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Annmariya Johnson

Hello! I am a Lifescience postgraduate with a strong inclination to the field of biological science and would like to share my knowledge of the same.

Diabetes -The sweet poison

3 January 2022

Diabetes mellitus commonly called diabetes is a condition that arises from the presence of high amounts of glucose in blood i.e., high blood sugar. Normally, the hormone insulin secreted by the beta cells of pancreas help the cells utilize the blood sugar for metabolic activity. When this function is disrupted, a person develops diabetes. This can happen due to various reasons and therefore classified accordingly into different types, the most common type of diabetes includes Type 1, Type 2 and gestational diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes - In this case, your body does not produce sufficient insulin for action because the immune system starts destroying the beta cells of pancreas that produce insulin. Therefore, cells are not able to utilize blood glucose for metabolic function. Type1 diabetes usually occurs in children and young adults and people need to take insulin shots daily in order to live. It is called insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, juvenile diabetes or early-onset diabetes. It is mostly passed on hereditarily or due to genetic mutations.

Type 2 Diabetes – In this case, the cells do not respond to the insulin i.e., insulin resistance. In response to this the pancreas should make more than the existing amount of insulin which also does not happen. Both these scenarios i.e., insulin resistance and trouble making extra insulin leads to high blood sugar resulting in type 2 diabetes. It can occur at any age but more commonly in middle-aged or old people and is also called adult-onset or non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus. This is the most common type of diabetes observed in the population as it can also be acquired due to various lifestyle patterns.

Gestational Diabetes – It develops during pregnancy, mostly of the type 2 form and often goes away after the baby is born. People who have had gestational diabetes are at a greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes at later stages of life.

This is one of the most prevalent disorders existing in the population and is estimated to become the 7th leading cause of death by 2030. It is responsible for blindness, stroke, kidney failure and lower limb amputation. Apart from the said reasons, one can develop type 2 diabetes due to obesity, physical inactivity, family history and wrong diet wherein aerated drinks and sweets are the major contributors.

Symptoms of Diabetes Mellitus:

  • Polyphagia (increased hunger)

  • Polyuria (frequent urination)

  • Polydipsia (increased thirst)

  • Weight gain

  • Weight loss in case of Type 1 diabetes

  • Increased fatigue and slow healing

  • Glycosuria

  • Cholesterol in urine

  • Ketone bodies in urine

  • The three P’s – Polyphagia, polyuria, polydipsia are the most affirmative symptoms of diabetes.

Is diabetes insipidus the same as diabetes mellitus?

Diabetes insipidus is totally different from diabetes mellitus and has nothing to do with blood sugar. It is a condition in the kidney where the kidney produces extra urine which is excreted as glucose free urine leading to excessive thirst and frequent urination. Due to this similarity between the symptoms of diabetes mellitus and insipidus they are often compared but the root cause of both the disease is completely different. Diabetes insipidus is caused by the failure of Antidiuretic hormone that is required for water retention in the renal tubules of the kidney generating a lot of pee which is free of glucose, cholesterol or ketone bodies.

Overtime persistent high blood sugar can be very threatening leading to problems like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, eye problems, dental disease, nerve damage, etc. Therefore, proper control over diet, exercise and medication is prescribed for diabetic people to keep their blood sugar and health in check. Routine blood sugar examinations are highly recommended to such people.

What should be done to prevent diabetes?

  • Reduce  high calorie intake

  • Stay physically active

  • Controlled diet

  • Avoid junks


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