Diabetes Mellitus Definition Diabetes mellitus is a condition in which the pancreas no longer produces enough insulin or cells stop responding to the insulin that is produced, so that glucose in the blood cannot be absorbed into the cells of the body. Symptoms include frequent urination, lethargy, excessive thirst, and hunger. The treatment includes changes in diet, oral medications, and in some cases, daily injections of insulin. Description Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease that causes serious health complications including renal (kidney) failure, heart disease, stroke, and blindness. Approximately 17 million Americans have diabetes. Unfortunately, as many as one-half are unaware they have it. Background Every cell in the human body needs energy in order to function. The body's primary energy source is glucose, a simple sugar resulting from the digestion of foods containing carbohydrates (sugars and starches). Glucose from the digested food circulates in the blood as a ready energy source for any cells that need it. Insulin is a hormone or chemical produced by cells in the pancreas, an organ located behind the stomach. Insulin bonds to a receptor site on the outside of cell and acts like a key to open a doorway into the cell through which glucose can enter. Some of the glucose can be converted to concentrated energy sources like glycogen or fatty acids and saved for later use. When there is not enough insulin produced or when the doorway no longer recognizes the insulin key, glucose stays in the blood rather entering the cells. The body will attempt to dilute the high level of glucose in the blood, a condition called hyperglycemia, by drawing water out of the cells and into the bloodstream in an effort to dilute the sugar and excrete it in the urine. It is not un Continue reading >>
Must Read Articles Related To Insulin Reaction
A A A Insulin Reaction An insulin reaction occurs when a person with diabetes becomes confused or even unconscious because of hypoglycemia (hypo=low + glycol = sugar + emia = in the blood) caused by insulin or oral diabetic medications. (Please note that for this article blood sugar and blood glucose mean the same thing and the terms may be used interchangeably.) The terms insulin reaction, insulin shock, and hypoglycemia (when associated with a person with diabetes) are often used interchangeably. In normal physiology, the body is able to balance the glucose (sugar levels) in the bloodstream. When a person eats, and glucose levels start to rise, the body signals the pancreas to secrete insulin. Insulin "unlocks the door" to cells in the body so that the glucose can be used for energy. When blood sugar levels drop, insulin production decreases and the liver begins producing glucose. In people with diabetes, the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin to meet the body's demand. Treatment may include medications taken by mouth (oral hypoglycemics), insulin, or both. The balance of food intake and medication is not automatic, and a person with diabetes needs to be aware that too much medication or too little food may cause blood sugar levels to drop. Interestingly, brain cells do not need insulin to access the glucose in the blood stream. Brain cells also cannot store excess glucose, so when blood sugar levels drop, brain function is one of the first parts of the body to become affected. In an insulin reaction, the blood sugar levels are usually below 50 mg/dL (or 2.78 mmol/L in SI units). Continue Reading A A A Insulin Reaction (cont.) Insulin reactions occur when there is an imbalance of food intake and the amount of insulin in the body. The oral hypoglycemic mediat Continue reading >>
Insulin Shock: Warning Signs And Treatment Options
What is insulin shock? After taking an insulin shot, a person with diabetes might on occasion forget to eat (or eat less than they normally do). If this happens, they may end up with too much insulin in their blood. This, in turn, can lead to hypoglycemia, also called low blood sugar. A serious condition called insulin shock may occur if a person: ignores mild hypoglycemia takes too much insulin by mistake misses a meal completely does excessive unusual exercise without changing their carbohydrate intake Insulin shock is a diabetic emergency. It involves symptoms that, if left untreated, can lead to diabetic coma, brain damage, and even death. How insulin works When we consume food or beverages that contain carbohydrates, the body converts them into glucose. Glucose is a type of sugar that fuels the body, giving it the energy it needs to perform everyday functions. Insulin is a hormone that works like a key. It opens the door in the body’s cells so they can absorb glucose and use it as fuel. People with diabetes may lack enough insulin or have cells that aren’t able to use insulin as they should. If the cells of the body aren’t able to absorb the glucose properly, it causes excess glucose in blood. This is called high blood glucose, which is linked with a number of health issues. High blood glucose can cause eye and foot problems, heart disease, stroke, kidney problems, and nerve damage. Insulin shots help people with diabetes use glucose more efficiently. Taking an insulin shot before eating helps the body absorb and use glucose from the food. The result is a more balanced and healthy blood sugar level. Usually, it works great. Sometimes, however, things go wrong. What causes insulin shock? Having too much insulin in your blood can lead to having too little gluco Continue reading >>
