16. August 2018
The basics explained understandably.
Diabetes – The basics explained understandably
Diabetes is on everyone’s lips, as it is increasingly affecting more people in virtually all regions of the world. However, a differentiation would be appropriate, as diabetes and diabetes are not alike. As a general rule: Diabetes is a metabolic disorder, which is classified into various types and occurs with the persons affected in an unequal distribution. They are two completely different diseases, even if the name similarity suggests otherwise.
Nevertheless, the consequences of diabetes, particularly untreated, can be particularly serious. Translated, diabetes mellitus also means “honey-sweet flow”, referred to in the vernacular as sugar disease. Discrepancies in the blood sugar level, which referred to here in practice, can trigger secondary diseases and produce various symptoms. Elevated risk particularly affects the eyes, the kidneys, the nerves and the heart.
A crucial factor of this is the insulin hormone. Insulin is required, in order to transport glucose, which humans consume through food as sugar, into the respective cells of the body. This hormone is formed in the pancreas – with healthy people, insulin regulates the quantity of glucose absorbed from the outside. However, if this functionality is disrupted, the insulin can no longer entirely perform its own guard function, glucose does not reach the respective cells, but accumulates in the blood.
Definition of diabetes
Diabetes mellitus is a disorder of the carbohydrate metabolism, caused by an insulin deficiency or due to reduced insulin sensitivity. This results in excess sugar in the blood, referred to correctly as hyperglycaemia. This excess sugar occurs either with an empty stomach or after meals.
As already mentioned at the beginning, there are two fundamentally different clinical pictures of diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes: Relates to around ten percent of diabetics, partly also referred to as adolescent or “juvenile” diabetes. The current state of research is that type 1 diabetes is regarded as a type of autoimmune disease. An autoimmune reaction is induced, if antibodies are formed against the body’s own tissue – for various regions. A de facto, absolute insulin deficiency exists.
However, until the first symptoms appear, it can take several weeks, months or even years in individual cases. However, around 80% of the cells, which form insulin, are then already destroyed.
Type 2 diabetes: This type of diabetes is regarded as a widespread and civilisation disease, around 90 percent of diabetics receive this diagnosis. In the vernacular, this is also referred to as “old-age diabetes”, as this form usually only occurs from the age of 40, according to the current state of research. It is not uncommon for persons affected to be diagnosed with adiposity, i.e. severe obesity, at the same time. In contrast to type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes mellitus is still in conjunction with maintained insulin production. The typical clinical picture is the circumstance that insulin resistance is formed increasingly – cells become more and more insensitive to insulin.
It is not uncommon for months or even years to pass, during which various symptoms manifest themselves more and more. It is quite possible that a person affected may not notice this over a longer period of time, as type 2 diabetes is usually diagnosed during the course of routine examinations.