Diabetes Mellitus Essay

Submitted By Joseph523
Words: 1922
Pages: 8

Freshman Composition
20 November 2013
“Diabetes Mellitus is defined as a group of diseases characterized by high blood glucose levels that result from defects in the body’s ability to produce and/ or use insulin” (American Diabetes Association). Diabetes is characterized by hyperglycemia or above normal amounts of glucose (sugar) in the blood and urine, resulting from an inability to use carbohydrates. Diabetics may go into a coma when their blood glucose levels get very high. Low blood glucose (hypoglycemia) can also lead to unconsciousness. Diabetes is known to be a metabolism disorder. Metabolism uses the food that we eat and uses it for energy and growth. Everyone’s metabolism moves at a different rate, some people’s metabolisms are faster or slower than others. Majority of the food that we intake into our bodies are broken down into glucose (sugar). There are different types of diabetes. Pre-diabetes is when your blood glucose level is higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed. The chances of having diabetes can be reduced by weight loss and increasing physical activity. Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy typically around the 24th-28th week. Gestational diabetes occurs when your body is unable to make use of all the insulin your body needs during pregnancy. “Based on recently announced diagnostic criteria for gestational diabetes, it is estimated that gestational diabetes affects 18% of pregnancies” (American Diabetes Association). Secondary diabetes occurs when you have another medical condition like Cushing syndrome; hyperthyroidism, cystic fibrosis, and pancreatitis just to name a few. The two most common forms of diabetes are Type I and Type II diabetes. Type I diabetes formerly called juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes is usually diagnosed first in children, teenagers, or young adults. Type I diabetes usually develops earlier in life and requires the use of insulin. “With this form of diabetes, the beta cells of the pancreas no longer make insulin because the body’s immune system has attacked or destroyed them” (National Institute of Diabetes). Without enough insulin, glucose builds up in the bloodstream instead of going into the cells. The body is unable to use this glucose for energy. This leads to the symptoms of Type I diabetes. Within 5-10 years, the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas are completely destroyed and the body can no longer produce insulin. The exact cause is still unknown, but most likely there is a viral or environmental trigger in genetically people that causes an immune reaction. “Symptoms may be dry skin and mouth, rapid breathing, nausea or vomiting, stomach pain, and fruity breath odor” (U.S. Library of Medicine). Some people have no warning signs or symptoms before they are diagnosed with diabetes. Symptoms or signs to look for are feeling hungry, feeling really tired or fatigued, excessively thirsty, frequent urination, weight loss, blurred vision, and losing the feeling or tingling in your feet. For some people, becoming ill may be the first sign of having diabetes or high blood sugar levels. There is several tests that can be ran to determine if someone has diabetes or not. Fast acting glucose levels diabetes is diagnosed if blood sugar levels are higher than 126mg/dL on two occasions. Random non-fasting glucose level is when diabetes is suspected if it is higher than 200 mg/dL, and the patient has symptoms such as increased thirst, urination, and fatigue but this must be confirmed with a fasting test. Oral glucose tolerance test diabetes is diagnosed if the glucose level is higher than 200 mg/dL after 2 hours. Hemoglobin A1c test this test has been used in the past to help patients monitor how well they are controlling their blood glucose levels. In 2010, the American Diabetes Association recommended that the test be used as another option for diagnosing diabetes and identifying pre-diabetes. “Levels indicate…