Diabetes Mellitus: Symptoms and Risk Factors

Diabetes mellitus is a disease distinguished by high blood sugar levels and leads to damage to the kidneys, nervous system, and impaired vision, affecting the nervous and vascular structures. Diabetes is a chronic illness in which the body cannot create or use the insulin it already has. Diabetes occurs in different types and can affect young people and develop with age.

Diabetes mellitus is a pathology characterized by metabolic disorders, primarily carbohydrates, resulting in cell damage to various organs, from arterial vessels to kidneys and liver. It should be noted that the disease can progress without any symptoms for a long time, which is why many people do not pursue medical help in time. At the same time, according to the World Health Organization, the disease is detected in 10% of the population. This explains the importance of regular preventive medical examinations and measuring blood glucose levels.

Diabetes mellitus occurs due to several reasons in which a person’s glucose supply to cells is disturbed. This leads to an increase in its content in the blood with the development of numerous metabolic disorders. Depending on the type of pathology, specialists distinguish the following risk factors:

  • Genetic predisposition it is known that if parents or close relatives have diabetes mellitus, the risk of its development increases by 5-10%;
  • Excessive body weight and obesity;
  • The predominance of carbohydrates in the food leads to a violation of their metabolism;
  • Cardiovascular diseases;
  • Chronic stress is associated with psychological or physical overload. Adrenal hormones released in a stressful situation disrupt the normal course of metabolic activities;
  • Prolonged use of drugs that contribute to diabetes – glucocorticoids, diuretics, cytotoxic agents.

It should be mentioned that the causes of type 1 diabetes are different; patients have a lack of insulin associated with damage to cells in the area lets of Langerhans pancreas. As a rule, this variant of the disease is congenital autoimmune and occurs at a young age.

The main signs of diabetes are increased urine excretion caused by an increase in osmotic pressure due to dissolved glucose in the urine. It is clear that glucose cannot be in a person’s urine without pathology. The disease also appears to have abundant frequent urination during the day and at night. Along with this, unquenchable constant thirst due to the substantial loss of water with the urine and the increased osmotic pressure of the blood are indexed indicative of diabetes. The symptom of constant restless hunger is produced by a metabolic disorder accompanying diabetes and, more specifically, by the inability of cells to absorb and process glucose without insulin. At the same time, pronounced weight loss, especially characteristic of type 1 diabetes, is a sign. This is a typical emerging symptom despite elevated appetite in patients. The weight loss and often even emaciation of patients indicates excessive catabolism of fats and proteins due to the exclusion of glucose from the energy metabolism of the patient’s cells.

At the same time, in addition to the general signs of the disease in a person, there are also symptoms of the illness depending on the type of diabetes. Signs of type one diabetes are a significant weight loss, in addition to thirst, frequent urination, dry mouth, irritability, rapid fatigue, nausea, and sometimes vomiting. Secondary indications of this type of diabetes include heart pain, calf pain and cramping, boils, skin itching, headache, irritability, and sleep disturbances. As for secondary signs of type 1 diabetes in children, the occurrence of nocturnal urinary incontinence should be mentioned.

Type 2 diabetes is characterized by: numbness and leg cramps, pain in the legs and hands, constant thirst, itching, blurred vision, poor wound healing, skin infections, fatigue, drowsiness, decreased pain sensitivity, frequent infections, gradual weight gain, decreased potency in men. In addition, with type 2 diabetes, there is loss of hair on the legs on the background of enhanced facial hair growth, the appearance of small yellow growths on the body, called xanthomas. Another initial sign of type 2 diabetes is inflammation of the foreskin, which is associated with frequent urination.

The appearance of symptoms of type 2 diabetes does not occur immediately, they are difficult to detect because they are not expressed too strongly. It is not uncommon for the disease to be lethargic, which complicates the diagnosis. In such cases, diabetes is detected accidentally, after a sugar test or a urine test. More often this disease occurs in adulthood, as a rule, it is a consequence of improper diet.


