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What is diabetes?

Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disease characterized by an increase of the concentration of blood sugar (hyperglycemia) and impaired glucose metabolism, lipids and proteins, or as a result of decreased insulin secretion or because of the decreased sensitivity of the body's cells to insulin.

Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas and it is necessary for the transport of glucose derived from food, into the cells. When the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or the insulin produced is not working properly, then the glucose derived from food does not enter the cells so that they have the necessary energy for their operation and remains in the blood thereby increasing the glucose levels and hence the appearance of the disease.

 


 

Types of Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus is divided into three main categories:

 


Type I diabetes

It is characterized by destruction of b-cells of the pancreas, which are responsible for the production of insulin, resulting in a complete lack of insulin secretion or minimal. In this sense, the patient with diabetes type I is totally dependent on exogenous insulin administration in order o the blood sugar level to maintain a normal level. This diabetes type is the main cause of diabetes in children, but can also affect adults.

 


 

Type II diabetes

 

This type od diabetes is the most common of the three (approximately 80% of all diabetics). In these individuals, the pancreas produces less insulin than the body needs resulting in increased blood sugar levels.

This type is closely related to obesity and affects people regardless of age, mainly adults, but with the rising incidence of obesity in children, observed the last years, this type of diabetes it also appears in obese children.

 


 

Gestational Diabetes

It involves the appearance of diabetes mellitus for the first time during pregnancy (not included in the definition of women diagnosed with diabetes before the onset of pregnancy). This type resembles type II diabetes on the reduced insulin secretion and the reduced sensitivity of cells to insulin.

Today it is known that gestational diabetes develops in 3-5% of pregnancies and is associated with obesity (i.e. obese woman has a greater risk of developing gestational diabetes, and additionally has a higher risk to develop later in their life type II diabetes).

Gestational diabetes is a reversible disease, which resolves after childbirth, but is associated with perinatal complications and health problems of the mother and the newborn. The newborns of the mothers with gestational diabetes, have the risk of developing obesity and potentially impaired glucose tolerance or diabetes mellitus later in their life.

 


 

Prediabetes

As prediabetes we characterize the situation where there is impaired fasting glucose, or when there is impaired glucose tolerance or when the above disorders are combined. The following are indications of prediabetes

As prediabetes is characterized the impaired fasting glucose of 100-125mg / dl, and impaired glucose tolerance in fasting glucose within normal limits after the two-hour glucose tolerance glucose curve of 140-199mg / dl. These situations can be displayed separately or coexist.

The diagnosis of diabetes according to American Diabetes Association is when

  • the fasting blood sugar after two random measurements is greater than 126mg / dl,

  • 2 hours after glucose intake is greater than 200mg / dl

  • after random measurement is> 200mg / dl

  • the Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) is ≥ 6,5%.

 


 

Symptoms

There are no obvious symptoms but there are some factors that can increase the chances of prediabetes and are the following:

  • Excess kilos, overweight people
  • Age 45 and over
  • Inheritance
  • High levels of cholesterol with low HDL - Low levels of "good cholesterol"
  • High triglyceride levels
  • High blood pressure
  • Appearance of diabetes during pregnancy

 

 

 

 

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