Diabetes Mellitus is the Latin name for diabetes Type 1 diabetes mellitus occurs when the cannot produce insulin which is needed to control blood glucose levels

Type 2 diabetes mellitus, which is much more common, occurs when the body can not produce enough insulin or the insulin is not working effeciently enough.

Gestational diabetes mellitus occurs when pregnant women have high blood glucose levels due to hormones produced in pregnancy.

A diagnosis of gestational diabetes means a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future.

Rare types of diabetes mellitus

There are also other, more rare types of diabetes mellitus such as MODY, LADA and secondary diabetes mellitus caused by pancreatic disease, drug side effects or endocrine disorders.

Sub-types of type 1 diabetes

There is also a sub-type of type 1 diabetes called Brittle Diabetes

In the past, type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes were called insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) and non insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM).

However, because some people with NIDDM require insulin to manage their condition, these labels are no longer accurate.

Type 2 diabetes mellitus also used to be called adult-onset diabetes.

However, more and more young people and children are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes mellitus, making this label inaccurate.

Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus

Type 1 diabetes mellitus is much rarer that type 2. Approximately 15% of people with diabetes mellitus have type 1. Type 1 diabetes mellitus usually develops at a young age, but can occur at any time. People with type 1 diabetes mellitus have to have daily insulin injections to manage their condition.

Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Type 2 diabetes mellitus affects around 85% (some studies put the figure closer to 90%) of people with diabetes, and is usually diagnosed at a later age than type 1 diabetes mellitus.

Type 2 diabetes is often, but not always, associated with excess body weight and lack of exercise. Type 2 diabetes mellitus affects people of different ethnicities to a different degree.

For instance, people of South Asia, Polynesia, African, African-Caribbea, Middle-Eastern and American-Indian ancestry may face a greater risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus. At an early stage, type 2 diabetes mellitus is controlled using diet and exercise, but many people with type 2 diabetes mellitus eventually require insulin.

Risk factors for Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes mellitus affects a variety of people of all races, ages and nations. It is unkown why some people develop type 1 diabetes.

It may be linked to environmental factors or a virus however it has been estabilished if there is a family history of type 1 diabetes then there is a higher risk of developing type 1 diabetes.

Risk factors for type 2 diabetes mellitus are greater for some ethnicities, as mentioned before. Furthermore, those people who have a family history of type 2 diabetes, who are overweight or inactive also face a greater risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Type 2 diabetes mellitus is often preceded by pre-diabetes (also called metabolic syndrome ).

Diabetes mellitus and mortality

Well controlled diabetes (both type 1 and type 2) reduces the risk of diabetes related complications from developing.

However with consistently elevated blood glucose readings it can lead to the development of vision loss, even blindness, end-stage renal disease and in some cases premature death. Just as important as conrolling blood glucose levels is controlling blood pressure, lipids (cholesterol) and weight.

Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus face a three times higher level of mortality than the general population.

Mortality rates from cardiovascular disease are five times higher amongst men with diabetes and eight times higher amongst women with diabetes.

HbA1c level (average blood glucose level) radically influences risk of death, with every 1% increase adding 21% to mortality.

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