Diabetes Mellitus

High Blood Sugar

Your Health Guide in the Cayman Islands

Understanding Diabetes Mellitus: A Comprehensive Guide

Diabetes mellitus, commonly referred to as diabetes, is a group of metabolic disorders characterized by prolonged high blood sugar levels. This article provides an in-depth look into its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options.

What is Diabetes Mellitus?

Diabetes Mellitus is a chronic medical condition where the body fails to produce enough insulin or cannot use insulin effectively, resulting in increased blood sugar (glucose) levels.1

Etiology: Causes of Diabetes Mellitus

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes, previously known as juvenile diabetes, results from the body's failure to produce insulin due to the autoimmune destruction of the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas.2

Type 2 Diabetes

Representing 90-95% of all diabetes cases, type 2 diabetes arises when the body becomes resistant to insulin or doesn't produce enough insulin. Factors leading to type 2 diabetes include genetics, obesity, and lifestyle choices.3

Gestational Diabetes

This form of diabetes occurs in pregnant women and can lead to complications for both mother and child if not managed. It usually disappears after giving birth but increases the mother's risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.4

Symptoms of Diabetes Mellitus

Symptoms often develop slowly and can be easy to overlook. Common symptoms include:

  • Increased thirst and hunger
  • Frequent urination
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Slow-healing sores
  • Frequent infections

Diagnosing Diabetes Mellitus

Doctors use several tests to diagnose diabetes:

  • Glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test: Measures the average blood sugar level over the past two to three months.5
  • Fasting blood sugar test: A blood sample is taken after an overnight fast.
  • Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT): Blood sugar levels are tested before and after drinking a sugary solution.
  • Random blood sugar test: A blood sample is taken at a random time, regardless of when you last ate.

Treatment for Diabetes Mellitus

Treatment varies based on the type of diabetes:

Type 1 Diabetes

Managed with:

  • Insulin therapy
  • Regular blood sugar monitoring
  • Healthy eating and regular exercise

Type 2 Diabetes

Managed with:

  • Diet and exercise
  • Diabetes medications or insulin therapy
  • Blood sugar monitoring

Gestational Diabetes

Managed with:

  • Diet and exercise
  • Insulin therapy if needed
  • Regular monitoring of blood sugar

It's essential to work closely with your healthcare team to develop a personalized treatment plan and ensure optimal management of the condition.


Diabetes mellitus is a significant health concern worldwide. Early detection, effective management, and lifestyle modifications are crucial in preventing complications and ensuring a healthy life for those affected by this condition.

To learn more, call 623-1000 to book an appointment with our medical expert or Text/WhatsApp Dr. Kwinter (324-2424) directly.


  1. American Diabetes Association. (2020). Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes - 2020. Diabetes Care, 43(Supplement 1), S1-S212.
  2. Atkinson, M. A., Eisenbarth, G. S., & Michels, A. W. (2014). Type 1 diabetes. The Lancet, 383(9911), 69-82.
  3. Chen, L., Magliano, D. J., & Zimmet, P. Z. (2011). The worldwide epidemiology of type 2 diabetes mellitus-present and future perspectives. Nature Reviews Endocrinology, 8(4), 228-236.
  4. American Diabetes Association. (2018). 2. Classification and Diagnosis of Diabetes: Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes - 2018. Diabetes Care, 41(Supplement 1), S13-S27.
  5. International Diabetes Federation. (2019). IDF Diabetes Atlas, 9th edn. Brussels, Belgium.

Family Medicine and Urgent Care

Full Scope Family Medicine with Care for All Ages in the Cayman Islands

Dr. David Kwinter, MD, CCFP(EM)


Dr. Kwinter has extensive experience working in a rural general practice, which included his own family medicine clinic and a regional single-physician emergency department. He provides comprehensive medical care for all people, ages, and presentations.

Dr. Kwinter's services include:

Dr. Kwinter invites you to make an appointment to meet him in his clinic and to see how he can help ensure you achieve your health goals.

Clinical Chief of Primary Care and Concierge Medicine.

Call our clinic (623-1000) or Text/WhatsApp Dr. Kwinter (324-2424) or Request more info