Diabetes mellitus (elevated blood sugar)
Type 1 Diabetes mellitus
Develops due to loss of function of the insulin producing cells of the pancreas. Therefore insulin has to be immediately used for the treatment of this type of diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes mellitus
Develops due to a decline of the insulin action on the cells (the body is becoming insulin resistant). When the disease progresses the insulin producing pancreas cells can lose their function. For treatment of this type of diabetes lifestyle changes are very effective. In addition oral antidiabetic drugs can be used. After loss of function of the insulin producing pancreas cells insulin therapy frequently becomes necessary.
Diabetic late complications
Insufficient blood sugar control leads to a high risk for:
- Cardiovascular disease (heart attack, stroke, peripheral artery disease, …)
- Kidney disease (diabetic nephropathy which can lead to dialysis)
- Eye disease (diabetic retinopathy which can lead to blindness)
- Nerve disease (diabetic nephropathy which leads to paraesthesia and pain in legs and arms)
- Diabetic foot syndrome
These late complications can be prevented by good control of the blood sugar and of other risk factors (cholesterol, blood pressure, physical inactivity).