D is for Diabetes Mellitus

April 22, 2013

Diabetes mellitus is condition of sugar metabolism that complicates a lot of conditions of the foot.

Diabetes mellitus is a chronic medical condition characterized by high levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood. It is a metabolic disorder that affects the body’s ability to produce or effectively use insulin, a hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar levels.

The term “diabetes” originates from the Greek word meaning “to pass through” or “to siphon,” referring to the excessive urination commonly associated with the condition. “Mellitus” comes from the Latin word for “honey-sweet,” alluding to the presence of sugar in the urine.

There are two primary types of diabetes mellitus:

  1. Type 1 Diabetes: Formerly known as juvenile-onset or insulin-dependent diabetes, type 1 diabetes typically develops in childhood or early adulthood. It occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas (beta cells). As a result, people with type 1 diabetes require insulin injections or insulin infusion via an insulin pump to survive.
  2. Type 2 Diabetes: Type 2 diabetes, previously referred to as adult-onset or non-insulin-dependent diabetes, is the most common form of diabetes. It usually occurs in adulthood, although it is increasingly diagnosed in younger individuals. In type 2 diabetes, the body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or becomes resistant to the insulin it produces. Lifestyle factors, such as obesity, physical inactivity, and unhealthy eating habits, can contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes. Treatment may involve lifestyle modifications, oral medications, injectable medications, or insulin therapy.

Both types of diabetes mellitus result in elevated blood glucose levels, which, if left uncontrolled, can lead to various complications affecting the eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart, and blood vessels. It is essential for individuals with diabetes to manage their blood sugar levels through a combination of medication, a balanced diet, regular physical activity, and frequent monitoring.


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