Symptoms & Causes Of Diabetes
What are the symptoms of diabetes? Symptoms of diabetes include increased thirst and urination increased hunger fatigue blurred vision numbness or tingling in the feet or hands sores that do not heal unexplained weight loss Symptoms of type 1 diabetes can start quickly, in a matter of weeks. Symptoms of type 2 diabetes often develop slowly—over the course of several years—and can be so mild that you might not even notice them. Many people with type 2 diabetes have no symptoms. Some people do not find out they have the disease until they have diabetes-related health problems, such as blurred vision or heart trouble. What causes type 1 diabetes? Type 1 diabetes occurs when your immune system, the body’s system for fighting infection, attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. Scientists think type 1 diabetes is caused by genes and environmental factors, such as viruses, that might trigger the disease. Studies such as TrialNet are working to pinpoint causes of type 1 diabetes and possible ways to prevent or slow the disease. What causes type 2 diabetes? Type 2 diabetes—the most common form of diabetes—is caused by several factors, including lifestyle factors and genes. Overweight, obesity, and physical inactivity You are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if you are not physically active and are overweight or obese. Extra weight sometimes causes insulin resistance and is common in people with type 2 diabetes. The location of body fat also makes a difference. Extra belly fat is linked to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and heart and blood vessel disease. To see if your weight puts you at risk for type 2 diabetes, check out these Body Mass Index (BMI) charts. Insulin resistance Type 2 diabetes usually begins with insulin resista Continue reading >>
Print Overview Hypoglycemia is a condition characterized by an abnormally low level of blood sugar (glucose), your body's main energy source. Hypoglycemia is commonly associated with the treatment of diabetes. However, a variety of conditions, many of them rare, can cause low blood sugar in people without diabetes. Like fever, hypoglycemia isn't a disease itself — it's an indicator of a health problem. Immediate treatment of hypoglycemia involves quick steps to get your blood sugar level back into a normal range — about 70 to 110 milligrams per deciliter, or mg/dL (3.9 to 6.1 millimoles per liter, or mmol/L) — either with high-sugar foods or medications. Long-term treatment requires identifying and treating the underlying cause of hypoglycemia. Symptoms Similar to the way a car needs gas to run, your body and brain need a constant supply of sugar (glucose) to function properly. If glucose levels become too low, as occurs with hypoglycemia, it can cause these signs and symptoms: Heart palpitations Fatigue Pale skin Shakiness Anxiety Sweating Hunger Irritability Tingling sensation around the mouth Crying out during sleep As hypoglycemia worsens, signs and symptoms may include: Confusion, abnormal behavior or both, such as the inability to complete routine tasks Visual disturbances, such as blurred vision Seizures Loss of consciousness People with severe hypoglycemia may appear as if they're intoxicated. They may slur their words and move clumsily. Many conditions other than hypoglycemia may cause these signs and symptoms. A blood sample to test your blood sugar level at the time of these signs and symptoms is how to know for sure that hypoglycemia is the cause. When to see a doctor Seek a doctor's help immediately if: You have what may be symptoms of hypoglycemia an Continue reading >>
Diabetic Shock And Insulin Reactions
Severe hypoglycemia, or diabetic shock, is a serious health risk for anyone with diabetes. Also called insulin reaction, as a consequence of too much insulin, it can occur anytime there is an imbalance between the insulin in your system, the amount of food you eat, or your level of physical activity. It can even happen while you are doing all you think you can do to manage your diabetes. The symptoms of diabetic shock may seem mild at first. But they should not be ignored. If it isn't treated quickly, hypoglycemia can become a very serious condition that causes you to faint, requiring immediate medical attention. Diabetic shock can also lead to a coma and death. It's important that not only you, but your family and others around you, learn to recognize the signs of hypoglycemia and know what to do about them. It could save your life. Hypoglycemia is a low level of blood sugar. The cells in your body use sugar from carbohydrates for energy. Insulin, which normally is made in the pancreas, is necessary for sugar to enter the cells. It helps keep the levels of sugar in the blood from getting too high. It's important to maintain the proper level of sugar in your blood. Levels that are too high can cause severe dehydration, which can be life threatening. Over time, excess sugar in the body does serious damage to organs such as your heart, eyes, and nervous system. Ordinarily, the production of insulin is regulated inside your body so that you naturally have the amount of insulin you need to help control the level of sugar. But if your body doesn't make its own insulin or if it can't effectively use the insulin it does produce, you need to inject insulin as a medicine or take another medication that will increase the amount of insulin your body does make. So if you need to me Continue reading >>
