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What is diabetes mellitus

What is diabetes?

This disease is one of the most serious and costly both for the patient and for the state, diseases. Besides, diabetes is becoming more common.

The term "diabetes", in fact, describes not the disease itself. This word comes from the Greek word meaning "to pass through".

A long time ago, someone noticed that some people drink a lot of fluids, and then also pee a lot. These people were called diabetics as fluid passed through them without stopping.

Then, no matter how disgusting it sounds, it was noticed something else interesting: the urine of patients with diabetes had a different taste. Yes, you read that right. One group of diabetic urine was very sweet, so this form of the disease called "diabetes mellitus". Mellitus means "sweet". In another group of patients the urine was normal in taste.

This form of the disease called "diabetes insipidus".

But always lived enthusiasts who for the sake of science were ready for anything.

In this article, we will focus on diabetes, because diabetes insipidus is quite rare.

Diabetes mellitus is divided into 2 disease with a clever title: diabetes mellitus type I and diabetes type II.

But first I want to introduce You to the basics of developing diabetes.

What is relation to diabetes mellitus and glucose and insulin?

Cells in our body need regular supply of energy for normal operation. Their favorite food, sugar molecules, called glucose. Virtually any carbohydrates that we eat contain either glucose or other sugars that can be converted into glucose. When carbohydrates enter the body, they are broken down in the intestine to glucose and then absorbed into the blood.

Insulin is a hormone that is secreted by the pancreas and regulates the level of glucose in the blood. That's why the pancreas and diabetes so closely linked.

How does the body utilize glucose?

Body's cells get glucose from blood and burn it using oxygen. This releases large amounts of energy, carbon dioxide and water.

Interaction between glucose and insulin

For example, muscle cells or nerves have to do some work. This requires energy, and therefore glucose. With a lack of glucose, the cells secrete a special protein in the blood. It's like a big call, "I need glucose", on the cell surface. Insulin gets the signal and moves from the pancreas into the blood, where it binds to the insulin receptor (specific protein). When insulin binds to insulin receptors, glucose gets an opportunity to move from the bloodstream into the cells.

Insulin receptors also prevent the excessive increase of sugar level in the blood. So, if you eat a bag of candy, then saturated with the blood glucose goes to the liver and pancreas. In response to sweet attack the pancreas secretes insulin, but the cells of the liver — insulin receptor proteins. Therefore, the excess glucose enters the liver cells and stored there for future use.

Let's systematize all of the above, to avoid confusion:

  • Cells burn glucose for energy.
  • Cells secrete insulin receptors, when need large amounts of energy.
  • Insulin is produced by specialized cells of the pancreas, so the pancreas and diabetes are inextricably linked.
  • Insulin binds to receptors and allows glucose to penetrate into cells.
  • the Liver stores excess glucose, and helps to stabilize glucose levels in the blood.

What is the difference about diabetes type I diabetes type II?

Now that You have a clear idea of what is diabetes, you can talk about the differences between its subtypes.

Diabetes mellitus type I (also known as juvenile diabetes) develops when the body completely stops producing insulin. Without insulin the cells are starving because they are unable to obtain glucose. The level of sugar in the blood also rises, because the liver is unable to remove glucose from the blood and store it. This type of disease occurs only in 5-10% of cases.

Diabetes type II diabetes (known as diabetes of the elderly) is far more common. This is a hereditary disease that is closely associated with overweight. Some of the insulin receptors begin to function improperly and stop contact with the insulin. Thus the pancreas continues to produce sufficient amounts of insulin, which compensates for a deficiency caused by defective receptors. But over time, twisted receptors becoming more and more and the cells of the pancreas are depleted. After which the level of glucose in the blood of patients starts to rise rapidly.

Summary

So, we spent an excursion into one aspect of biology. What is it for? Why is it so important? The thing is that the high level of glucose in a blood causes various abnormalities in the body, such as:

  • Myocardial infarction and stroke.
  • Blindness.
  • Kidney damage.
  • Damage to the nerves and blood vessels, which causes the formation of ulcers on the legs and even the need for amputation.
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