Diabetes mellitus is a disease caused by insufficient secretion of the hormone insulin by the pancreas, which is responsible for regulating glucose (sugar) in the blood. This disease is characterized by a violation of carbohydrate metabolism with an increase in glucose in urine and blood, as well as other metabolic disorders. Today, according to statistics, about one hundred and fifty million people suffer from this disease on our planet.
There are two main types of diabetes mellitus: insulin-dependent (diabetes of the first type) and insulin-independent (diabetes of the second type). In this article we will look at the first type.
In most cases, insulin-dependent diabetes develops in people under the age of forty, and the person must constantly inject insulin. The main cause of the development of diabetes of the first type is the death of beta – cells responsible for the synthesis of insulin, as a result of which the production of this hormone either stops altogether or significantly decreases. This occurs under the influence of various factors: viral infections, autoimmune process, etc.
After the virus enters the human body and its detection by the immune system, antibodies begin to be produced, which destroy this virus. However, due to the individual characteristics of the immune system, the synthesis of antibodies does not stop even after the destruction of foreign agents, and they begin to attack the cells of their own organism, destroying the beta cells of the pancreas.
Causes of diabetes
The main predisposing factor for the occurrence of this disease is heredity. The risk of diabetes is very high if a person has one of close relatives (mother, father, sister, brother) suffers from this disease. According to statistics, the probability of inheritance in the father’s line is 10%, and in the mother’s line it is about 7%. If the disease is present in both parents, the likelihood of diabetes increases to 70%.
Also one of the predisposing factors is obesity, so throughout life it is necessary to carefully monitor their weight. Also, the death of beta – cells, possibly due to the defeat of the pancreas as a result of exposure to certain diseases (pancreatic cancer, pancreatitis, diseases of the endocrine glands). In this case, blunt trauma to the abdominal organs can be a provoking factor.
In addition, death of cells that synthesize insulin can be caused by viral infections: epidemic hepatitis, chicken pox, influenza, rubella, etc. These infections act as a trigger triggering the development of diabetes. In a completely healthy person, these diseases can not cause the development of diabetes, but in combination with factors such as obesity and heredity, it is quite likely.
Chronic stress conditions, taking certain medications, various hormonal disorders, prolonged alcohol abuse and the natural aging process of the body also increase the risk of developing diabetes.
The main signs of diabetes mellitus are:
– Despite the present constant feeling of hunger, rapid weight loss occurs
– Sense of thirst and frequent urination
– Feeling of general weakness or fatigue
– Numbness and subsequent tingling in numbed limbs
– Blurred vision, the so-called white veil before the eyes
– Disruption of sexual activity
– Feeling of heaviness in the legs
– Slow cure of infectious diseases
– Itching in the perineum and pruritus
– Drop in body temperature below normal values
– Calf muscles and fatigue convulsions
– Slow wound healing
– Pain in the heart
The diagnosis of diabetes mellitus is established on the basis of such diagnostic signs as: elevated fasting blood glucose, the appearance of sugar in the urine, increased intake and, accordingly, excretion of fluid in the urine, weight loss, urinary output of ketone bodies
For treatment, insulin, oral hypoglycemic drugs, diet therapy and physical therapy are used. The main goal of therapeutic measures is the restoration of normal body weight and the normalization of impaired metabolic processes; restoration / preservation of working ability, as well as treatment / prevention of vascular complications.
Artificially synthesized insulin (protein hormone) is very widely used for the treatment of diabetes mellitus (insulin-dependent). You can enter it exclusively by injection, as in the case of getting into the stomach, it collapses and thus cannot realize its direct biological purpose. This drug is released in a special syringe – tubes, so that the patient can easily get an injection, when he feels that he needs it. In most cases, at the very beginning of the disease, the body still contains cells producing insulin, but their number is very small and does not meet the necessary needs of the body. After insulin begins to flow in from the outside, an additional load is removed from these cells and after a certain period of time they begin to synthesize more insulin. During this period, the dose of insulin injected may decrease. This process occurs in patients in the first year of the course of the disease and unfortunately lasts a short time. After it is finished, insulin doses increase again.
Diet for diabetes
In all clinical forms of diabetes, adhering to a specific diet is a vital necessity.
The basic principles of diet therapy include: strictly individual selection of daily calories, the complete exclusion of easily digestible carbohydrates; strictly calculated content of physiological amounts of fats, proteins, vitamins and carbohydrates; fractional nutrition with evenly distributed carbohydrates and calories. In the diet used in diabetes, the ratio of carbohydrates, fats and proteins in the consumed food should be as close to physiological as possible: 50 – 60% of the total number of calories should be carbohydrates, 25 – 30% for fats and 15 – 20% for squirrels. Also, the diet should contain at least one kilogram of body weight at least 4 –
The main rule of diet for diabetes is the complete exclusion or significant restriction of the consumption of refined carbohydrates, while their total amount should be about 125 grams per day (to prevent ketoacidosis).