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Diabetic Coma Recovery: What You Need To Know
In people with diabetes, a diabetic coma occurs when severe levels of either high or low uncontrolled blood sugar are not corrected. If treated quickly, a person will make a rapid recovery from a diabetic coma. However, diabetic coma can be fatal or result in brain damage. It is important for people with diabetes to control their blood sugars and know what to do when their blood sugar levels are not within their target range. The severe symptoms of uncontrolled blood sugar that can come before a diabetic coma include vomiting, difficulty breathing, confusion, weakness, and dizziness. Recovery from diabetic coma If a diabetic coma is not treated within a couple of hours of it developing, it can cause irreversible brain damage. If no treatment is received, a diabetic coma will be fatal. In addition, having blood sugar levels that continue to be too low or too high can be bad for long-term health. This remains true even if they do not develop into diabetic coma. Recognizing the early signs of low or high blood sugar levels and regular monitoring can help people with diabetes keep their blood sugar levels within the healthy range. Doing so will also reduce the risk of associated complications and diabetic coma. What is diabetes? Diabetes is a long-term condition in which the body is unable to control the level of a sugar called glucose in the blood. Diabetes is caused by either a lack of insulin, the body's inability to use insulin correctly, or both. In people who don't have diabetes, insulin usually ensures that excess glucose is removed from the bloodstream. It does this by stimulating cells to absorb the glucose they need for energy from the blood. Insulin also causes any remaining glucose to be stored in the liver as a substance called glycogen. The production of insul Continue reading >>
What Is Insulin Shock?
Insulin shock is considered a very severe medical condition that requires prompt medical attention. This is a life-threatening situation in which someone’s blood sugar levels drop to dangerously low levels—resulting in unconsciousness and shock. Insulin shock should be treated immediately to save a person’s life and prevent organ and tissue damage. Video of the Day Hypoglycemia is a drop in glucose or blood sugar. Glucose is considered the body’s main energy source and is regulated by the pancreas. Glucose fluctuates as the body eats food or drinks liquids for nutrition. In a healthy person, most blood sugar levels stay in the normal range between 83 and 100. For someone suffering from low blood sugar, these levels can drop dramatically. Most people will start seeing symptoms of low blood sugar such as dizziness, sweating and shaking as the glucose drops in the 60 and below range. Some people are hypoglycemic by nature because their body produces too much insulin—where they have to eat several times throughout the day to maintain normal sugar levels. Others develop hypoglycemia when they take too much insulin, causing the sugar levels to drop rapidly as they body tries to find a fuel source to counteract with the overproduction of insulin that is in the body. Who is at Risk? Generally, the person most at risk for insulin shock is a diabetic. Insulin-dependent diabetics take insulin injections throughout the day to control the lack of insulin being secreted by their pancreas. Most diabetic patients have to regulate their blood sugar throughout the day, and before and after meals. Many use what is called a sliding scale to determine how much insulin to inject into their body. Sometimes if the body receives too much insulin after an injection, the body may go int Continue reading >>
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body stops producing insulin in the pancreas. The pancreas lies at the back of the abdomen and has two main functions: to produce a juice that flows into the digestive system to help us digest food to produce the hormone called insulin. Insulin is the key hormone that controls the flow of glucose (sugar) in and out of the cells of the body. Type 1 diabetes is caused by a lack of insulin output because of auto-immune damage to the pancreas gland. Damage to the pancreas can occur for a many reasons, eg a viral infection. But the most common cause in type 1 diabetes is the body's own immune system. Insulin-producing cells in the pancreas of people with type 1 diabetes are destroyed by cells that normally defend us from invading organisms. This is called an 'auto-immune' process, referring to the fact the body appears to turn against itself. The reason why this happens in unknown. Term watch Type 1 diabetes used to be called 'insulin dependent diabetes'. This is because this type of diabetes always requires insulin treatment. As some people with type 2 diabetes now also require insulin, the term type 1 is preferred. There are other auto-immune diseases, for example of the thyroid and adrenal glands. They are more frequent in people who have Type 1 diabetes. This may reflect an inherited tendency to developing auto-immune disease that is triggered by some other factor in the environment. Exactly what that trigger can be is still unclear, but there is some evidence to suggest that a virus infection or cow's milk could start the process off. What are the symptoms of type 1 diabetes? Glucose is one of the key fuels used by the cells of the body for its energy needs. The brain and nervous system use only glucose, while most other cells can also ut Continue reading >>
