Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body is unable to use the produced insulin efficiently.

High blood sugar levels due to diabetes can damage the nervous system, eyes, kidneys, and other organs.

Types of diabetes

Each type of diabetes has unique symptoms caused by high blood sugar levels, causes, and treatments.

Types 1 and 2 diabetes symptoms:

Diabetes mellitus during pregnancy

Many women with gestational diabetes have no symptoms. This condition is often diagnosed during a general blood sugar test or an oral glucose tolerance test.

Common symptoms

In addition to the general symptoms of diabetes, men with diabetes may experience decreased sex drive, erectile dysfunction (ED), and weak muscle strength.

Women with diabetes may also have symptoms such as urinary tract infections, yeast infections, and dry, itchy skin.

Risk factors

Certain factors increase the risk of developing diabetes.

For example, your risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases if you:

Why is diabetes dangerous?

Over time, diabetes can damage the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves.

In adults with diabetes, the risk of heart attack and stroke is 2-3 times higher.

Combined with reduced blood flow, nerve damage in the lower extremities increases the likelihood of leg ulcers, infection, and ultimately the need for amputation.

Diabetic retinopathy is one of the leading causes of blindness.

This disease is among the leading causes of kidney failure.

Diabetes mellitus treatment

Type 1 diabetes mellitus

Insulin is the main treatment for type 1 diabetes. It replaces a hormone that your body cannot produce.

There are four types of insulin most commonly used. They differ in how quickly they start to work and how long their effect lasts:

Type 2 diabetes mellitus

Diet and exercise can help some people cope with type 2 diabetes. If lifestyle changes aren’t enough to lower your blood sugar, you need to take medication as prescribed by your doctor.

Oral hypoglycemic drugs

Oral hypoglycemic drugs help control glucose levels in people whose pancreas continues to produce insulin (most people with type II diabetes).

Oral antihyperglycemic drugs may:

Oral hypoglycemic drugs differ in their mechanism of action:

You may need more than one drug. Some people with type 2 diabetes also take insulin.