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Diabetes Mellitus
An article by Dr. Mazhar H. Qureshi

Diabetes mellitus is a group of metabolic disorders characterized by increased blood sugar level resulting from defects in insulin secretion, insulin action or both.

There are different types of diabetes mellitus but recently American Diabetes Association (ADA) has classified it into 4 different types:

Type 1 Diabetes {Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM)}

Complete deficiency of insulin

Type 2 Diabetes {Non Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (NIDDM)}

Relative deficiency of insulin (amount, action or both)

Type 3 Diabetes

Secondary type of diabetes, due to some hormonal disturbances or due to some diseases, etc.

Type 4 Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) or diabetes mellitus of pregnancy. 

Type 2 diabetes, the most prevalent form of the disease, is often asymptomatic in its early stages and can remain undiagnosed for many years. Type 2 Diabetes accounts for 80% of the total diabetic patients and is the most common form of the disease worldwide.

The chronic high blood glucose level in diabetes is associated with long term damage, dysfunction and failure of various organs especially the eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart and blood vessels. Individuals with type2 Diabetes are at significantly higher risk for coronary heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease than the nondiabetic population. They also have a greater likelihood of having dyslipidemia, hypertension and obesity.

The risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases with age, obesity and lack of physical activity. Type 2 diabetes is more common in individuals with the family history of the disease and in members of certain racial/ethnic groups. It occurs more frequently in women with prior GDM and in individuals with hypertension or dyslipidemia.

Major Risk Factors For Type 2 Diabetes

Family history of diabetes (i.e., parents or siblings with diabetes)

Obesity (i.e., ³ 20% over desired body weight or BMI ³ 27kg/m2)

Race/ethnicity (e.g., African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Native Americans,

Asian-Americans, Pacific Islanders)

Age ³ 45 years

Previous identified IFG or IGT

Hypertension (³ 140/90 mm Hg in adults)

HDL cholesterol level £ 35 mg/dl and a triglyceride level ³ 250 mg/dl

History of GDM or delivery of babies over 9lbs.

This chart has been taken from "American Diabetes Association"; BMI: body mass index ; IFG: impaired fasting glucose; IGT: impaired glucose tolerance; HDL: high density lipoproteins; GDM: gestational diabetes mellitus.

Symptoms of marked hyperglycemia (increased blood sugar) include polyuria (increased frequency of urination), polydipsia (increased thirst), polyphagia (increased hunger), weight loss, chronic fatigue and blurred vision. Type 2 diabetes frequently goes undiagnosed for many years because the hyperglycemia develops gradually, and thus the onset, and even the presence of symptoms often goes unnoticed. 


Take this test to see if you are at risk for having diabetes. Write in the points next to each statements that is true for you. If a statement is not true, put a zero. Then add your total score.



I am a woman who has had baby weighing more than 9 pounds.



I have a parent with diabetes 1 0
I have a sister or brother with diabetes 1 0
My weight is equal to above that listed in the Chart 5 0
I am under 65 years of age and I get little or no exercise. 5 0
I am between 45 and 64 years of age 5 0
I am 65 years old or older 9 0

Scoring 10 or more points

You are at high risk for having diabetes. Only your health care providers can check to see if you have diabetes. See yours soon and find out for sure.

Scoring 3-9 points

You are probably at low risk for having diabetes now. But don’t just forget about it. Keep your risk low by losing weight if you are overweight, being active most days, and eating low fat meals that are high in fruits and vegetables, and whole grain foods.







































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