1. The term "diabetes mellitus" is derived from the Greek word diabetes and the Latin word mellitus. What do they mean?
Diabetes comes from the Greek word for "siphon", referring to the discharge of an excess quantity of urine; mellitus comes from the Latin word for "honey". Thus, diabetes mellitus refers to the passage of large amounts of sweet sugar in the urine, a cardinal diagnostic symptom of this disease.
2. What is the most prevalent form of diabetes mellitus: Type 1 or Type 2?
Type 2 is the most common form of this disease, occurring in 90-95% of patients. Also known as adult-onset diabetes, late-onset diabetes, or non-insulin-dependent diabetes, type 2 diabetes is due to a defect in insulin action (insulin resistance) combined with a defect in insulin secretion. Type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent diabetes) affects 5-10% of all people diagnosed with this disease and is caused by the immune system's destruction of the beta cells of the pancreas, causing a deficiency in insulin.
3. Which of the following are symptoms for diabetes: frequent urination, excessive thirst, increased appetite, severe gum problems, tingling hands/feet, or blurry vision?
All are symptoms of diabetes.
4. The pancreas is a glandular organ that secretes two major hormones related to metabolism of blood sugar. One hormone is insulin. Name the other.
Glucagon, which elevates blood sugar (glucose) level if it falls too low. Because its effects are the opposite of those of insulin, the two hormones together maintain the sugar metabolism of the body in balance.
5. What was the original working name given to insulin?
"Isletin" was the original name because of its being produced in the pancreatic beta cells located in the islets of Langerhans (also known as the islands of Langerhans); the name "insulin" is derived from the Latin word insula, meaning "island".
6. Vitamin D deficiency may be involved in the pathogenesis of diabetes. As few foods are naturally rich in vitamin D (outside of fish liver oils, most foods that contain vitamin D are fortified products such as fortified milk or breakfast cereals), how does the body generate vitamin D?
Exposure to sunlight or ultraviolet irradiation is the most important source of vitamin D because this triggers vitamin D synthesis in the skin.
7. World Diabetes Day is celebrated every year on November 14. What is the significance of this date?
The date of November 14 commemorates the birthday of Frederick Grant Banting (born November 14, 1891), who is credited with the discovery of insulin in 1921.
8. Which three countries have the highest number of people with diabetes?
According to the World Health Organization, India, China, and the United States have the most numbers of diabetic persons (31.7, 20.8, and 17.7 million, respectively, in the year 2000).
9. Diabetics have excess sugar (glucose) in their blood. What is the correct terminology for this condition: polydipsia, polyuria, hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, or glycosuria?
Hyperglycemia is excess sugar (glucose) in the blood. [Polydipsia is excessive thirst; polyuria is excretion of copious amounts of urine; hypoglycemia is the condition of having low levels of sugar in the blood; glycosuria is the presence of sugar in the urine.]
10. What is the preferred test for diagnosing diabetes?
The fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test is the standard test for diabetes. It requires an 8-hour fast (no food or drink except water), after which a blood draw is performed, preferably done in the morning.
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