Diabetes mellitus is an endocrine disease caused by a lack of insulin hormone in the body or its low biological activity. It is characterized by a violation of all types of metabolism, lesions of large and small blood vessels and manifests itself in hyperglycemia.
The first to give the name of the disease – “diabetes” was the doctor Aretius, who lived in Rome in the second century AD. Much later, already in 1776, doctor Dobson (Englishman by birth), examining the urine of diabetics found that it has a sweet taste, which spoke about the presence of sugar in it. Thus, diabetes began to be called “sugar”.
In any type of diabetes, control of blood sugar becomes one of the primary tasks of the patient and his attending physician. The closer the level of sugar is to the limits of the norm, the less diabetes symptoms appear and the less risk of complications.
Why does diabetes mellitus occur and what is it?
Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder that occurs due to inadequate formation of the patient’s own insulin (disease type 1) or because of a violation of the impact of this insulin on tissues (type 2). Insulin is produced in the pancreas, and therefore people with diabetes often find themselves among those who have various disorders of this organ.
Patients with diabetes mellitus type 1 are called “insulin-dependent” – it is they who need regular injections of insulin, and very often they have a congenital disease. Usually, the disease of type 1 appears already in childhood or adolescence, and this type of disease occurs in 10-15% of cases.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus develops gradually and is considered “diabetes of the elderly”. This type of diabetes almost never occurs in children, and is usually typical for people over 40 years of age who are overweight. This type of diabetes occurs in 80-90% of cases, and is inherited in almost 90-95% of cases.
What is it? Diabetes mellitus can be of two types – insulin dependent and insulin-independent.
- Type 1 diabetes mellitus occurs against the background of insulin deficiency, so it is called insulin-dependent. In this type of diabetes, the pancreas does not function properly: it either does not produce insulin at all, or produces enough to process even a minimum amount of incoming glucose. This results in an increase in blood glucose levels. As a rule, type 1 diabetes mellitus is caused by skinny people under the age of 30 years. In such cases, patients are given additional doses of insulin to prevent ketoacidosis and maintain a normal standard of living.
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus affects up to 85% of all diabetes patients, mostly people over 50 years of age (especially women). This type of diabetes is characterized by excess body weight: more than 70% of these patients are obese. It is accompanied by the production of a sufficient amount of insulin, to which the tissues gradually lose their sensitivity.
The causes of diabetes of I and II types are fundamentally different. In those suffering from type 1 diabetes due to viral infection or autoimmune aggression, the beta cells that produce insulin break down, causing its deficit with all dramatic consequences. In patients with type 2 diabetes beta cells produce sufficient or even increased amounts of insulin, but the tissues lose the ability to perceive its specific signal.