“Diabetes” actually refers to a group of diseases called “diabetes mellitus.” These diseases affect how the body processes glucose (blood sugar). Glucose is an essential source of energy for the cells that make up tissues and muscles. Glucose is also the brain’s primary source of fuel.
Chronic diabetes conditions include type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Some forms of diabetes are reversible. These include prediabetes, in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not in need of treatment, and gestational diabetes, which occurs during pregnancy but is generally resolved after delivery.
All types of diabetes are caused by an overabundance of glucose and may lead to serious health problems.
These depend on how much a person’s blood sugar is elevated. Some people, especially those with type 2 or prediabetes, may not initially experience symptoms. Symptoms in type 1 diabetes tend to be more severe and occur more quickly.
Symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes can include:
Type 1 diabetes can develop at any age, but it typically appears during childhood or adolescence. Type 2 diabetes can also develop at any age, though it is more common after the age of 40.
Patients are advised to seek a physician if any of the mentioned symptoms become chronic or if they have a family history of diabetes. Early detection is essential to the effectiveness of treatment.
If a patient has already been diagnosed with diabetes, he needs close medical follow-up if blood sugar levels become unstable or other symptoms reappear.