What do we need to know?
is a metabolic problem in which your blood glucose (which is the sugar
that provides energy for all the cells in your body) levels are
abnormally high. The use of glucose in the cells in the manufacture
of glucose by the liver is primarily regulated by insulin, which is a
hormone produced in the pancreas. A person who has diabetes mellitus
has either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is when the
pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin and type 2 is when the cells
are actually resistant to the actions of the insulin in your body.
Both cases result in abnormally high blood levels of glucose or
hyperglycemia, with excess glucose spilling over into the urine. This
passage of excess sugar into the urine is a key indication of diabetes
mellitus and gives the disorder its name. Diabetes is actually Greek
for the word "siphon" and mellitus is Latin for the word
approximately 18 million people with diabetes mellitus in the United
States, and only about two thirds of those individuals even know that
they have the disorder because symptoms of type 2 diabetes develop so
gradually. A significant amount of people with diabetes mellitus,
approximately 9 million, are 65 years old or older. The number of
people diagnosed with diabetes in the United States has more than
tripled since 1997, rising from approximately 5% of the population to
almost 7% at the present time.
can actually be detected before symptoms begin to appear. They can
also be prevented in many cases or controlled. There are many
complications related to having high levels of blood glucose when
diabetes mellitus is not controlled. Unfortunately, the long-term
complications can be very serious and may include various disorders
related to the kidneys, nerves, large blood vessels and eyes.
Information adapted from
The Johns Hopkins Medical Guide To Health After 50
Additional Information and
webpage by Paul Susic MA Licensed
Psychologist Ph.D. Candidate