Diabetes mellitus is a chronic metabolic disease characterized by high blood glucose levels

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Diabetes mellitus is a chronic metabolic disease characterized by high blood glucose levels (hyperglycemia) due to absolute (Type 1 diabetes) or relative (Type 2 diabetes) deficiency of insulin hormone (World Health Organization, 1999). Diabetes affects almost every organ system in the body due to metabolic problems caused by hyperglycemia, especially in undiagnosed or uncontrolled individuals (World Health Organization, 1999). Until recently it was believed that diabetes affected mainly developed countries, but recent research reveals an increase in the number of type 2 diabetes cases in developing countries (Chuang, 2002; Kinra, 2010; Narayanappa, 2011). Diabetes is associated with complications such as cardiovascular diseases, renal…show more content…
At first, the pancreas makes extra insulin to make up for the insulin resistance, but after a while there is a steady decline in pancreatic cells and the organ is not able to make enough insulin to maintain blood glucose within normal levels. In type 1 diabetes, however, there is an absolute lack of insulin, usually secondary to an autoimmune destruction of the insulin-producing beta cells (Alemzadeh and Ali, 2011). Glucose is a simple sugar found in food that provides energy to the cells in the body. More complex sugars are broken down in the small intestine and the glucose released is then absorbed into the bloodstream, whereby is it distributed throughout the body. However, glucose needs insulin to enter the cells. Without insulin, the cells become deprived of energy despite the presence of abundant glucose in the blood, and some of the abundant, unused glucose is wasted in the urine. These sustained high blood glucose levels disrupt homeostasis in the body and produce a series of metabolic problems that affect multiple organ systems (Alemzadeh and Ali, 2011). In the following sections I will discuss in detail the pathogenesis of diabetes mellitus and the ways to diagnose, treat and manage this pervasive disease. Pathophysiological Mechanism Type 1 Diabetes The underlying fault in type 1 diabetes is the autoimmune destruction of pancreatic beta cells. Because of this the

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