Diabetes mellitus is a condition in which the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood is too high because the body cannot use it properly.
The main symptoms of untreated Diabetes are passing large amounts of urine, increased thirst, tiredness, weight loss and blurred vision.
Glucose - comes from the digestion of starchy foods such as bread or potatoes, from sugar and other sweet foods. The liver also makes glucose and passes it into the bloodstream.
Insulin - is a hormone produced by the pancreas. It allows glucose to enter cells where it is used as fuel by the body.
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes (or Insulin Dependent Diabetes) develops when there is a severe lack of Insulin in the body because most or all of the insulin-producing cells have been destroyed. This type of Diabetes usually appears before the age of 40 and is treated by Insulin injections and modified diet.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes (or Non insulin Dependent Diabetes) develops when the body still produces some Insulin, or when the body is resistant to the usual actions Insulin. This type of Diabetes typically occurs in people over 40. It is usually treated by diet alone or by diet and tablets or diet and Insulin.
Names and Types of Diabetes
The names used for Diabetes in various books can be confusing. The proper name is Diabetes Mellitus. This comes from the Greek - Diabetes means 'siphon' and comes from the fact that people with Diabetes pass large quantities of urine. 'Mellitus' means sweet from the fact that the urine contains glucose and tastes sweet. This used to be the way of diagnosing the disease - the Doctor would taste the urine!! We are glad that there are now better ways to make the Diagnosis!!
Diabetes can be of different types, the two main types being called Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus and Type 2 Diabetes mellitus. Type 1 is the more common type of diabetes in childhood although Type 2 is becoming increasingly recognized in children. Type 2 is the more common type of Diabetes diagnosed in adults although young adults can often get Type 1.
Type 1 used to be called 'Juvenile Diabetes' or 'Insulin-dependent Diabetes' and Type 2 used to be called ' Maturity-onset Diabetes' or 'Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes'. You may still find these old names used in books and articles.
Type 1 Diabetes is caused by the body no longer being able to produce sufficient INSULIN whereas in Type 2 Diabetes the body continues to produce insulin but it no longer works effectively (the body becomes resistant to the action of insulin). Remember Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes are completely different diseases, they just share similar names but the management and details are different.