A metabolic disorder named and termed as Diabetes Mellitus or only diabetes, and generally caused by a combination of hereditary and environmental factors, and resulting in rise of blood glucoses level (hyperglycemia). Blood glucose of the body is regulated as a result of a complex interaction of many chemicals and hormones. Most important hormone playing a role in regulation of glucose metabolism is insulin hormone secreted by beta cells of pancreas. Diabetes Mellitus is a joint term used to describe several groups of diseases caused by high level of blood glucose arising out of either an impairment in insulin secretion or a disorder in effects of insulin.
Diabetes develops either due to deficiency or total lack of insulin production (Type 1 diabetes) or due to development of resistance against insulin effects (Type 2 diabetes) or during pregnancy (gestational diabetes). In any case, it leads to rise of blood glucose level (hyperglycemia). Excessive urine production is one of the principal acute (earliest) symptoms of diabetes, and mainly hyperglycemia is responsible thereinfor. Dry mouth, polydipsia and increase in fluid consumption are a result of the effort of balancing the excessive urine production. Other symptoms of diabetes are vision disorders, unexplainable loss of weight or weight gains, fatigue, and changes in energy metabolism. Since introduction of insulin in 1921, all types of diabetes can be treated. Injection of insulin by syringe, insulin pump or insulin pens is the most basic treatment method of Type 1 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is kept under control through exercise, life style changes, diet, antihyperglycemic drugs and insulin supplement or a combination thereof.
Diabetes itself and diabetes treatment methods may lead to many complications. If the disease is not well-controlled and followed up, such emergency complications as hyperglycemia, ketoacidosis or nonketotic hyperosmolar coma (Diabetic coma) may develop. Main long-term (chronic) complications of this disease are circulatory (heart and cardiovascular) diseases (hypertension, congestive cardiac failure and atherosclerosis [arteriosclerotic vascular disease], etc.), chronic renal failure (nephropathy), retina damage that may lead to blindness (retinopathy), various types of neurological diseases (peripheral neuropathy), and microvascular diseases causing delay in wound healing, and impotence (sexual problems, sexual anorexia, etc.). Particularly, delay in wound healing developing as a result of circulatory problems in feet may result in amputation (removal of foot). In some countries, diabetes is the most important reason of amputations (removal of limbs) as a result of trauma (injuries), and of blindness not associated with old-age.
Diabetic nephropathy patients account for approximately 45% of kidney dialysis patients. Thus, appropriate monitoring and treatment of diabetes, attaching adequate importance on blood pressure control, and improvement of life style (non-smoking, weight control, etc.) prevent most of the aforementioned chronic complications, and reduce the risks thereof, and lead to a longer and healthy life.