Diabetes is a disease known to the medical world since time immemorial. Its incidence is much higher at present than ever in the past. This is especially true in the case of more advanced countries of the world due to widespread affluence and more generous food supply.
The most commonly-used screening tests are the determination of the fasting blood glucose level and the two-hour postprandial that is after a meal. The normal fasting blood sugar content is 80 to 120 mg. per 100 ml. of blood and this can go up to a level of 180 mg. per 100 ml. of blood two hours after meals.
Anything above these norms can be termed diabetic levels. Diabetes occurs in all age groups, from young infants to the elderly. The greatest incidence occurs in middle or older aged persons. It is estimated that 80% - 85% of all individuals with diabetes mellitus are 45 years of age or older.
A diabetic feels hungry and thirsty most of the time, does not put on weight, though eats every now and then, and gets tired easily, both physically and mentally. The person looks pale, may suffer from anemia, constipation, intense itching around the genital organs, palpitations and general weakness. They may feel drowsy and has a lower sex urge than a normal person.
Grief, worry, and anxiety also have a deep influence on the metabolism and may cause sugar to appear in the urine. The disease may be associated with some other grave organic disorders like cancer, tuberculosis, and cerebral disease. Heredity is also a major factor in the development of the disease. It has been rightly said, "Heredity is like a cannon and obesity pulls the trigger."