Types and Treatments of Diabetes mellitus

Diabetes mellitus (DM), commonly referred to as diabetes, describes a group of metabolic diseases in which the person has high blood glucose (blood sugar) levels over a prolonged period, either because insulin production is inadequate, or because the body’s cells do not respond properly to insulin, or both. Diabetes mellitus is a major and growing public health problem throughout the world, with an estimated worldwide prevalence in 2013 more than 382 million people and is a heterogeneous disorder with varying prevalences among different ethnic groups and it is reported to constitute the 16th leading cause of global mortality.

Symptoms of diabetes mellitus include heavy thirst, increased hunger (especially after eating), frequent urination, unexplained weight loss (even enough you are eating and feel hungry), fatigue (week, tired feeling) and so on. According to the diabetes is either the cells of the body not responding properly to the insulin produced or the pancreas not producing enough insulin. There are three main types of diabetes as below:

  1. Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes, also is called as juvenile diabetes, early-onset diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, results from the body’s failure to produce insulin. It is characterized by loss of the insulin-producing β cells of the islets of langerhans in the pancreas, leading to insulin deficiency. So sugar cannot get into the body’s cells for use as energy. This causes blood sugar levels to rise. And it is believed to be a progressive autoimmune disease. This maybe the reason why Type 1 Diabetes is commonly seen in some families. At the same time, children and young adults are usually diagnosed as Type 1 diabetes. However, it is unknown what caused this cascade of immune events, but evidence suggests that both the genetic predisposition and environmental factors are involved. So people with Type 1 Diabetes must use insulin injections to control their blood sugar.

  1. Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes, which used to be called adult-onset diabetes, can affect people at any age. As different as Type 1 Diabetes, people who with Type 2 diabetes can produce insulin. However, there is either not enough insulin or it doesn’t work properly in the body. No matter which one happened, sugar cannot get into the body’s cells for use as energy. This causes blood sugar to rise. There are a number of drug treatment options to treat Type 2 diabetes, which are known as oral hypoglycemic drugs or oral antihyperglycemic drugs. Oral antihyperglycemic drugs have three modes of action to reduce blood sugar levels. The first one is sensitizers (Biguanides, Thiazolidinediones) which increase the sensitivity of the peripheral tissues to insulin. The second is inhibitors that impair gastrointestinal absorption of glucose. The inhibitors include DPP-4 inhibitors and SGLT2 inhibitors. Alogliptin benzoate, anagliptin and linagliptin are DPP-4 inhibitors. Canagliflozin, dapagliflozin, empagliflozi, ertugliflozin and ipragliflozin are SGLT2 inhibitors. The last one is secretagogues (Nonsulfonylurea secretagogues, Sulfonylureas, which contains glyburide, glimepiride and gliquidone) which enhance insulin secretion by the pancreas.

  1. Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes happens when women’s body can’t make enough insulin during pregnancy. And it usually disappears after the birth of the baby. However, after pregnancy approximately 5–10% of women with gestational diabetes are found to have diabetes mellitus, most commonly type 2 diabetes. On the other hand, the babies  are also more likely to develop obesity and type 2 diabetes. Gestational diabetes can be fully treatable, but requires careful medical supervision throughout the pregnancy.