Diabetes mellitus: know its causes, complications, diagnoses and treatments

It is estimated that in Spain there are more than 5 million people with diabetes mellitus, and worldwide, the figure exceeds 400 million. This chronic disease can cause a number of health problems, including blindness, heart disease and stroke. In this post, we will analyze in detail the symptoms, treatments and we will recommend the best place in Madrid to diagnose and treat this disease. .

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What is diabetes mellitus?

Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease that affects the metabolism of the human body. In diabetes, the body does not produce enough insulin or use it effectively, causing blood sugar to rise.

There are two main types of diabetes mellitus: type 1 and type 2. Either can be controlled with proper treatment and a healthy lifestyle. It is important to detect and treat it early to prevent long-term complications.

What causes diabetes mellitus?

Between the main causes of diabetes mellitus they find each other:

  • Genetics
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Lack of physical activity
  • An unhealthy diet
  • Advanced age
  • Arterial hypertension
  • High triglyceride levels
  • Smoking
  • Emotional and mental stress

What happens to a person with diabetes mellitus?

When a person has diabetes mellitus, your body has difficulty regulating blood sugar levels, which can cause damage to tissues and organs in the body. If left uncontrolled, diabetes can cause serious complications, including heart disease, kidney problems, nerve damage, blindness, and stroke.

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Types of diabetes mellitus

It should be noted that, in addition to type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes, there are different types of this disease. For example, the gestational diabetes It is a temporary form of diabetes that develops during pregnancy and usually disappears after childbirth.

There is also the MODY type diabetes (Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young), which is a rare form of diabetes that is inherited in an autosomal dominant manner and usually develops in adolescence or young adults.

Other less common forms of diabetes include diabetes related to cystic fibrosis, neonatal diabetes and LADA type diabetes (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults).


For its part, Prediabetes is a condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. This means that a person with prediabetes has a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes and other health complications, such as heart disease and stroke.

Fortunately, prediabetes can be reversed with lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise.

type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is a chronic autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system attacks and destroys the beta cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. Due to lack of insulin, blood sugar levels rise and can lead to serious complications if left untreated.

Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in childhood or adolescence, but can appear at any age. Treatment for type 1 diabetes involves administering insulin through injections or an insulin pump, as well as changes in daily habits.

Type 2 diabetes

Regarding type 2 diabetes, it is a chronic disease in which the body does not produce enough insulin or cannot use it properly. This causes blood sugar levels to build up and damage the body's organs and tissues.

Type 2 diabetes can be caused by factors such as obesity, lack of exercise, and genetics. It is often diagnosed in adults, but is increasingly occurring in children and adolescents due to the increase in childhood obesity.

What is the difference between diabetes insipidus and diabetes mellitus?

The main difference between diabetes insipidus and diabetes mellitus is that the first affects the production and regulation of antidiuretic hormone, while the second affects the regulation of blood sugar.

The Diabetes insipidus causes extreme thirst and the need to urinate frequently. Additionally, this disease can be caused by head injuries, brain tumors, autoimmune diseases, or certain medications. Treatment depends on the cause and may include medications that replace the affected hormone.

Differences between type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes are two different forms of diabetes that have different causes and affect different groups of people.

Type 1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune reaction in which the body's immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. As a result, the body cannot produce enough insulin to regulate blood sugar levels. Type 1 diabetes usually develops in childhood or adolescence and requires lifelong insulin treatment.

On the other hand, Type 2 diabetes is caused by a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors. In type 2 diabetes, the body still produces insulin, but cannot use it effectively to control blood sugar levels. Type 2 diabetes usually develops in adults and can be prevented or delayed with lifestyle changes and, in some cases, medications.

Síntomas diabetes mellitus

Symptoms of diabetes mellitus

The most common symptoms of diabetes mellitus are:

  • Increased thirst and the need to urinate.
  • Fatigue and weakness.
  • Weight loss without a known cause.
  • Blurry vision.
  • Recurrent infections, especially in the skin, gums or bladder.
  • Tingling or numbness in hands and feet.
  • Wounds that take time to heal.
  • Increased hunger.
  • Sexual problems, such as erectile dysfunction.
  • Concentration and memory problems.

It must be taken into account that Not all people with diabetes have all of these symptoms. and that some may be asymptomatic at first.

