Diabetes mellitus is characterized by disturbances in carbohydrate, protein, and fat metabolism. A leading cause of death in North America, diabetes is a major risk factor for myocardial infarction (MI), stroke, renal failure, and peripheral vascular disease. It’s also the leading cause of blindness in adults.
Types of Diabetes
Diabetes exist in Two Types : type 1 and the more prevalent type 2 diabetes mellitus. Type 1 diabetes usually occurs before age 30 (although it may occur at any age); the patient is usually thin and will requireexogenous insulin and dietary management to achieve control.
Conversely, type 2 most commonly occurs in obese adults after age 40; it’s usually treated with exercise, meal planning, and antidiabetic drugs. Treatment may include insulin therapy. An increasing number of adolescents and young people are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
Causes of Diabetes
Type 1 is an autoimmune disease strongly associated with human leukocyte antigens DR 3 and 4. It may also be associated with certain viral infections.
Type 2 may result from:
• impaired insulin secretion
• peripheral insulin resistance
• increased basal hepatic glucose production. Other associated factors include:
• insulin antagonists (such as excess counter-regulatory hormones and phenytoin)
• hormonal contraceptives
Diabetes Cheat Sheet.