Basu, Ananda Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Nutrition, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.
Nandy, Debashis K. Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Nutrition, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.
Last reviewed:May 2017
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- Diabetes mellitus
- Type 1 diabetes
- Type 2 diabetes
- Genetic involvement
- Exocrine pancreatic deficiency
- Other causes
- Diabetes insipidus
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
Any of various abnormal metabolic conditions characterized by excessive levels of sugar glucose in the blood and tissues of the body, as well as excessive urinary output, thirst, and hunger; in common usage, usually refers to diabetes mellitus. Diabetes refers to either of two unrelated diseases: diabetes mellitus (see illustration), which includes type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes, type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes, and gestational diabetes (the latter manifesting temporarily in some pregnant women, but usually clearing up after delivery); and diabetes insipidus. Diabetes mellitus is a serious disease in which the pancreatic hormone insulin is either not produced or not properly used by the body. Insulin is necessary to convert sugar, starches, and other foods into the energy needed for daily life; thus, diabetes mellitus is characterized as a chronic metabolic disorder with hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and abnormal energy metabolism. Diabetes insipidus results from a deficiency of an antidiuretic hormone called vasopressin or from resistance to its action. The term diabetes derives from the Greek word for siphon, which is a reference to the copious urine excretion that characterizes this affliction. Globally, diabetes is one of the most prevalent noncommunicable diseases. It is the fourth or fifth leading cause of death in most industrialized countries and a fast-rising cause of mortality and morbidity in other locations. The causes of diabetes are a combination of genetic, autoimmune, and environmental factors, and the disease has no cure. See also: Diabetes mellitus; Energy metabolism; Glucose; Hormone; Insulin; Metabolic disorders; Type 1 diabetes; Type 2 diabetes
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