Diabetes – literature review

Kamilė Piekutė

Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Academy of Medicine, Kaunas, Lithuania


Diabetes is a condition that impairs the body’s ability to process blood glucose. The classification of diabetes includes four clinical classes: type 1 diabetes (results from β-cell destruction, usually leading to absolute insulin deficiency), type 2 diabetes (results from a progressive insulin secretory defect on the background of insulin resistance), other specific types of diabetes due to other causes, gestational diabetes mellitus (diabetes diagnosed during pregnancy). This article describes type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The symptoms of both types of diabetes and the course of the disease are different. Type 1 CD is most commonly diagnosed in patients when they see a doctor for a clinic of progressive ketoacidosis: severe thirst, polyuria, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, weight loss. Objectively visible condition of these patients: dry mucosa, bad skin turgor, acetone odor from the mouth, tachycardia, possible orthostatic hypotension. Meanwhile, type 2 diabetes is often undiagnosed for many years because hyperglycemia develops gradually and in the earlier stages is often not severe enough for the patient to notice any of the classic symptoms of diabetes. Typically, type 2 diabetes is detected randomly in patients by checking glycemia. Treatment is selected according to the type of diabetes and individually for the patient. The most important task of diabetes treatment is to maintain a normal glycemic rate in the blood and to avoid complications. This article reviews the etiopathogenesis, clinical signs, diagnosis, treatment, and possible complications of diabetes.

Keywords:  type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, insulin, hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, ketoacidosis.