Diabetes Mellitus, commonly known as diabetes, is a medical condition in which the individual is unable to utilize the glucose properly because of the lack of insulin in the body.
The name Diabetes Mellitus has been derived from two words; diabetes which means ‘to pass through’ in Greek and mellitus which means ‘sweet’ in Latin. This widely prevalent condition was known as the “pissing evil” in the 17th century.
It is one of the most common long term medical conditions that afflict scores of people all over the world. Some studies suggest that a third of the population in the United States would be diabetic by 2050. It is known to cause many other medical conditions including those of the heart, liver and kidneys.
Types of Diabetes
There are two types of it- Type 1 Diabetes and type 2 diabetes. The former condition contracts the individual at a pretty young age. Type 1 diabetes makes the patient insulin dependent as there is no production of hormone insulin by the body.
However, the type 2 , which is more common, does not necessarily warrant the external administration of the hormone. Close to three-fourth of the people with the condition suffer from type 2 diabetes, also known as non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM).
While medical practitioners have still not been able to pinpoint the exact reason for type1 diabetes, it is generally believed that genetic factors play a pivotal role in the condition. The chances of contracting type 1 increases manifold if the parent(s) or siblings have diabetes. Some studies have also positively correlated diabetes and factors like race, diet, geography, and exposure to virus illness.
There is growing evidence that confirms the incidence of type 2 is linked to inactivity, family history, age, gestational diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Sedentary lifestyles with very little physical activity have been considered as one of the biggest diabetes risk factors. Physical exercises tend to use up glucose in the body thus reducing the risk of contracting diabetes.
The chances of being afflicted by diabetes increase because of genetic factors. It has been seen that children of diabetic parents are also affected by the condition
Many studies have established the link between age and type2 diabetes. The likelihood of it increases with age. Experts attribute this linkage to, among other biological changes, lack of physical activity in adulthood.
Women who developed diabetes when they were pregnant run a higher chance of contracting type 2 diabetes. Studies have also established that women who deliver a baby weighing 4 kilograms and above are at high risk of contracting type 2.
Biomarkers like blood pressure and cholesterol levels in the human body are indicative of the risk of contracting diabetes. Blood pressure of 140/90mm Hg has been associated with an increased risk of type 2 . On the other hand, low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), known as ‘good cholesterol’ in common man’s parlance, also increases the risk of type 2 .