Diabetes and its effects

Diabetes mellitus is a nutritional disorder, characterized by an abnormally elevated level of blood glucose and by the excretion of the excess glucose in the urine. It results from an absolute or relative lack of insulin which leads to abnormalities in carbohydrate metabolism as well as in the metabolism of protein and fat.

Diabetes is a disease known to the medical world since time immemorial. Its incidence, is however, much higher at present than ever in the past. This is especially true in case of more advanced countries of the world due to widespread affluence and more generous food supply.

The most commonly used screening tests are the determination of the fasting blood glucose level and the two-hour postprandial, that is after a meal. The normal fasting blood sugar content is 80 to 120 mg. per 100ml. of blood and this can go up to a level of 180 mg. per 100 ml. of blood two hours after meals. Anything above these norms can be termed diabetic levels.

Diabetes occurs in all age groups, from young infants to the elderly. The greatest incidence occurs in middle or order aged persons. It is estimated that 80 to 85 per cent of all individuals with diabetes mellitus are 45 years of age or older.

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