Tweet Insulin resistance is the name given to when cells of the body don’t respond properly to the hormone insulin. Insulin resistance is the driving factor that leads to type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes and prediabetes. Insulin resistance is closely associated with obesity; however, it is possible to be insulin resistant without being overweight or obese. Modern research has shown that insulin resistance can be combatted by treatment methods that reduce how much insulin the body is producing or taking via insulin injections or insulin pumps. Reducing insulin resistance can be achieved by following low-carbohydrate and ketogenic diets. What is insulin resistance? The role of insulin is to allow cells of the body to take in glucose to be used as fuel or stored as body fat.  It also means that glucose is more likely to build up in the blood and this can lead to too high blood sugar levels. When the body becomes resistant to insulin, it tries to cope by producing more insulin. People with insulin resistance are often producing too more insulin than healthy people. Producing too much insulin is known as hyperinsulinemia. Symptoms of insulin resistance Initially, insulin resistance presents no symptoms. The symptoms only start to appear once it leads to secondary effects such as higher blood sugar levels. When this happens, the symptoms may include: Lethargy (tiredness) Hunger Difficulty concentrating (brain fog) Other signs that often appear in people with insulin resistance include: Weight gain around the middle (belly fat) High blood pressure High cholesterol levels If insulin resistance develops into prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, the symptoms will include increased blood glucose levels and more of the classic symptoms of type 2 diabetes. Causes of insulin r Continue reading >>
Low Blood Sugar
Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas. Insulin is needed to move glucose into cells where it is stored or used for energy. Without enough insulin, glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into the cells. This leads to symptoms of diabetes. Low blood sugar occurs due to any of the following: Your body's sugar (glucose) is used up too quickly Glucose production by the body is too low or it is released into the bloodstream too slowly Too much insulin is in the bloodstream Low blood sugar is common in people with diabetes who are taking insulin or certain other medicines to control their diabetes. However, many other diabetes medicines do not cause low blood sugar. Exercise can also lead to low blood sugar in people taking insulin to treat their diabetes. Babies born to mothers with diabetes may have severe drops in blood sugar right after birth. In people who do not have diabetes, low blood sugar may be caused by: Drinking alcohol Insulinoma, which is a rare tumor in the pancreas that produces too much insulin Lack of a hormone, such as cortisol, growth hormone, or thyroid hormone Severe heart, kidney, or liver failure Infection that affects the whole body (sepsis) Some types of weight-loss surgery (usually 5 or more years after the surgery) Medicines not used to treat diabetes (certain antibiotics or heart drugs) Continue reading >>
What medical conditions are associated with insulin resistance? While the metabolic syndrome links insulin resistance with abdominal obesity, elevated cholesterol, and high blood pressure; several other medical other conditions are specifically associated with insulin resistance. Insulin resistance may contribute to the following conditions: Type 2 Diabetes: Overt diabetes may be the first sign insulin resistance is present. Insulin resistance can be noted long before type 2 diabetes develops. Individuals reluctant or unable to see a health-care professional often seek medical attention when they have already developed type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. Fatty liver: Fatty liver is strongly associated with insulin resistance. Accumulation of fat in the liver is a manifestation of the disordered control of lipids that occurs with insulin resistance. Fatty liver associated with insulin resistance may be mild or severe. Newer evidence suggests fatty liver may even lead to cirrhosis of the liver and, possibly, liver cancer. Arteriosclerosis: Arteriosclerosis (also known as atherosclerosis) is a process of progressive thickening and hardening of the walls of medium-sized and large arteries. Arteriosclerosis is responsible for: Other risk factors for arteriosclerosis include: High levels of "bad" (LDL) cholesterol Diabetes mellitus from any cause Family history of arteriosclerosis Skin Lesions: Skin lesions include increased skin tags and a condition called acanthosis nigerians (AN). Acanthosis nigricans is a darkening and thickening of the skin, especially in folds such as the neck, under the arms, and in the groin. This condition is directly related to the insulin resistance, though the exact mechanism is not clear. Acanthosis nigricans is a cosmetic condition strongly Continue reading >>
