It is due to a metabolic dysfunction in which genetic predisposition plays an important role. It is a condition where the body produces very little or no insulin (the hormone secreted by certain cells of the pancreas) which is needed to burn up the sugar, starch and other carbohydrates into energy, thus resulting in accumulation of sugar in the blood stream. When this blood passes through the kidneys, sugar is filtered out along with a lot of fluid in the form of urine. In other words, when the level of glucose in the blood rises above 180 mg/100 ml, glucose leaks into the urine. This condition is known as „glycosuria‟ (glucose in the urine). Thus, an untreated diabetic patient is perpetually always thirsty and urinating.
There are two types of diabetes:
Type 1 or insulin dependent or juvenile diabetes mellitus (IDDM)
Type 2 or non-insulin dependent or adult or maturity onset diabetes mellitus (NIDDM).
Hypertension is seen in 50% of the patients with the second type of diabetes mellitus. The insulin dependent diabetes usually begins in childhood and requires regular intake of insulin, whereas the non-insulin dependent diabetes begins later in life. Heredity and stress are some of the most common causes of diabetes. Other causes include some kind of pancreatic diseases (like pancreatitis, haemochromatosis, malignancy, cystic fibrosis, etc.),
some hormonal imbalance and certain medications (like corticosteroids, thiazide diuretics, phenytoin, etc.). Symptoms of diabetes mellitus include frequent urination, increased thirst and appetite, recurrent infections, itching, fatigue, numbness in certain parts, pain and muscle weakness in the legs, drowsiness, rapid weight loss, delayed healing of the wounds and in later stages deterioration of vision from cataract or retinopathy.
Common complications of diabetes include coma, diabetic ketoacidosis, ischaemic heart disease, diabetic nephropathy, diabetic neuropathy, eye complications, trophic ulcers and increased susceptibility to infections. Testing the urine for glucose is the usual procedure for detecting diabetes mellitus in the initial stages. Another test done for this condition is the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). The normal level of fasting blood glucose is 60 - 100 mg/100 ml of plasma and two hours after meals (Post Prandial Blood sugar) it is 100 - 140 mg/100 ml of plasma. When the level of glucose in the blood rises above 140 mg/100 ml, it is termed as „hyperglycemia‟.
Regular fresh air exercises, brisk walking, swimming and aerobics are useful for treating diabetic patients. It is important that the person loses weight, maintains his daily energy intake, stops drinking alcohol and stops smoking. Maintaining the levels of blood sugar through proper diet is the best and the most effective means of treatment.
How to control diabetes mellitus?
There are 3 methods of treatment
1. Nutritional Therapy.
2. Nutritional Therapy and Homoeopathic Drugs.
3.Nutritional Therapy and Insulin (essential for those patients whose pancreas do not produce any insulin).