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About Diabetes Mellitus

Desmond | Lead Clinician

Jan-17-2022 | Physiology

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Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a very common metabolic disease which is associated with a significant risk for morbidity and mortality. It is estimated that, without preventive measures, the number of diabetics is expected to reach 300 million by 2025.


Diabetes Mellitus is broadly classified as Type 1 and Type 2 DM. The former, results from autoimmune destruction of the beta-cells in the pancreas, resulting in an inability to secrete insulin. Type 2 DM on the other hand is as a result of reduced insulin sensitivity and impaired secretion.


The classical clinical symptoms of DM include: polyuria, polydipsia, fatigue, and weakness. The diagnostic methods for DM include a fasting blood glucose level, random blood glucose during the manifestation of symptoms, a two-hour postprandial plasma glucose level and glycated hemoglobin levels.


Treatment is aimed at achieving a near-normal metabolic control, avoiding unacceptable episodes of hypoglycemia, and to prevent or delay the progression of diabetic complications. Diet, regular exercise, medication and treatment of complications are the very key elements of diabetes management.


The complications of DM include a wide range of pathological alterations due to a long term uncontrolled blood sugar level. These include heart attacks, strokes, hypertension, erectile dysfunction, nerve damage, kidney disease.


There is a close link between diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases CVD. Patients who are being managed for cardiovascular, and to an extent, respiratory diseases, should be mindful of diabetes as well. Arteriosclerotic cardiovascular diseases ASCVD such as coronary heart disease, peripheral arterial disease, and stroke are very common among diabetics, and their prevalence increases with worsening glucose status. 


Diabetes is an independent risk factor that shares equivalence with CVD while it also increases the susceptibility to different kinds of respiratory infections, often being described as a risk factor for lower respiratory tract infections.

Note: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice, or as the substitute for the medical advice of a physician.