes mellitus: Type 1 Diabetes, where the body does not produce insulin, and Type 2 Diabetes, where the body develops a resistance to the effects of insulin. Some references are also made to Type 1.5 Diabetes, where the body still produces *some* insulin, but not enough to adequately control blood sugar levels. While the mechanics of each type of diabetes mellitus is different, the end result is the same: The body’s blood glucose levels cannot be regulated properly.

Type 1 diabetes mellitus, also often called “insulin-dependent diabetes,” is usually diagnosed very early in life, and patients self-administer insulin injections throughout the day to control their blood sugar levels. Aside from insulin, type 1 diabetics can also benefit from medications that help prevent blood sugar spikes by slowing the body’s digestion of carbohydrates. Individuals with low insulin production (sometimes called “Type 1.5″) are generally treated with the same medications.

Type 2 diabetes mellitus, sometimes called “adult-onset diabetes” (although increasing numbers of young people in industrialized nations are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in their teens), develops over time, and has been correlated with both heredity and diet and exercise habits. The body develops a resistance to the effects of insulin, so even though the body is still producing insulin, it cannot regulate bloodsugar levels properly. Type 2 diabetes can be treated with the same medications as type 1, but also with a variety of medications that either increase the body’s production of insulin or improve insulin sensitivity.



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