Medical Dictionary: Diabetes Mellitus


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Medical dictionaries: Medical dictionary, Medical malpractice dictionary, Medical Acronymns/Abbreviations
Diabetes Mellitus: Another name for Diabetes.
Diabetes Mellitus (condition): Failing or reduced ability of the body to handle sugars.
Diabetes Mellitus (condition): Diabetes is a failure or reduction in the body's ability to handle sugar. It is a common disease with around 4% (or 8 million) Americans having diabetes. The single greatest problem with diabetes diagnosis is the failure to diagnose it, and the estimates of those who have the disease but are currently undiagnosed add another 4% or 8 million Americans. So only about half the people who currently have diabetes are diagnosed. Most people have Type 2 diabetes or "adult diabetes" rather than the insulin-requiring Type 1 diabetes which afflicts the young. This number does not even include those who currently have impaired glucose tolerance which is a milder precursor to Type 2 diabetes.

There are also various rare secondary types of diabetes caused by an underlying condition such as hemochromatosis, PCOS, or other conditions or medications.

Diabetes Mellitus: Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism--the way our bodies use digested food for growth and energy. Most of the food we eat is broken down into glucose, the form of sugar in the blood. Glucose is the main source of fuel for the body.

After digestion, glucose passes into the bloodstream, where it is used by cells for growth and energy. For glucose to get into cells, insulin must be present. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas, a large gland behind the stomach.

When we eat, the pancreas is supposed to automatically produce the right amount of insulin to move glucose from blood into our cells. In people with diabetes, however, the pancreas either produces little or no insulin, or the cells do not respond appropriately to the insulin that is produced. Glucose builds up in the blood, overflows into the urine, and passes out of the body. Thus, the body loses its main source of fuel even though the blood contains large amounts of glucose. 1

More information on medical condition: Diabetes:

Diabetes Mellitus (symptom): Another name for Diabetes-like symptoms.
Diabetes Mellitus (symptom): Symptoms similar to those of diabetes
Diabetes Mellitus (symptom): The high blood sugars and other diabetes-like symptoms need not necessarily always mean diabetes, or may also occur due to an underlying condition causing diabetes For more information see misdiagnosis of diabetes and underlying conditions of diabetes. Diabetes is a very serious illness. Any diabetes-like symptoms need immediate professional medical advice for diagnosis and treatment.

More information on symptom: Diabetes-like symptoms:



Footnotes:
1. excerpt from Diabetes Overview: NIDDK

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