Endocrine Disease: Diabetes

The endocrine system is made up of the glands which are structures that produce and secrete chemical substances called hormones.

The endocrine system includes the hypothalamus, pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid, pineal, thymus, adrenal, pancreas, ovaries and testes.

Lets start with Diabetes Mellitus ( also  called DM2 or age onset diabetes)  This condition seems to be related to obesity and there is a hereditary factor involved in its development.


A condition in which the beta cells of the Islets of Langerhans in the pancreas do not secrete enough of the hormone insulin, or none at all ( as in DM1)

These alteration in insulin production result in abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins.

When there are alterations in insulin production, sugar remains in the bloodstream and is excreted in the urine. The classic signs and symptoms of diabetes include:

Signs and Symptoms of DM?

Increased hunger ( poplyphagia), increased thirst ( polydipsia) and frequent urination ( polyuria). Other signs include weight loss and weakness. A urine test may reveal large quantities of sugar in the urine.

The other type of Diabetes, Diabetes 1  often appears in childhood. This more severe form of Diabetes is also call Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus. (IDDM)

The adult onset- is called non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus. (NIDDM)


What gets damaged in the body due to diabetes?

Over time, diabetes can cause damage to tissues and organs of the body. It can damage the heart, kidneys, and eyes. It can also damage blood vessels and the nervous system causing neuropathy (numbness, tingling in hands and feet)

Treatment of Mild Diabetes/pre-diabetes

A mild case of diabetes can be managed by  controlling the diet, maintaining one’s weight and exercising to burn off excess blood sugar.


As the disease progresses, diabetics are prone to urinary and vaginal infections and to blood vessel diseases that lead to vision problems, gangrene, foot and leg problems along with dental problems.

Taken in part from: Gauwitz, D. (2011) Administering Medications. Minneapolis, Minn. Mcgraw-Hill.