Complications Caused By Diabetes Mellitus

What is Diabetes Mellitus?

healthDiabetes is a disease the affects a

bout five percent of the world’s population and is characterized by the way the body absorbs glucose and uses insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas that helps absorb glucose, which is an important source of energy for the body.

There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes, which is more common among children and rarely manifests itself after the age of 30, is characterized by very low production of insulin. In some cases, the body will stop producing insulin all together.

Type 2 Diabetes, which is much more common, making up about 95% of all cases of diabetes, is when the body develops an immunity to the effects of insulin. This is referred to as insulin resistance and is typically found in those over the age of 40. Diet is thought to be very important in treating Type II Diabetes and it is much more common among those who are overweight or obese.

What are the Effects of Diabetes Mellitus?

Diabetes, both Type I and Type II, can cause a number of complications and health problems, both long term and short.

Among those with Type I diabetes, ketoacidosis is the most common short term complication, which is usually caused by the body using fat to produce energy, instead of glucose. As a result dangerous chemicals, like ketones, build up and can cause confusion, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and a smell of acetone on the breath, which smells like nail polish remover or juicy fruit gum. Typically, the long term effects of diabetes can be much more serious and have a greater impact on the individuals health, although ketoacidosis is a very serious disorder.

Cardiovascular diseases are one of the most serious threats to those with diabetes and often the bodies large blood vessels become damaged. They are damaged by atherosclerosis, which often leads to strokes and coronary artery disease. An elevated level of cholesterol also often occurs, which increases the onset of atherosclerosis. High blood pressure is also common and increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Damage to the bodies smaller blood vessels can also cause complications, with the blood vessels in the back of the eye among the most common to be affected. This can cause blindness or diabetic retinopathy. Cataracts are also more common among those with diabetes. Nerve damage can also be caused by damage to the bodies smaller blood vessels.

Impotence, dizziness, and kidney failure are also common among those with diabetes, with many of those with diabetes developing chronic kidney failure and end-stage kidney failure. This can require kidney transplants or lifelong dialysis.

Another very dangerous complication is the development of ulcers and gangrene. This is caused by poor circulation and is most common in the legs and feet, often requiring amputation. Even a simple sore can quickly become infected and take a long time to heal, so great attention should be paid to any cut or sore, especially on the feet.

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