Diabetes is caused by a deficiency of insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas by the islets of Langerhans, which regulates the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood. A deficiency of insulin means sugar levels, or glucose levels in the blood are too high. Insulin plays an important role in the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
People with diabetes (high blood glucose levels sugar) do not necessarily have to experience these symptoms immediately. Sometimes symptoms occur like fatigue, unexplained weight loss, bad breath, thirst or frequent urination. At a later stage of diabetes, symptoms arise such as blurred vision and problems with the nervous tissue. In the long-term, consequences are more serious: heart disease, kidney disease, nerve damage and decreased vision. The treatment of diabetes focuses mainly on the prevention of short as well as long term effects.
There is two types of diabetes: type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. With type 1 diabetes, insulin is not generated. With type 2 diabetes insulin is generated, however not enough, and this form occurs more often than type 1 diabetes. For the treatment of type 1 diabetes, insulin by injection is almost exclusively used. With type 2 diabetes, metformin (Metformin or Glucophage) is the first choice.
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