What is diabetes mellitus?
Diabetes mellitus is a collective term for various metabolic disorders. They all have in common that they lead to elevated blood glucose levels.
Diabetes is common.
The risk of becoming ill with diabetes rises in particular with increasing age.
For example, one to two percent of those under 50 years of age are affected by diabetes.
In comparison, more than 20 percent of those over 70 years old already have diabetes.
On the whole, the rate of type 2 diabetes mellitus is rising globally.
Type 1 diabetes is the rarer form of diabetes. Of all people with diabetes, only one in 20 has type 1 diabetes. The proportion of type 2 diabetes is around 90 percent while the remaining five percent comprise rare, special forms of the disease.
In young people, however, the proportions are reversed: type 1 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes among those under 25 years old.
Diabetes mellitus type 1
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease and is caused by the total absence of the hormone insulin. This type of diabetes is therefore also called insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.
The disease usually already begins during childhood or adolescence, but type 1 diabetes can also develop later in life.
To date, type 1 diabetes cannot be cured yet, but can be treated well with insulin.
However, people with type 1 diabetes must inject insulin for life.
Diabetes mellitus type 2
Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder that is becoming more and more of a problem worldwide.
In those affected, the body can only insufficiently process carbohydrates such as sugar – resulting in an elevated blood glucose level.
Type 2 diabetes begins gradually and is often discovered very late.
The cause of the disease is a resistance to insulin on the one hand (reduced sensitivity of the body's cells to the blood glucose-lowering hormone insulin), and a lack of insulin ('exhaustion' of the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas) on the other.