Diabetes Mellitus

All the issues of Lifestyle changes, managing your diet, controlling your blood pressure and cholesterol to minimize short and long term complications. Those that are predisposed to diabetes are aggressively managed & counseled to postpone and possibly prevent the disease. Those who are already living with diabetes are managed proactively to reduce the impact of diabetes on their life and prevent long term complications. Clinically there are two (2) types of diabetes. They are:

Type 1 diabetes also referred to as the insulin dependent or alternatively as “Juvenile Diabetes” which is a misnomer because anyone age can develop insulin dependent diabetes. It represents the inability of the pancreas to produce enough insulin to regulate the blood glucose (sugar). This can be due to infection of the pancreas, inflammation or surgical removal of a major portion of the pancreas. The most common form of insulin dependent or Type 1 diabetes is caused by a viral type infection that destroys a significant number of the insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas. Without enough beta cells that produce insulin in the pancreas the body needs an exogenous or outside source of insulin to control the rise in blood sugar. Diet and lifestyle also need to be closely monitored and regulated to facilitate the regulation and utilization of sugar to keep it with in narrow parameters and limit the damage done to other tissues by a widely fluctuating blood sugar level.

Type 2 diabetes is a much more common and slowly progressive form of diabetes. It is referred to as non-insulin dependent diabetes because these people can get by in the early stages with dietary, exercise and lifestyle changes. The typical patient eventually need prescription medications, but some if they manage their diet & exercise properly can postpone the need for medication indefinitely. Type 2 diabetes might also be referred to as ” adult onset Diabetes Mellitus” AODM. This is just as much of a misnomer as the “Juvenile Onset” tag line. Young people can also develop Type 2 diabetes particularly those youngsters who are overweight or obese and inactive. Those people who develop Type 2 diabetes typically are recipients of a particular set of genes from their parents. These gene combinations endow the person with something we refer to as “Metabolic Syndrome”. It is defined below. They initially develop “Impaired Glucose Tolerance” or IGT. Early on they can also be identified by a laboratory tent which looks at the levels of Triglycerides and HDL cholesterol in their systems. As soon as evidence of the metabolic syndrome or impaired glucose tolerance is identified, steps need to be taken to minimize the long term damage to the multi-system organism that we refer to as the human body. See below for a list of definitions and descriptions of some of the symptoms and processes that make this one of the most rewarding and occasionally frustrating disorders that humans develop.