Diabetes mellitus, or simply diabetes
, is a group of metabolic diseases in which a person has high blood sugar, either because the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced. This high blood sugar produces the classical symptoms of polyuria, (frequent urination), polydypsia (increased thirst), and polyphagia (increased hunger).
There are three main types of diabetes mellitus (DM).
- Type 1 DM results from the body's failure to produce insulin, and currently requires the person to inject insulin or wear an insulin pump. This form was previously referred to as "insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus" (IDDM) or "juvenile diabetes".
- Type 2 DM results from insulin resistance, a condition in which cells fail to use insulin properly, sometimes combined with an absolute insulin deficiency. This form was previously referred to as non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) or "adult-onset diabetes".
- The third main form, gestational diabetes, occurs when pregnant women without a previous diagnosis of diabetes develop a high blood glucose level. It may precede development of type 2 DM.
Other forms of diabetes mellitus include congenital diabetes, which is due to genetic defects of insulin secretion, cystic-fibrosis related diabetes, steroid diabetes induced by high doses of glucocorticoids, and several forms of monogenic diabetes.Untreated, diabetes can cause many complications. Acute complications include and nonketotic hyperosmoral coma. Serious long-term complications include cardiovascular disease, chronic renal failure, and diabetic retinopathy (retinal damage). Adequate treatment of diabetes is thus important, as well as blood pressure control and lifestyle factors such as stopping smoking and maintaining a healthy body weight.