What Is Diabetes Mellitus?

By jolene
Reviewed: Dr. Gromatzky
Mar 21, 2020
Medical Expert Medical Expert

Diabetes mellitus is a term used to describe a group of metabolic disorders characterized by persistently high blood sugar levels. This causes various issues and if left untreated, can cause many complications. Diabetes can occur when the pancreas is not producing adequate insulin or if there is insulin resistance.

Diabetes can be divided into type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes. In 2017, the estimated global economic cost of diabetes related issues was US$727 billion. In the United States in 2012, diabetes cost almost US$245 billion. Diabetics have medical expenditure that is on average 2.3 times higher.

1. Types

Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) occurs due to the failure of the pancreas to produce adequate insulin because of the loss of beta cells in the pancreas. T1DM was previously known as juvenile diabetes as it generally begins in the younger population. The beta cells are lost due to an autoimmune response. Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is due to insulin resistance and is previously known as adult-onset diabetes. However, since it is increasingly common among the pediatric population due to high obesity rates, this term is now rarely used. T2DM is the commonest type of diabetes. Gestational diabetes occurs when a pregnant woman without a history of diabetes develops high levels of blood sugar during pregnancy.

Diabetes Mellitus

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