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diabetes mellitus
 

Diabetes is a disease in which blood glucose levels are above normal. Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose, or sugar, for our bodies to use for energy. The pancreas, an organ that lies near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells of our bodies. When a person has diabetes, their body either does not make enough insulin or cannot use its own insulin as well as it should. This causes sugar to build up in the blood.

Diabetes can cause serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations.

 
Symptoms

Symptoms may include:

  • frequent urination
  • excessive thirst
  • unexplained weight loss
  • extreme hunger
  • sudden vision changes
  • tingling or numbness in hands or feet
  • fatigue
  • very dry skin
  • sores that are slow to heal
 
Treatments
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Healthy eating, physical activity, and insulin injections are the basic therapies for type 1 diabetes. The amount of insulin taken must be balanced with food intake and daily activities. Blood glucose levels must be closely monitored through frequent blood glucose testing.

Healthy eating, physical activity, and blood glucose testing are the basic therapies for type 2 diabetes. In addition, many people with type 2 diabetes require oral medication, insulin, or both to control their blood glucose levels.
People with diabetes must take responsibility for their day-to-day care, and keep blood glucose levels from going too low or too high.

People with diabetes should see a physician who will monitor their diabetes control and help them manage their diabetes. People with diabetes may see endocrinologists, who may specialize in diabetes care; ophthalmologists for eye examinations; podiatrists for routine foot care; and dietitians and diabetes educators who teach the skills needed for daily diabetes management.


 
Types

Types include:

  • type 1 diabetes - insulin-dependent diabetes
  • type 2 diabetes - noninsulin-dependent diabetes
  • gestational diabetes - pregnancy-induced diabetes
Specialties
  •  
  • endocrinology

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