Our Diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2) Main Article provides a comprehensive look at the who, what, when and how of Diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2)
Medical Definition of Diabetes mellitus
The two main types of diabetes correspond to these two mechanisms and are called insulin dependent (type 1) and non-insulin dependent (type 2) diabetes. In type 1 diabetes there is no insulin or not enough of it. In type 2 diabetes, there is generally enough insulin but the cells upon which it should act are not normally sensitive to its action.
The signs and symptoms of both types of diabetes include increased urine output and decreased appetite as well as fatigue. Diabetes is diagnosed by blood glucose testing, the glucose tolerance test, and testing of the level of glycosylated hemoglobin (glycohemoglobin or hemoglobin A1C). The mode of treatment depends on the type of the diabetes.
The major complications of diabetes include dangerously elevated blood sugar, abnormally low blood sugar due to diabetes medications, and disease of the blood vessels which can damage the eyes, kidneys, nerves, and heart.
Last Editorial Review: 1/26/2017
Back to MedTerms online medical dictionary A-Z List
Need help identifying pills and medications?