Diabetes Mellitus is a disorder in which blood levels of glucose are abnormally high because the body doesn't release or use insulin adequately. Diabetes Mellitus affects many organs of the body. It affects the blood vessels because Atherosclerotic plaque builds up and blocks large or medium-sized arteries in the heart, brain, and legs. The walls of small blood vessels are damaged so that the vessels do not transfer oxygen normally and may leak. This can lead to poor circulation and can hinder the healing of wounds, cause heart disease, stroke, gangrene of the feet and hands, and infections. The eyes are also affected.
The small blood vessels of the retina become damaged leading to decreased night vision and ultimately blindness. Poor kidney function and kidney failure may also arise due to thickening of the blood vessels in the kidneys. Protein leaks into the urine and the blood is not filtered normally. Skin is greatly affected by diabetes Mellitus. There is poor blood flow to the skin which causes loss of feeling. Sores and deep infections called diabetic ulcers occur because of this.
Pregnancy is affected by diabetes Mellitus. Many changes that take place during pregnancy make controlling blood sugar more difficult for a woman who has diabetes. Changes in the levels and types of hormones produced during pregnancy can cause insulin resistance, increasing the body's requirements for insulin. Poorly controlled diabetes may endanger the fetus as well as the woman. With proper adjustments in insulin the risks lessen. Diabetes increases a pregnant woman's risk of infection, early labor, and high blood pressure caused by pregnancy.
The baby of a diabetic woman may be unusually large at birth. The risk of birth defects is two times higher in babies of women who have diabetes. Most women who have diabetes can have vaginal deliveries. After birth, the babies are assessed carefully because they are at increased risk of developing breathing difficulties, low blood sugar and calcium levels, jaundice, and a high red blood cell count. These problems are temporary and can be treated.
Six percent of the United States population has some form of diabetes. Ten percent have type 1 form of the disease. Most people who have the disease develop it before age 30. Scientists believe that an environmental factor causes the immune system to destroy the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Some genetic link is most likely needed for this to happen. In diabetes more than 90 percent of the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas are permanently destroyed.
The resulting insulin deficiency is severe, and to survive, you must regularly inject insulin. The main goal of diabetes treatment is to keep blood sugar levels within the normal range as much a possible. Completely normal levels are difficult to maintain, but the more closely they are kept within the normal range, the less likely that temporary or long term complications will develop. The treatment of diabetes requires attention to weight control, exercise and diet. In type 1 form of diabetes, the pancreas can't produce insulin, so insulin must be replaced. This can only be accomplished by injection.
New forms of insulin such as nasal spray are being tested at the present time. Insulin is injected under the skin into the fat layer, usually the arm, thigh, or abdominal wall. An air pump device can be used for people who cannot tolerate needles however the needles are virtually painless. Insulin is available in three different forms, each with a different speed and duration of action (Rapid-acting insulin, Intermediate-acting insulin, and Long- acting insulin). Choosing which insulin to use depends on how tightly you wish to control your blood sugar level.
The amount of insulin necessary may vary from day to day. It is important for you to know that monitoring blood sugar levels is an essential part of diabetes care. You must also be careful because both insulin and oral drugs can lower blood sugar levels too much causing hypoglycemia. This can also occur if you do not eat enough. When blood sugar levels are not controlled well the first organ to be affected is the brain. To protect the brain your body will produce more glucose.
This can lead to severe headaches and hypoglycemia which can become an extremely serious condition. People with diabetes Mellitus can live full normal lives as long as they keep up with their treatment. Diabetes is a serious disease and there is no cure. There is much research going on dealing with finding a cure for diabetes.
Until a cure is found you must strictly obey doctors orders and complications will be minimal.