Type 1 Diabetes
Introduction Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person's blood sugar (glucose) level to become too high. The hormone insulin – produced by the pancreas – is responsible for controlling the amount of glucose in the blood. There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 – where the pancreas doesn't produce any insulin Type 2 – where the pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin or the body’s cells don't react to insulin This topic is about type 1 diabetes. Read more about type 2 diabetes Another type of diabetes, known as gestational diabetes, occurs in some pregnant women and tends to disappear following birth. It's very important for diabetes to be diagnosed as soon as possible, because it will get progressively worse if left untreated. You should therefore visit your GP if you have symptoms, which include feeling thirsty, passing urine more often than usual and feeling tired all the time (see the list below for more diabetes symptoms). Type 1 and type 2 diabetes Type 1 diabetes can develop at any age, but usually appears before the age of 40, particularly in childhood. Around 10% of all diabetes is type 1, but it's the most common type of childhood diabetes. This is why it's sometimes called juvenile diabetes or early-onset diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas (a small gland behind the stomach) doesn't produce any insulin – the hormone that regulates blood glucose levels. This is why it's also sometimes called insulin-dependent diabetes. If the amount of glucose in the blood is too high, it can, over time, seriously damage the body's organs. In type 2 diabetes, the body either doesn't produce enough insulin to function properly, or the body's cells don't react to insulin. Around 90% of adults with diabetes have type 2, and it tends to develop l Continue reading >>
How Does A Lack Of Insulin Affect Your Body?
Up Next It is estimated that up to a third of Americans who have diabetes are unaware that they have the disease. One of the more common symptoms of diabetes is a high level of glucose in the blood. This is brought on by the fact that when the body doesn’t produce insulin, the cells are unable to absorb glucose. As a result, it remains in the bloodstream, which winds up pushing up the blood-glucose levels. Fatigue is also associated with diabetes; this symptom is likewise a result of glucose not being absorbed from the bloodstream. Since glucose is the body’s major source of energy, a person will feel tired if his or her body doesn’t have any fuel to burn. When glucose goes unabsorbed by the cells, it leaves the kidneys with more glucose to filter; however, there’s a limit to how much glucose the kidneys are able to filter. As a result, excess glucose will show up in the urine and stay in the tubule lumen. Because this glucose retains water, the result is increased urine flow, which is the cause of another common symptom of diabetes: excess thirst. Higher levels of urine flow make the body lose sodium, which activates the brain’s thirst receptors. Excessive hunger is another symptom associated with diabetes. While it’s still not clear how the brain’s hunger centers are stimulated, one theory is that high glucagon levels might be the cause. Yet, even as you eat more frequently, you start to lose weight. This is because a lack of insulin causes the rate at which fat cells are broken down in the body to increase, which leads to weight loss. Continue reading >>
Type 2 Diabetes Is More Common Than Type 1 Diabetes.
Whereas type 1 diabetes is characterized by the onset in young persons (average age at diagnosis = 14), type 2 diabetes usually develops in middle age or later. This tendency to develop later in life has given rise to the term "adult onset diabetes," although the prevalence of type 2 diabetes in younger people is rising, making this term somewhat inaccurate and outdated. The typical type 2 diabetes patient is overweight ,although there are exceptions. In contrast to type 1 diabetes, symptoms often have a more gradual onset. Type 2 diabetes is associated with insulin resistance rather than the lack of insulin, as seen in type 1 diabetes. This often is obtained as a hereditary tendency from one's parents. Insulin levels in these patients are usually normal or higher than average but the body's cells are rather sluggish to respond to it. This lack of insulin activity results in higher than normal blood glucose levels. Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes. This disease exists in all populations, but prevalence varies greatly, ie, 1% in Japan, and greater than 40% in the Pima Indians of Arizona. In Caucasians, the figure is somewhere between 1-2% of the entire population. The high incidence of type 2 diabetes in certain groups such as the Pima Indians appears to be a relatively recent development that followed a change in the type of food intake (from relatively little food to plenty of food). With this came the development of obesity within their culture which results in diabetes developing in those that are genetically predisposed. This "urbanization phenomenon" has been most carefully studied in non-white populations, but is probably ethnically and racially nonspecific. In other words, obesity tends to promote diabetes in those Continue reading >>
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