Diabetes Mellitus: How Do I Get It?

Diabetes Mellitus is a group of chronic disorders that are caused by a minor or total insulin deficiency.

Although there are genetic factors to it, developing the disease also depends greatly on environmental factors.

It affects over 130 million people worldwide. In America, 1 in every 20 people has diabetes.

The disease itself must be managed through monitoring and maintaining proper blood sugar levels through a healthy diet and regular exercise.

It is a disease that weakens the vascular system and causes many complications, such as loss of eye sight or kidney damage.

For every one patient that is diagnosed with this disease, there is another who is not.

The complications of those who have not received, or ignore their diabetic diagnosis, at times overwhelm the medical community and it is also the disease that has the most financial impact on the economy at 100 billion dollars per year.

Diabetes is divided into two major groups. The first group, known as Primary Diabetes Mellitus, covers the most commonly known types of diabetes:

*Type 1 - this is an insulin dependent type of diabetes *Type 2- this is a non-insulin dependent type of diabetes *Type 3- this is a malnutrition related type of diabetes, not commonly discussed *Gestational Diabetes- this a type of diabetes that develops in women during pregnancy

The second group of diabetes is known as Secondary Diabetes Mellitus.

These types of diabetes are caused by outside factors other than genetics and environmental factors.

When things like acute or chronic pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer destroys the pancreas- which is the insulin producing organ in the body- secondary diabetes will occur.

Chronic liver disease like in Hemochromatosis, endocrine abnormalities like in Hyperthyroid and Cushing syndrome are very common.

The use of medications to treat other conditions can all bring about a diagnosis of secondary diabetes.

Genetic disorders, like Down syndrome is involved in diabetes.

The main abnormality with diabetes is the difficulty of having to control blood sugar. Insulin is produced in the pancreas and its function is to control your blood sugar in a narrow range. In type I diabetes we find that there is not enough insulin production. In type II diabetes, most of the time we find enough insulin but it is not available to control the sugar levels. Both the above situations lead to a rise in blood sugar and further on to diabetes.

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