Diabetes mellitus is a general term for several different disease that fall under the category of diabetes, more specifically type 1 and type 2 diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, your body develops a resistance to insulin, or simply does not create enough insulin for your body to operate properly. Insulin is essential for sugar, or glucose, from your diet to be absorbed into the cells to make energy. When glucose is unable to leave the bloodstream, blood sugar levels get too high, causing potentially serious damage to the blood vessels that supply nutrients to areas like your eyes, kidneys, nerves and heart.
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Most common form
This form of diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, and occurs at any age, especially in those who are overweight and less active. Symptoms may include blurred vision, fatigue, unexplained weight loss, frequent thirst and urination, slow healing when your skin is cut or broken and dark patches of skin known as acanthosis nigricans.
Treatments include a change in diet, more specifically the types of carbohydrates that are consumed as part of your diet, an increase in exercise as well as a regular monitoring of blood sugar levels. In serious cases, you may need to take insulin to help balance your blood sugar levels and prevent side effects of the disease. In type 1 diabetes, your pancreas malfunctions, resulting in not enough insulin being formed to control blood sugar levels.
This type of diabetes is less common, and appears more in children and adolescents than in adults, although this form can still develop at any age. The symptoms are similar to the first form, but come on much faster and are typically more severe. Treatments include regular monitoring of blood sugar levels, even more so than other forms of diabetes.
Regular insulin injections are also needed to replace what the pancreas is unable to provide, and to prevent the serious side effects of unbalanced blood glucose levels.