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Keywords:

  • Diabetes;
  • insulin;
  • endocrinology;
  • autoimmune

Diabetes is a condition in which there is a chronically raised blood glucose concentration caused by an absolute or relative lack of insulin due to insufficient production by the pancreas, or a deficit in the insulin action for the body's needs. There are two main types, type 1 which is general acute and seen in children and type 2 which the most common, is chronic and is seen in adults. Pathological effects associated with diabetes include macrovascular (heart, brain and extremities) and microvascular (eye, kidney and nerve tissue) complications. In particular, diabetes is regarded as a form of ischaemic heart disease, involving infarction, heart failure, CVA and paralysis. With regard to the extremities, peripheral vascular disease can lead to ulceration, poor healing, gangrene and possibly amputation. On the microvascular level diabetes can lead to retinopathy, cataracts, glaucoma and blindness, to nephropathy and kidney failure as well as autonomic neuropathy. Early diagnosis is vital so that other systemic consequences can be prevented by effective treatment.