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Diabetes Mellitus

What is Diabetes Mellitus?

  • Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease with disordered metabolism.

  • Occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or the body cannot effectively use the insulin.

  • Leading to an increased concentration of glucose in the blood

  • Increases the risk of cerebrovascular disease, heart diseases, foot gangrene, retinopathy, nephropathy and neuropathy.


Diabetes in Hong Kong

  • Top ten of the killer in Hong Kong

  • One in ten of the adult suffers from Diabetes

  • 728 died of diabetes in 2004 : 43% and 57% Female (DHHK 2006)


Causes of Diabetes Mellitus

  • No definite cause found yet

  • Genetic or personal reason

  • Some drug or disease - cause pancreatic damage / affect pancreatic function in secreting insulin


Risk factors

  • Genetic factor: Family history of DM

  • Obesity

  • Getting older usually after 45 years of age

  • History of gestational diabetes or having big baby

  • Lack of exercise

  • Smoking, drinking too much alcohol

  • People with cardiovascular diseases

  • People who has endocrine disease, pancreatic disease; and those taking steroid.


Common symptoms

Many notice the disease only when the complications arise     


  • >70% do not know they got DM

  • When blood sugar is high

   -  Frequent urination, especially at night

   -  Thirsty all the time

   -  General tiredness

   -  Weight loss

   -  Blurred

  • Increase appetite and feel hungry easily




  • Eat balanced diet (more high fiber food: vegetable, fruit, cereals, whole grain)

  • Do regular exercise

  • Maintain ideal body weight

  • Avoid eating too much at one time to prevent accumulation of calorie and body fat

  • Avoid food that is too sweet and too oily

  • Parents should encourage children to develop good eating habit



  • Early stage: consult dietitian, healthy diet, exercise

  • If unsatisfactory control: Oral hypoglycaemic agent

  • Later stage: may need insulin injection

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