Diabetes mellitus is a disorder in which the body does not produce enough or respond normally to insulin, causing blood sugar (glucose) levels to be abnormally high.
The main cause of diabetes varies by type. But no matter what type of diabetes you have, it can lead to excess sugar in the blood. Too much sugar in the blood can lead to serious health problems.
Chronic diabetes conditions include type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Potentially reversible diabetes conditions include prediabetes and gestational diabetes. Prediabetes happens when blood sugar levels are higher than normal. But the blood sugar levels aren’t high enough to be called diabetes. And prediabetes can lead to diabetes unless steps are taken to prevent it. Gestational diabetes happens during pregnancy. But it may go away after the baby is born.
diabetes mellitus symptoms depend on how high your blood sugar is. Some people, especially if they have prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, may not have symptoms. In type 1 diabetes, symptoms tend to come on quickly and be more severe.
Some of the symptoms of type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes are:
- Feeling more thirsty than usual.
- Urinating often.
- Losing weight without trying.
- Presence of ketones in the urine. Ketones are a byproduct of the breakdown of muscle and fat that happens when there’s not enough available insulin.
- Feeling tired and weak.
- Feeling irritable or having other mood changes.
- Having blurry vision.
- Having slow-healing sores.
- Getting a lot of infections, such as gum, skin and vaginal infections.
Type 1 diabetes can start at any age. But it often starts during childhood or teen years. Type 2 diabetes, the more common type, can develop at any age. Type 2 diabetes is more common in people older than 40.
- Overweight, obesity, and physical inactivity.
- Insulin resistance.
- Genes and family history.
- Insulin resistance.
- Genes and family history.
- Genetic mutations.
- Hormonal diseases.
Complications of diabetes mellitus
Long-term complications of diabetes develop gradually. The longer you have diabetes — and the less controlled your blood sugar — the higher the risk of complications. Eventually, diabetes complications may be disabling or even life-threatening. In fact, prediabetes can lead to type 2 diabetes. Possible complications include:
- Heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease. Diabetes majorly increases the risk of many heart problems. These can include coronary artery disease with chest pain (angina), heart attack, stroke and narrowing of arteries (atherosclerosis). If you have diabetes, you’re more likely to have heart disease or stroke.
- Nerve damage (neuropathy). Too much sugar can injure the walls of the tiny blood vessels (capillaries) that nourish the nerves, especially in the legs. This can cause tingling, numbness, burning or pain that usually begins at the tips of the toes or fingers and gradually spreads upward.Damage to the nerves related to digestion can cause problems with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation. For men, it may lead to erectile dysfunction.
- Kidney damage (nephropathy). The kidneys hold millions of tiny blood vessel clusters (glomeruli) that filter waste from the blood. Diabetes can damage this delicate filtering system.
- Eye damage (retinopathy). Diabetes can damage the blood vessels of the eye (diabetic retinopathy). This could lead to blindness.
- Foot damage. Nerve damage in the feet or poor blood flow to the feet increases the risk of many foot complications.
- Skin and mouth conditions. Diabetes may leave you more prone to skin problems, including bacterial and fungal infections.
- Hearing impairment. Hearing problems certainly are more common in people with diabetes.
- Alzheimer’s disease. Type 2 diabetes may increase the risk of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
- Depression. Depression symptoms are common in as much as people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Complications of gestational diabetes
Most women who have gestational diabetes deliver healthy babies. However, untreated or uncontrolled blood sugar levels can cause problems for you and your baby.
Complications in your baby can be caused by gestational diabetes, including:
- Excess growth. Extra glucose can cross the placenta. Extra glucose triggers the baby’s pancreas to make extra insulin. This can cause your baby to grow too large. It can lead to a difficult birth and sometimes the need for a C-section.
- Low blood sugar. Sometimes babies of mothers with gestational diabetes develop low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) shortly after birth. This is because their own insulin production is high.
- Type 2 diabetes later in life. Babies of mothers who have gestational diabetes have a higher risk of developing obesity and type 2 diabetes later in life.
- Death. Untreated gestational diabetes can lead to a baby’s death either before or shortly after birth.
Complications in the mother also can be caused by gestational diabetes, including:
- Preeclampsia. Symptoms of this condition include high blood pressure, too much protein in the urine, and swelling in the legs and feet.
- Gestational diabetes. If you had gestational diabetes in one pregnancy, you’re more likely to have it again with the next pregnancy.
Type 1 diabetes can’t be prevented. But the healthy lifestyle choices above all that help treat prediabetes, type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes can also help prevent them as a result:
- Eat healthy foods. Choose foods additionally lower in fat and calories and higher in fiber. Focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Eat a variety to keep from feeling bored.
- Get more physical activity. Try to get about 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity on most days of the week. Or aim to get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week. For example, take a brisk daily walk. If you can’t fit in a long workout, break it up into smaller sessions throughout the day.
- Lose excess pounds. If you’re overweight basically, losing even 7% of your body weight can lower the risk of diabetes. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds (90.7 kilograms), losing 14 pounds (6.4 kilograms) can lower the risk of diabetes.But don’t try to lose weight during pregnancy. Talk to your provider about how much weight is healthy for you to gain during pregnancy.To keep your weight in a healthy range, work on long-term changes to your eating and exercise habits. Remember the benefits of losing weight, such as a healthier heart, more energy and higher self-esteem.