DIABETES MELLITUS

The body is usually able to break down sugars and carbohydrates into glucose using insulin. When the body doesn't produce enough insulin or can't use the insulin it produces, it is known as diabetes. Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the body's ability to use the energy found in food, leading to an excess of sugar in the blood. Too much sugar in the blood left uncontrolled can lead to serious health problems including cardiovascular disease, nerve damage, kidney, foot and eye damage, hearing problems, depression and skin conditions.

WHAT CAUSES DIABETES MELLITUS?

There are 4 types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2, prediabetes and gestational diabetes. Each type has its own cause.

  • Type 1 diabetes – the cause of this type of diabetes is unknown, but is believed to be a combination of genetic susceptibility and environmental factors. It is thought to be the result of a faulty immune system attacking and destroying insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. This type can develop at any age but is common among children and adolescents.
  • Prediabetes & Type 2 diabetes – these types are caused by cells becoming resistant to the action of insulin. As a result, the pancreas cannot overcome the resistance and sugar builds up in the bloodstream. Type 2 is the more common type. It may also develop at any age but is more common in those over 40 years old.
  • Gestational diabetes – this type of diabetes occurs during pregnancy. Due to the hormones that are produced by the placenta, the cells become more resistant to insulin.