Diabetes mellitus refers to having excess glucose (blood sugar) in your blood stream. While glucose is important, it acts as fuel for your muscles, tissues, and your brain, too much glucose can lead to serious health issues.
High blood sugar is the result of your body not properly processing glucose.
Diabetes is a generic term for several diseases, the most common being chronic Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. Additionally, it can refer to reversible Diabetes such as prediabetes and gestational diabetes.
Causes of Diabetes:
- Over consumption of sucrose (sugar) in your diet can lead to a chronic high blood sugar condition
- Genetic links have been shown to be a contributing factor
- Gestational diabetes can be triggered by pregnancy, and often resolves itself after the baby is delivered
Type 1 Diabetes, considered early onset, can begin in childhood but most often begins in adolescence or early adulthood.
Type 2 Diabetes, the most common form, can onset at any age but usually occurs after 40 and the risk factor increases with age.
Prediabetes is where blood sugar is high, but not high enough to trigger chronic diabetes. Often prediabetes can be controlled with diet and may lead to Type 2.
Gestational Diabetes originates in the early stages of pregnancy. Most pregnant women are tested in the second trimester. It can lead to high birth weight and other complications, but can usually be controlled with medication. Gestational Diabetes, while frequently returning to normal blood sugar levels after birth, is a risk factor for diabetes later in life.
While not deadly, diabetes can lead to many other potentially life threatening diseases. Frequently kidney failure is an early sign of advanced diabetes and can require permanent treatment using artificial insulin.
Patients diagnosed with diabetes must be diligent with diet and medical treatment to prevent more serious conditions.