Accurate Facts About Diabetes

It is interesting to note the exact statistics and interesting facts about diabetes. The International Diabetes Federation estimates that today, about 425 million people worldwide live with a diagnosis of diabetes. Today, diabetes ranks 7th among diseases that cause death or disability (WHO). Approximately 12% of annual deaths occurring in the U.S. have been directly or related to the development of diabetes mellitus and its effects on the deceased. The premise of these consequences is not diabetes but its complications, such as heart attacks, blindness, kidney failure, and leg amputations. From 2000 to 2016, premature deaths from diabetes increased by 5%. In 2019, diabetes was the ninth leading cause of death worldwide and was estimated to be the direct cause of 1.5 million deaths (American Diabetes Association). Statistically, individuals with diabetes in my community who maintain normal blood glucose levels have a life expectancy 5-7 years longer than people without diabetes engaging in the misconduct lifestyle.

Healthy Menu

Diets based on the refusal of specific foods are helpful in losing weight, but they can also deprive a person of necessary nutrients. When choosing a diet for the prevention of diabetes, one should consult a specialist and consider individual characteristics to avoid damaging the body. In the diet of a person monitoring his health and trying to have a proper diet to prevent diabetes, it is necessary to introduce buckwheat, oatmeal, and black bread of coarse grinding. These products contain a higher content of B vitamins and are more slowly absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract. Thus, as a side dish, it is useful to eat these cereals and supplement them with vegetables and fruits. Vegetables and fruits that are poor in carbohydrates can be eaten in unlimited quantities. Such vegetables include all kinds of white cabbage and cauliflower, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, spinach, helpful fruit lemons, cranes, pomegranates, cranberries, and red currants, and others. Carbohydrate-rich vegetables and fruits in the diet should be limited. Hence, borage and carrots to 250 grams per day, potatoes to 300 grams, mushrooms to 100 grams. It is preferable to choose apples, grapefruit, and peaches from fruits, limiting their consumption to 400 grams per day. If possible, all kinds of greens, onions, and garlic should be consumed in larger quantities.

Importantly, lean beef and poultry meals should also be eaten to prevent diabetes. Soups cooked with lean meat broth can be consumed twice a week. Boiled poultry or beef is recommended to include in the diet daily up to 100 grams; they cover the body’s need for proteins and vitamins. The same applies to seafood; it is necessary to include fish in the daily diet of about 150 grams. Fish and seafood can be prepared for many delicious dishes that need to be stewed but not fried, such as baked salmon with vegetables. It is essential to note that with diabetes, it is better to drink all kinds of tea, natural coffee, and tomato juice. Consumption of natural fruit juices should be limited because they contain a lot of simple carbohydrates. It is probable to drink freshly pressed juices diluted with water in triplicate.

In this way, it is possible to write many options from ready meals, which will be beneficial for the body. For example, for breakfast, it is possible to eat carrot salad 70 grams, butter 5 grams, milk cereal porridge 200 grams, unsweetened tea or coleslaw 70 grams, and boiled fish 50 grams. Other options for breakfast are buckwheat porridge 150 grams and low-fat cottage cheese 150 grams. For lunch, people who want to prevent diabetes can prepare vegetable borscht of 250 grams, vegetable salad of 100 grams, a vegetable stew of 70 grams, bread or fish soup of 250 grams, zucchini caviar of 70 grams, and boiled chicken meat. For dinner, one can prepare meatballs of 110 grams, vegetable stew of 150 grams, or cheese casserole of 150 grams. Therefore, many variations of ready-meal foods contribute to the preventive fight against diabetes; the most important is maintaining the proportions.


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American Diabetes Association. (n.d.). Featured recipes.

Preethikaa, S., & Brundha, M. P. (2018). Awareness of diabetes mellitus among general population. Research Journal of Pharmacy and Technology, 11(5), 1825-1829.

Vujosevic, S., Muraca, A., Alkabes, M., Villani, E., Cavarzeran, F., Rossetti, L., & De Cilla, S. (2019). Early microvascular and neural changes in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus without clinical signs of diabetic retinopathy. Retina, 39(3), 435-445.

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