Diabetes
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a disease in which the body cannot control the amount of sugar (glucose) in the blood. This leads to a build up of glucose in the blood, which damage blood vessels, nerves, and organs over time.
Last Updated: February 25, 2024

There are two types of diabetes mellitus, Type 1 and Type 2. Both types are caused by issues with the same hormone, insulin. Insulin is made in the pancreas and helps move glucose out of the blood and into cells, which use the glucose for energy. Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) happens when the pancreas does not make enough insulin. In individuals with T1DM, their immune system attacks their pancreas for unknown reasons. This damages the pancreas, making it hard for the pancreas to make enough insulin. Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), which is more common in adults, happens when the body stops responding to insulin. This may be due to several factors, which may include: • High blood pressure • High levels of fat in the blood • History of diabetes during pregnancy • High fat diet • High alcohol intake • Lack of exercise • Obesity or overweight • Genetic factors • Increasing age

Both types of diabetes present with similar symptoms: • Being very tired • Unexplained weight loss • Being very thirsty • Urinating more often • Excessive eating • Poor wound healing • Blurry eyesight • Frequent infections (e.g., urinary tract infection, yeast infections) • Irritability

Diabetes is diagnosed by checking the level of glucose in the blood. Further laboratory tests may be done if Type 1 DM is suspected. The goal for treatment is to keep the amount of glucose in the blood at normal levels. This can be done with lifestyle changes, which include: • Testing blood sugar levels regularly • Regular follow-up with health care provider • Having a balanced diet • Exercising regularly • Maintaining a healthy weight • Stopping cigarette smoking Some individuals require medications to control their glucose levels. This includes: • Oral medications like Metformin • Insulin for those with Type 1 DM and those with uncontrolled blood sugar levels

Healthy habits may help reduce the risk of developing diabetes: • Maintain a healthy diet • Maintain a healthy weight • Exercise regularly • Don’t smoke and drink alcohol
Last Updated: February 25, 2024