What is diabetes?
Diabetes (diabetes mellitus) is an energy metabolism disorder that is based on blood glucose regulatory hormone, insulin, absolute or relative deficits. It is is a group of metabolic disorders in which there are high blood sugar levels over a prolonged period. The reasons can be:
- pancreatic insufficiency of insulin production
- insulin resistance
On average, diabetes affects 6.4% of the world's population.
Diabetic is classified as:
- Type I diabetes (Insulin-dependent diabetes). The reason is insulin producing beta cells destruction due to inflammation or autoimmune inflammation. The cause is unknown.
- Type II diabetes is a so-called lifestyle disease, a condition in which cells fail to respond to insulin properly.
- Gestational diabetes. Occurs when pregnant women without a previous history of diabetes develop high blood sugar levels.
- Secondary diabetes (a disease associated with another disease). Occurs for example after, inflammation of the pancreas, a disorder of hormonal function, a pancreatic surgery, or a rare surgery.
In Estonia about 85-95% of all diabetics suffer from Type II diabetes. Normal blood sugar level is lower than 6.0 mmol / l. Type II diabetes can last for years unnoticed, and the disease is diagnosed only by accidental blood tests or when already the damages/complications of the disease are occurring.
Symptoms indicative of possible diabetes:
- increased thirst and dry mouth
- increased urination
- increased hunger
- unexpected weight loss
- slow-healing sores
- recurrent infections or inflammation
- blurred vision
Prevention and treatment involve maintaining a healthy diet, regular physical exercise, a normal body weight, and avoiding use of tobacco. The goal of diabetes treatment is to prevent its complications and keep up good quality of life.
Diabetes complications include:
- cardiovascular disorders/disease
- foot damage. Nerve damage in the feet or poor blood flow to the feet increases the risk of various foot complications.
- eye damage (retinopathy)d
- kidney damage
- nerve damage (neuropathy)
Non-diabetic patients should go to a family doctor or family nurse when they have doubts for increased blood sugar or feel indicative symptoms of diabetes.
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