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Diabetes Mellitus: What do we need to know?

Types of Diabetes Mellitus

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Alzheimer's Disease

Cancer: A Death Sentence for the Elderly?

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Medicare: How will it help me?

Medicaid Program: What do I need to know?

Nursing Homes: What critical information should I know?

Personal Safety for Grandma and Grandpa

Prescription Medication: You have to get it right

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Social Security: Can I get it now?

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Diabetes Mellitus: What do we need to know? 


diabetes mellitusDiabetes mellitus overview:

Diabetes mellitus 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 "honey-sweet." 

There are 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. 

Diabetes mellitus 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                                      

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