Diabetes mellitus

Sugar, also called glucose, is an important energy source for the human body. In order to use that energy, the body needs the hormone insulin. In diabetes mellitus, commonly referred to as diabetes, not enough insulin is produced or it doesn't function properly. This results in a high level of glucose, which stays in the blood and cannot be used as energy. Two types of diabetes can be distinguished: type 1 and type 2 diabetes. While type 1 diabetes is characterized by an early onset in children, type 2 diabetes typically develops in adults.

In more detail, can be caused by low levels of insulin production by the beta cells of the pancreas, or by reduced sensitivity of tissue cells to insulin. Both causes prevent glucose from being absorbed by cells, causing high blood sugar, also called hyperglycemia.

High blood glucose levels make it difficult for the kidneys to recover all the glucose from nascent urine, resulting in glucose being lost in urine. High glucose levels also result in less water being reabsorbed by the kidneys, causing high amounts of urine to be produced; this may result in dehydration.

Over time, high blood glucose levels can cause nerve damage to the eyes and peripheral body tissues, as well as damage to the kidneys and cardiovascular system.

Diabetes can be managed by regular blood sugar measurements, insulin injections, and dietary changes.