Function of Insulin
Insulin is usually produced in the pancreas, an organ located near the stomach. The body’s inability to produce or properly use insulin increases the amount of sugar in the patient's blood.
History of Diabetes Mellitus
In ancient India, Sushruta, identified diabetes to be associated with obesity and sedentary lifestyle and classified it as ‘Madhumeha’ in the 6th century BC. He also advised people to do exercise to cure diabetes. The patients were tested for diabetes by observing whether ants were attracted to a person’s urine. The disease was called ‘Madhumeha’ meaning ‘sweet urine disease’.
Types of Diabetes Mellitus
Diabetes mellitus is a chronic, lifelong condition that affects the body’s ability to use the energy found in food. There are three major types of diabetes: Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes and Gestational Diabetes. All types of diabetes mellitus have something in common. With diabetes mellitus, either the body does not make enough insulin or it cannot use the insulin it does produce, or a combination of both.
Causes of Diabetes Mellitus
There are several factors considered the probable causes of Diabetes Mellitus or Madhumeha. Diabetes is mainly of two types namely Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes and the causes may vary in case of these two types. However, there are a few common factors that contribute to the formation of both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. The most common causes of Diabetes Mellitus or Madhumeha include hereditary or inherited traits, age, poor diet, obesity and fat distribution, sedentary lifestyle, stress, drug intake, infection, sex, hypertension, serum lipids, lipoproteins, etc.
Symptoms of Diabetes Mellitus
Diabetes Mellitus can be identified through various signs and symptoms. Like the causes, the symptoms of Diabetes also vary according to the types. The common signs and symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes include nausea, vomiting, fast weight loss, dehydration, etc. On the other hand, the common symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes include increased fatigue, Polyuria which means increased urination, Polydipsia that is increased thirst, Polyphagia meaning increased hunger, weight fluctuation, blurry vision, irritability, infections, poor wound healing, etc. The diagnosis of diabetes is done by performing a few tests.
Diagnosis of Diabetes Mellitus
The Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG) test is done for measuring blood glucose in a person. This test is most frequently used to detect diabetes and pre-diabetes. Another test performed for diagnosing diabetes is the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT). Sometimes, the physicians perform a random plasma glucose test, also called casual plasma glucose test to diagnose Diabetes Mellitus or Madhumeha. This test measures blood glucose regardless to when the person being tested last ate. This test is used to diagnose diabetes but not pre-diabetes.
Treatment of Diabetes Mellitus
The main treatment of diabetes is to ensure that the blood sugar level is within or as close to the normal range as possible and this can be achieved only by correcting the food habits, by regular exercising and by insulin injecting. Different alternative medicinal methods are followed quite frequently for effective treatment of Diabetes Mellitus. The traditional medicines like Ayurveda, Homoeopathy, Naturopathy, etc. are utilised for treating diabetes. Apart from these, several home remedies and dietary regulations are also followed for getting relief from diabetes.
Diabetes Mellitus is considered one of the principal causes of death all over the world. Though there are many treatment methods available for curing diabetes, the disease still remained uncontrolled in most of the countries. It is hence, also essential to check the blood sugar levels periodically and regularly, since it enables one to see the effect of food, exercise and medicines and make changes in the treatment, if necessary.