Diabetes mellitus

Diabetes mellitus (Greek. diabetes a syphon from dia through + bainein to go) is a condition in which the body either does not produce enough, or does not properly respond to insulin. When used alone, diabetes usually refers to diabetes mellitus.

Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas. It enables cells to absorb glucose in order to turn it into energy. In diabetes, the body either fails to properly respond to its own insulin, does not make enough insulin, or both. This causes glucose to accumulate in the blood, often leading to various complications.


Type 1diabetes

It is also called insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) and is characterised by insufficient insulin production by the pancreas. The patients tend to have higher incidence of micorangiopathy (affecting the retinae, kidneys and basement membrane of the arterioles throughout the body).

Type 2 diabetes

Main article: Type 2 diabetes mellitus

It is also called non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) and adult onset diabetes. In this variety the body does not use insulin efficiently and is also called "insulin resistance. This form of diabetes is more common among of two types. It is classically accompanied by macroangiopathy leading to premature atherosclerosis (myocardial infarction) and cerebrovascular accidents.

Criteria for diagnosis

  • Classic symptoms of diabetes mellitus (polyuria , polydipsia, polyphagia), weight loss and random plasma glucose greater than or equal to 200mg/dL.
  • Fasting plasma glucose greater than or equal to 126mg/dL.
  • Two hour post glucose load (75g) plasma glucose greater than or equal to 200mg/dL and confirmed by a repeat test.

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