Diabetes Mellitus Fact Sheet Term Paper

Pages: 5 (1279 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Disease

Diabetes Mellitus Fact Sheet

Diabetes mellitus is a term that refers to a group of diseases, all of which are related by the common root cause of a disorder in the way the body processes glucose present in the blood (Mayo Clinic 2010; WebMD 2010). All types of diabetes essentially lead to a buildup of glucose in the blood, which can lead to a number of serious health difficulties that may cause other symptoms and complications (Mayo Clinic 2010). These symptoms can initially include increased thirst, frequent urination, extreme hunger, sudden and inexplicable weight loss, fatigue, and an increasing frequency of infections (Medline 2010, WebMD 2010). If left untreated, diabetes can eventually lead to other debilitating conditions such as blindness, kidney failure, and peripheral artery disease (leading to amputations in extreme cases) (Medline 2010). All of these symptoms can be considered part of the basic progression of diabetes, though these latter symptoms are only part of extreme cases.

The basic mechanism that causes diabetes differs from type to type, but simply put the body requires insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, to break down glucose from digested food, which the body then uses as energy; individuals with diabetes either do not produce enough insulin or have a resistance to insulin, or both (Mayo Clinic 2010). It is one or both of these problems with insulin that leads to the glucose buildup in a diabetic's blood, causing the symptoms of diabetes. Thus, though diabetes is defined by an issue with glucose, it is caused by an issue within the body of proper and/or adequate insulin use.

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Term Paper on Diabetes Mellitus Fact Sheet Diabetes Mellitus Is Assignment

As mentioned above, there are several types of diabetes and diabetes-related disorders. Prediabetes is a condition with many of the symptoms of diabetes resulting form an increased amount of blood sugar (glucose) that has not yet reached a chronic or fully diabetic state (Medline 2010; WebMD 2010). Gestational diabetes is a condition that can occur during pregnancy, and if left untreated it can be very dangerous for both the pregnant mother and the child she is carrying (Medline 2010). Both of these types of diabetes are reversible, with prediabetes requiring greater control of diet and exercise habits and gestational diabetes ending shortly after the pregnancy has ended (Medline 2010).

Type I and Type II diabetes, which are what most people refer to and think of when they hear the phrase "diabetes," are not so easily reversible. In Type 1 diabetes, also called "juvenile onset diabetes," the pancreas produces little or no insulin, due to an immune reaction in which the insulin-producing cells are killed (Mayo Clinic 2010). In Type 2 diabetes, the body becomes resistant to the influence, and the pancreas cannot make enough insulin to overcome this resistance, leaving the glucose in the blood instead of breaking it down (Mayo Clinic 2010). This type of diabetes often occurs in obese individuals, and though the exact cause of the disease is unknown excess fat -- especially around the abdomen -- appears to be a major factor in the disease (Mayo Clinic 2010; WebMD 2010). Both types require strict monitoring of blood sugar, specific dietary habits, and possibly insulin injections.

Relationship with Cardiovascular Disease/Stroke

Because diabetes can lead to peripheral artery disease, increased atherosclerosis (hardening/narrowing of the arteries), and many other health complications, there is a definite relationship between all types of diabetes and risks for a variety of cardiovascular diseases and even stroke (Mayo Clinic 2010; Medline 2010; WebMD 2010). For diabetes that is well-controlled via insulin injections and/or very careful management of food intake, exercise habits, and glucose levels, however, this risk is virtually non-existent (WebMD 2010). Controlling for other often related health factors, people with diabetes do not have a significantly increased risk for cardiovascular disease or suffering from strokes than do other individuals of similar types that… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Diabetes Mellitus Fact Sheet.  (2010, July 30).  Retrieved March 7, 2021, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/diabetes-mellitus-fact-sheet/89207

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"Diabetes Mellitus Fact Sheet."  Essaytown.com.  July 30, 2010.  Accessed March 7, 2021.