Diabetes Mellitus : A Serious Medical Condition

1356 Words Oct 8th, 2014 6 Pages
Diabetes Mellitus is a serious medical condition that can significantly affect the lives of individuals and lead to other medical complications. It has become a national health priority area due to the high number of individuals affected and the costs it places on the health care system. There are three forms of diabetes mellitus, these include Type I diabetes, type II diabetes and gestational diabetes. Type I diabetes is an autoimmune disorder characterised by the inability of pancreatic beta cells to produce insulin in response to blood glucose levels. In normal homeostasis of the body the pancreas releases insulin to increase uptake of glucose by the liver and tissues to use as energy and increase the storage of glucose which reduces the concentration of glucose in the blood. If blood glucose levels are low, counter regulatory hormones are released causing the liver to release its stored glucose which will increase blood glucose concentration. Type I diabetes occurs when the pancreatic beta cells are attacked by the body’s T cells and can no longer produce insulin causing high blood glucose levels which can lead to serious medical conditions. While the exact cause of this is unknown, many genes have been associated with increased risk of this autoimmune response causing homeostatic imbalance of insulin and blood glucose levels, the most important of which is the Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) complex. Variations of these genes can cause either susceptibility or resistance…
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