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O que é diabetes

Batizada pelos médicos de "diabetes mellitus", a doença pode ser de dois tipos e ocorre quando há um aumento do açúcar no sangue

Publicado em 19/09/2013

Diabetes
No tipo 1 as células do pâncreas que fabricam insulina, o hormônio que ajuda a glicose a entrar nas células, simplesmente foram destruídas.
 
Já no tipo 2 ou a produção dela não é suficiente ou as células simplesmente não conseguem aproveitá-la da forma correta - a chamada resistência à insulina.
 
Nos dois casos, o excesso de glicose em circulação desencadeia várias complicações que, se não forem controladas, podem levar à morte.
 
O diabete é um dos problemas mais graves de saúde pública, pois responde por 40% das mortes por doenças cardiovasculares - a primeira causa de morte no mundo. No Brasil ele atinge cerca de 10% das pessoas entre 30 e 69 anos. Mas apenas metade delas sabem que são portadoras do distúrbio.
 

De onde vem o nome? 

O termo diabetes foi cunhado lá pelo ano 70, na Grécia antiga, quando Areteu da Capadócia descreveu a doença pela primeira vez. Ele comparou o funcionamento do organismo desses pacientes a um sifão, o significado da palavra grega: comiam e bebiam muito, mas toda a energia que entrava pela boca ia embora literalmente pelo ralo com o excesso de urina. Já mellitus foi incorporado bem mais tarde. 
 
Em 1670 o médico inglês Thomas Willis provou a urina de indivíduos que apresentavam sintomas parecidos e descobriu que ela era muito doce. Quase dois séculos depois, em 1815, o químico francês M. Chevreul demonstrou que o açúcar dos diabéticos era glicose. Daí os médicos começaram a experimentar a urina de quem tinha suspeitas da doença. Ela foi batizada então de diabetes açucarada ou diabetes mellitus, palavra de origem latina que quer dizer mel ou adocicado.

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