Diseases related to diabetes

Some main diseases related to diabetes are:

  • Cardiovascular diseases- Increases the risk of heart diseases such as coronary heart disease, heart failure, and stroke.
  • Eye problems: Diabetic retinopathy, cataract and glaucoma are common diseases in people with diabetes.
  • kidney diseases: It is one of the main causes of chronic kidney disease and may require dialysis or kidney transplant.
  • Neuropathies: Can damage nerves, causing numbness, tingling, or pain in the feet and hands, as well as digestion, sexuality, and other problems.
  • skin infections: especially on the feet.
  • Depression: is associated with an increased risk of depression and other mental health problems.
  • Dental problems: increases the risk of gum disease, cavities and other dental problems.

Diabetes risk factors

Between the main risk factors for diabetes they find each other:

  • Family history of diabetes
  • Overweight or obesity
  • Sedentary lifestyle or lack of regular physical activity
  • Advanced age (over 45 years)
  • Arterial hypertension
  • High cholesterol or triglyceride levels
  • History of cardiovascular disease
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome in women
  • Sleep disorders, especially apnea
  • Chronic stress and depression.

It is important to keep in mind that having one or more risk factors does not necessarily mean that a person has diabetes, but increases the likelihood of developing it.

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Diagnosis of diabetes mellitus

It is important to diagnose diabetes mellitus on time, as it can have serious consequences on the patient's health if not treated properly. Uncontrolled diabetes can cause long-term health problems, such as cardiovascular diseases, neuropathy, kidney diseases, eye problems and even amputations.

Additionally, early diagnosis can prevent disease progression and improve the patient's quality of life. Therefore, it is advisable to get screened if you have any risk factors or symptoms of diabetes, and follow medical treatments and advice to keep the disease under control.

Glycated hemoglobin A1c test

The glycated hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) test is a blood test used to evaluate average blood glucose levels over the past 2 to 3 months. This test is useful for diagnosing and monitoring diabetes as it reflects long-term blood glucose levels. This test is easy to perform and does not require special patient preparation.

Glucose tolerance test

 The glucose tolerance test is a test used to measure the body's ability to process sugar. It involves taking a fasting blood sample, administering a solution with a known amount of glucose, and then taking blood samples at regular intervals to measure blood glucose levels. This test is used to detect diabetes and prediabetes.

Blood glucose test

This is a simple test that measures the amount of glucose in the blood at a given time. It is done through a blood sample, which can be extracted by a finger prick or by a venous blood sample in a laboratory. The results of this test help doctors determine if a person has diabetes, prediabetes, or if their blood glucose levels are normal.

Diabetes mellitus treatment

Good diabetes management can improve the patient's quality of life and allow them to lead an active and healthy life. Treatment may include diet changes, exercise, oral medications, or insulin injections depending on the type and severity of diabetes.. It is important to follow the treatment recommended by the doctor and carry out periodic check-ups to evaluate the progress of the treatment and adjust if necessary.

Treatment for type 1 diabetes: insulin

The main treatment for type 1 diabetes is insulin, since this form of diabetes is due to a complete lack of insulin production by the body. Insulin is administered by subcutaneous injection with a syringe, insulin pen, or insulin pump. It is important that insulin doses be titrated on an individualized basis and adjusted based on the person's blood glucose levels, physical activity, and other factors.

Insulin is essential for cells to use glucose for energy.. Without insulin, glucose builds up in the blood, which can cause organ damage over time. It is important for people with type 1 diabetes to take the right dose of insulin at the right time and follow a healthy eating plan and regular physical activity to control their blood glucose levels and prevent long-term complications.

Treatments for type 2 diabetes

The treatment of type 2 diabetes can be very varied and will depend on each particular case. One of the fundamental pillars of the treatment is to eat a healthy and balanced diet, avoiding excess sugars and fats, and maintaining an adequate supply of fiber and vitamins. In addition, it is recommended to engage in regular physical activity, which will help improve glycemic control and prevent other cardiovascular complications.

In some cases, it may be necessary to use medications to control blood glucose levels. The most commonly used are oral hypoglycemic agents, which act by reducing glucose production in the liver and improving insulin sensitivity. In more advanced cases, the administration of insulin may be necessary, either alone or in combination with other medications.

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In short, diabetes mellitus affects millions of people around the world and can have serious health consequences if not properly controlled. At Clínica Elgeadi we have highly trained specialists for the diagnosis and treatment of diabetes, so if you present any symptoms, do not hesitate to make an appointment with us to receive the best possible attention and care.

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At Clínica Elgeadi we are committed to our community and open to advise and answer any question whenever possible.

To offer an accurate diagnosis to the patient, a personalized evaluation and a thorough review of their medical history will always be necessary. Once the case has been studied individually, the most appropriate treatment will be recommended to the patient according to their pathology and/or illness.

Furthermore, from the Elgeadi clinic, we would like to remind you that no medication will be prescribed without prior consultation.

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