The History And Symptoms Of Diabetes Biology Essay


An Egyptian Papryus mentions it as a rare disease which causes the patient to lose weight rapidly and urinate frequently, this was a thought to be first reference to the disease. ( Greek Physician Aretaeus, during 100 B. C., based on the word "Dia-bainine" means "to siphon" name Diabetes, "Mellitus" means "honey-sweet" in Greek , was added by scientist Cullen in the year 1750.

Diabetes is a disease where the levels of sugar or blood glucose is very high. Glucose in body is generally obtained from the food we eat. Cells in the body gain energy from glucose; hormone Insulin helps glucose to enter the cells (Medline Plus.(4)). Insulin is a chemical hormone manufactured in pancreas. Insulin levels vary with the amount of glucose which is present in blood. In condition diabetes it is difficult for the cells in the body to gain energy, without which all cells die. Diabetes makes difficult for cells of the body to receive adequate amounts of glucose in two days. In first case, pancreas may not secret insulin therefore, the levels of the glucose in the blood increases. This is known as Type I diabetes, this is detected in children and hence it is also known as juvenile dianetes. In the body when the cells fail to respond to insulin which is produced, it results in insulin resistance. This is Type II diabetes. Diabetes Pregnant woman can also get diabetes, mostly they develop Type II. This is known as Gestational diabetes.

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Type II is most common of all types of diabetes, though the exact cause is unknown it tends to run in families and diabetes is not a contagious disease.

Type II Diabetes:

Type II diabetes, it's a condition in which the body is unable to regulate the required amount of glucose properly in the blood, it is usually developed when the body doesn't respond to the natural hormone insulin, results usually of persons being overweight.(Bupa's health information team). If insulin isn't enough or the formed insulin is not utilized as it should be by the body glucose will not enter in to the cell and remains in the body which builds up in the blood and the cells will not function properly without the energy.

Other problems which raise up to the built up of glucose with blood are Dehydration, diabetic coma, damage to the body (WebMD Medial Reference)


Glycogen is formed in the body due to excessive glucose which is present, is converted by insulin that is stored in muscle fat cells. If the utilization or production of insulin is abnormal then the glucose levels present in the blood increases, results in diabetes. ß-cells (beta-cells) of Islet of Langerhans in the pancreas secrets insulin, the level of insulin production will be low if pancreas or the ß-cells are affected by any infections.

Hyperlipidemia and Obesity conditions they block the cells by utilising insulin creating resistance to insulin, thus insulin resistance is one of the reason for diabetes.

Insulin resistance

Cells no longer normally respond to the

insulin due to no uptake of glucose

Glycogen is formed Use of glucose in Fat in the fat tissues are

in liver from glucose skeletal muscles due broken down

and is slow to to decrease to generate energy.

replenish glycogen. in glycogen storage.

Glucose remains in blood stream, rise the Increase in fatty acids; as some insulin is levels of glucose in blood present metabolism of fatty acids may occur

Fig. 1 Flow chart showing Insulin Resistance


Type II diabetes symptoms are not common in this condition the symptoms are not quite obvious and the symptoms are developed very slowly may be years and can be detected only when medical checkups are routine. But the symptoms can be quickly relieved ones it is treated or is under control. (Diabetes UK)

Over recent months if noticed gain of weight, might de due to diabetic causing factors or lost due to high blood glucose levels. Because of high blood glucose and high calorie diet combinations it's also possible that weight might not change. (Bupa UK)

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It is generally detected when there is high level of sugar in body blood or Urine, the most reliable results are obtained if the blood is checked before any food or liquids injected.

Common Symptoms of diabetes include:

Excessive Thirst


Often urination

Extreme Hunger

Weight loss

Change in vision

Obstinacy itching of skin

Infections or slow-healing cuts

The glucose levels in the body can become very high, if left un treated which later results in coma and possibly death. (Medline plus.(3))

Risk Factors:

Diabetes mellitus is caused in variety of people of all races, ages and nationals. Causative factors for Type II are greatly of some ethnicities, people those who have family history of diabetes mellitus, who are inactive and are obese may also face greater risk of Type ll diabetes mellitus ( Life style, medical conditions are general causative factors, also people who are 45 years or above and with high blood pressure have the factor of developing diabetes.

In year 2005, according to W.H.O., 1.1 million deaths occurred, and in population worldwide over 220 millions suffer from diabetes (

Complications of Type II Diabetes:

Type II complications are Long-term and are similar to those of type I. Which include:

Heart attack

Diabetic eye damage - this can be prevented if diagnosed and treated



Problems in legs and feet blood circulation

Diabetic Foot ulcers

Diabetic Kidney Damage

To monitor whether we have developed complications annual check-ups are needed.

Uncontrolled high levels of glucose in blood are very dangerous to health and can increase the long term complications as mentioned above.

Diagnosis (Tests and Exams):

Hemoglobin A1c Test:

In olden days this test was used to monitor for controlling the glucose blood level of patience. The American Diabetes Association, in 2010 recommended this test for other option of diagnosing the diabetes and identifying pre- diabetics. Levels which include.

If it is less than 5.7%, it is normal

If in between 5.7% - 6.4%, pre-diabetes

6.5% or higher is Diabetes.

Fasting blood glucose level:

Diabetes id diagnosed if higher than 126 mg/dL.

Oral Glucose tolerance test:

If the glucose levels are higher than 200 mg/dL, it is diagnosed after 2 hours.

Non-fasting (Random) blood glucose level:

The level of glucose in blood if is higher than 200 mg/dL, diabetes is suspected with some other symptoms line urination, increased thirst etc. This test must be conformed to fasting blood glucose level. (NIH)

Prevention of Diabetes Type II:

It is not really possible to avoided development of diabetes Type II, the risk factors can be controlled that might be helpful to get it. That can generally done by

If obese or overweight, lose weight

By maintaining physical fitness by at least exercising 30 minutes each day

Keeping cholesterol and blood pressure levels under control

Avoid smoking

Occasionally (moderation) drinking alcohol.

The risks of developing type II can be reduced the risk if the above are followed which generally medicos advice (NHS choices U.K, diabetes, type 2-prevention)

Timeline for Treating Diabetes:


Past studies for treating diabetes were not in common use but this disease was first discovered by an Indian physician Susruta (1000 B.C). In 1980 isolation of pancreatic islets of langerhans from mice.


Treating diabetes is the major goal in the present world first aim to treat should be, is the elevation of blood glucose without any abnormalities in levels of blood glucose. Type I can be treated by general lifestyle changes with proper regular exercises, controlling the diet or taking diabetic diet and with Insulin. Type II can just be treated first with daily exercises and weight reduction, if not controlled by the above measures then the oral medications are used, if still not controlled then treated insulin is advised.

American Diabetes Association (ADA) has guided for diabetic diet, which is nutritious, balanced and low fat diet with simple sugars and low cholesterol.

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Sensitivity of insulin in the body is increased only by daily workouts and reduction in body weight, sensitivity to insulin controls sugar levels in blood, which are the goal treatments for diabetes. (MediLine Net, Diabetes Treatments)

As discussed above in addition to those change in lifestyle measures, if not controlled medication is advised or the levels of sugar are still high, but not just medication will solve diabetes with the above measures medication is additionally advised.