Listen as Dr. Mestman explains what diabetes is.
Diabetes is a different situation in which the blood sugar has to be higher than the levels that we use during pregnancy. In other words, any person that has a fasting glucose before breakfast, is over 126, 125-126, the patient is considered to have diabetes mellitus. If the test is repeated and is still elevated or the other way to make the diagnosis of diabetes mellitus is to have a two-hours glucose value after a given amount of glucose solution of over 200 mg per dL.
So these numbers are the ones that we use for the diagnosis of diabetes mellitus. Diabetes mellitus is a serious condition in which the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin, the hormone insulin, that brings the blood sugar down.
So, in patients with diabetes you may have lack of insulin for two reasons – one, because the pancreas, that is the organ that produce insulin, is unable to produce insulin and is destroyed by different mechanism, what is called type 1 or "juvenile" diabetes.
And the other form of diabetes that is more common, that is type 2 diabetes in which the pancreas still produces insulin, but the insulin doesn’t work very well at the tissue level, and the insulin doesn’t work very well because it's considered that the tissues level like the liver or the muscle or the fat tissue are resistant to the action of insulin, for mechanisms by which we are not very familiar.
About Dr.Mestman, M.D.:
Dr. Jorge Mestman attended the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina and received his medical degree in 1955. He then came to Los Angeles to perform his internship and residency training at the Hospital of the Good Samaritan. Dr. Mestman completed his fellowship training in endocrinology and metabolism at USC. In addition to authoring over a hundred journal articles and book chapters on diabetes and thyroid disease, Dr. Mestman is the recipient of several prestigious honors, including the 2002 Norbert Frienkel Lecture Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Field of Diabetes and Pregnancy by the American Diabetes Association. He is currently a Professor of Medicine and Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Keck School of Medicine at USC and the Director of the USC Center for Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases.
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