Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder that occurs due to insulin resistance, deficiency of insulin, or both. The islets of Langerhans cells in the pancreas contain beta cells that secrete insulin to control the blood glucose concentration. The disorder is characterized by hyperglycemia. The common clinical manifestations in diabetic patients include polyphagia, polyuria, polydipsia, unexpected weight loss, and blurred vision (Genuth et al., 2018). Other manifestations that can be seen are increased fatigue, itchiness in the skin, irritability, prolonged healing of sores, increased frequency of infections, numbness, and tingling feeling, especially in the upper and lower extremities.
Diabetes mellitus is classified as type 1 diabetes mellitus, type 2 diabetes mellitus, gestational diabetes, and neonatal diabetes (Genuth et al., 2018). Type 1 DM is insulin-dependent and manifests early in life. It occurs due to the autoimmune destruction of pancreatic beta cells leading to little or no insulin production. The risk factors include the presence of islets autoantibodies, a positive first-generation family with T1DM, and being white (Genuth et al., 2018). Type 2 DM is non-insulin dependent and occurs later in life. Most individuals who are overweight develop this form of DM. The risk factors include obesity, sedentary lifestyles, unhealthy eating habits, family history, and genetics.
Gestational diabetes is diagnosed for the first time during pregnancy. The causes attributed to this form of diabetes include insulin resistance due to the release of placental hormones, dysfunction in the pancreatic beta cells, and decreased responses to glucose levels (Genuth et al., 2018). The risk factors include decreased physical activity, increased body weight, previous history of gestational DM, and cardiovascular disease. The condition resolves after the delivery; however, glucose levels should be closely monitored 24-72 hours postpartum. Neonatal diabetes occurs rarely. It the characterized by hyperglycemia during the first six months of life to 1 year. It is attributed to gene mutations.
Genuth, S. M., Palmer, J. P., & Nathan, D. M. (2018). Classification and Diagnosis of Diabetes (C. C. Cowie, S. S. Casagrande, A. Menke, M. A. Cissell, M. S. Eberhardt, J. B. Meigs, E. W. Gregg, W. C. Knowler, E. Barrett-Connor, D. J. Becker, F. L. Brancati, E. J. Boyko, W. H. Herman, B. V. Howard, K. M. V. Narayan, M. Rewers, & J. E. Fradkin, Eds.). PubMed; National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (US). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK568014/
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