Diabetes mellitus is a chronic metabolic disorder that affects the way our body processes, digests and absorbs food.
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder. Meaning a disorder that affects how the foods we eat is been digested and used for growth and proper functioning of our systems. This is where a person’s blood sugar (glucose) is high. Either because of low insulin production or as a result of the body not making use of the insulin it has or both. This blood sugar that is in excess amount in the blood stream eventually passes out in urine.
High glucose levels are characterized by the person passing urine frequently, having extreme thirst and hunger, weight gain or loss and the inability of the body to heal itself after an injury.
Hypoglycaemia which is a low level of blood sugar. And hyperglycemia which is a high level of blood sugar can be bad for the person suffering from diabetes.
TYPES OF DIABETES MELLITUS
Diabetes mellitus are of three types:
- Type 1 diabetes: This also referred to as insulin-dependent diabetes, juvenile diabetes or early-onset diabetes. Here the body is not able to produce insulin. It occurs in early adulthood and teenage years. This type of diabetes can cause you anxiety and is not as common as the type 2 diabetes mellitus. It can also be said to be an auto-immune disorder. This is because the body attacks the pancreas which produces insulin with antibodies, making the pancreas unable to produce any insulin.
People suffering from this type of diabetes always take insulin for the rest of their life while taking regular blood sugar test.
- Type 2 diabetes: This is also referred to as non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. In this type of diabetes, the body is unable to produce insulin that is enough for the normal metabolic processes. Or the insulin is available, but the body is unable to use them.
This type 2 diabetes mellitus is a progressive disease. And is the most common type of diabetes. It can be found mostly in elderly people. People suffering from diabetes can also suffer from depression. In this type of diabetes mellitus, the pancreas is able to produce some insulin. which might not be sufficient or the body do not react to it.
You can control this type of diabetes by keeping fit, watching your blood sugar levels, eating healthy foods, and also losing weight etc. People with high tendency of getting this type 2 diabetes are; obese people, people with close relatives that have diabetes. And also men with low testosterone levels.
- Gestational diabetes: This is the type of diabetes that occurs in pregnancy. During pregnancy, some ladies develop high levels of glucose in their blood stream. And their body is unable to provide a sufficient amount of insulin to aid in their movement into the cells. This leads to a rise in blood glucose levels. This type of diabetes can be managed by exercise and good diet. Or some drugs which control blood glucose levels.
When this type of diabetes is not managed well, it can result in problems in pregnancy. And the baby gets bigger than normal.
After pregnancy, this type of diabetes reverses. But it also predisposes the woman to getting type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes symptoms are the same in all types of diabetes. Some of the symptoms include;
- Frequent Urination.
- Extreme thirst.
- Feelings of hunger.
- Extreme fatigue
- Blurry vision.
- Injuries that are slow to heal
- Weight loss, even when you are eating more.
- Tingling sensations.
- Pain, feelings of numbness in the hands or feet.
DIABETES MEDICATIONS AND TREATMENT
Diabetes can be managed through the following ways;
- By checking your blood sugar levels every day.
- Eating healthy foods with high fiber content and low fat. Example; fruits, vegetables, whole grains.
- Avoid foods with a high glycemic index. Stick instead to healthy foods with a low glycemic index example; foods containing a lot a fiber.
- Regular physical exercise. This can lower your blood sugar lever, so check your blood sugar level before exercising and if position eats something light before exercising.
- Diabetic drugs or insulin therapy.
There are so many types of drugs that can be used in the treatment of diabetes especially type 2 diabetes. There are as follows;
- Metformin (Glucophage, Glumetza). It acts by making the body tissues more effective in using the insulin produced. The side effects include nausea, diarrhea.
- Meglitinides. Example include; Repaglinide(Prandin), Nateglinide( Starlix).It acts by stimulating the production of insulin from the pancreas. Side effect includes weight gain.
- Sulfonylureas. example includes; glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase), glimepiride (Amaryl), glipizide (Glucotrol).This class of drugs powers the pancreas to produce more insulin. Side effect includes weight gain
- Thiazolidinediones. Examples include; Rosiglitazone (Avandia), Pioglitazone (Actos). This class of drugs makes the body more sensitive to use up the insulin produced. Side effects include; weight gain.
- GLP-1 receptor agonists. Examples include; Exenatide ( Byetta), Liraglutide (Victoza). This class of drug slows the rate of digestion thereby reducing blood sugar level. Side effects include weight loss. Nausea.
- DPP- inhibitors: examples of drugs in this class include; Sitagliptin (Januvia), Linagliptin (Tradjenta), Saxagliptin (Onglyza). These drugs are also used to reduce high blood sugar levels.
- SGLT2 inhibitors: this type of medication works by stopping the reabsorption of blood sugar by the kidney. Examples of drugs found in these class include; Canagliflozin(Invokana), Dapagliflozin (Farxiga). Side effects can include; low blood pressure, urinary tract infections.
- Insulin therapy: Treatment for diabetes also involves taking insulin. Which is also injected into the skin into fatty tissues. The methods of injecting insulin include through; syringes, insulin pens, insulin pumps, jet injectors. Types of insulin include; insulin glulisine (Apidra), insulin lispro (Humalog), insulin aspart (Novolog), insulin glargine(Lantus), insulin detemir (Levemir), insulin isophane (Humulin N, Novolin N)
- Bariatric surgery