Home > Health A – Z > Diabetes

Diabetes (Diabetes Mellitus)

A disease in which the body does not control the amount of glucose (a type of sugar) in the blood and the kidneys make a large amount of urine. This disease occurs when the body does not make enough insulin or does not use it the way it should.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: NIH - National Cancer Institute)

About Diabetes

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a complex group of diseases with a variety of causes. People with diabetes have high blood glucose, also called high blood sugar or hyperglycemia.

Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism - the way the body uses digested food for energy. The digestive tract breaks down carbohydrates - sugars and starches found in many foods - into glucose, a form of sugar that enters the bloodstream. With the help of the hormone insulin, cells throughout the body absorb glucose and use it for energy. Diabetes develops when the body doesn't make enough insulin or is not able to use insulin effectively, or both...Read more about Diabetes NIH - National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Oral anti‐diabetic agents for women with pre‐existing diabetes mellitus, impaired glucose tolerance or previous gestational diabetes mellitus

Pregnant women with type 1 or type 2 diabetes are at a greater risk of adverse outcomes in pregnancy, such as miscarriage or large babies and preterm birth. Being pregnant can trigger diabetes in women with impaired glucose tolerance or can accelerate the development of diabetic complications in women who are already diabetic. Women who have gestational diabetes are at risk of developing diabetes later in life. This means that management is important for women with diabetes and also for women with impaired glucose tolerance or previously diagnosed gestational diabetes.

Interventions for improving adherence to treatment recommendations in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus

Twenty‐one studies assessing interventions to improve adherence to treatment recommendations, not to diet or exercise, in people with type 2 diabetes in different settings (outpatients, community, hospitals, primary care) were included. There were many outcomes evaluated in these studies and a variety of adherence measurement instruments was used. Nurse led interventions, home aids, diabetes education and pharmacy led interventions showed a very small effect on some outcomes including metabolic control. No data on mortality or morbidity, nor on quality of life could be found.

Pharmacotherapy for weight loss in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus

Obesity is closely related to type 2 diabetes and weight reduction is an important part of the care delivered to obese persons with diabetes. This review of drugs for weight loss among adults with type 2 diabetes revealed weight loss of between 2.0 and 5.1 kg for fluoxetine, orlistat and sibutramine at follow‐up of up to 57 weeks. The long‐term effects remain uncertain. Adverse events were common in all three drugs: gastrointestinal side effects with orlistat; tremor, somnolence, and sweating with fluoxetine; and palpitations with sibutramine. There were few studies examining other drugs used for weight loss in populations with diabetes.

See all (2862)

Summaries for consumers

Oral anti‐diabetic agents for women with pre‐existing diabetes mellitus, impaired glucose tolerance or previous gestational diabetes mellitus

Pregnant women with type 1 or type 2 diabetes are at a greater risk of adverse outcomes in pregnancy, such as miscarriage or large babies and preterm birth. Being pregnant can trigger diabetes in women with impaired glucose tolerance or can accelerate the development of diabetic complications in women who are already diabetic. Women who have gestational diabetes are at risk of developing diabetes later in life. This means that management is important for women with diabetes and also for women with impaired glucose tolerance or previously diagnosed gestational diabetes.

Interventions for improving adherence to treatment recommendations in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus

Twenty‐one studies assessing interventions to improve adherence to treatment recommendations, not to diet or exercise, in people with type 2 diabetes in different settings (outpatients, community, hospitals, primary care) were included. There were many outcomes evaluated in these studies and a variety of adherence measurement instruments was used. Nurse led interventions, home aids, diabetes education and pharmacy led interventions showed a very small effect on some outcomes including metabolic control. No data on mortality or morbidity, nor on quality of life could be found.

Insulin degludec (Tresiba) for diabetes mellitus: Overview

Insulin degludec (trade name: Tresiba) has been approved in Germany since January 2013 for the treatment of type 1 and type 2 diabetes in adults. The drug is a long-acting insulin. It is used to regulate blood sugar levels for up to 24 hours.

See all (353)

Terms to know

Glucagon
A hormone produced by the pancreas that increases the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood.
Glucose (Dextrose)
A simple sugar the body manufactures from carbohydrates in the diet. Glucose is the body's main source of energy.
Hyperglycemia
Higher than normal amount of glucose (a type of sugar) in the blood. Hyperglycemia can be a sign of diabetes or other conditions. Also called high blood sugar.
Hypoglycemia
Also called low blood glucose, a condition that occurs when one's blood glucose is lower than normal, usually below 70 mg/dL. Signs include hunger, nervousness, shakiness, perspiration, dizziness or light-headedness, sleepiness, and confusion.
Insulin
A hormone that helps the body use glucose for energy. The beta cells of the pancreas make insulin. When the body cannot make enough insulin, insulin is taken by injection or other means.
Insulin Resistance
The body's inability to respond to and use the insulin it produces. Insulin resistance may be linked to obesity, hypertension, and high levels of fat in the blood.
Pancreas
An organ that makes insulin and enzymes for digestion. The pancreas is located behind the lower part of the stomach and is about the size of a hand.

More about Diabetes

Photo of an adult

Also called: DM

See Also: Type 2 Diabetes, Type 1 Diabetes, Gestational Diabetes, Blood Glucose Montoring

Other terms to know: See all 7
Glucagon, Glucose (Dextrose), Hyperglycemia

Keep up with systematic reviews on Diabetes:

RSS

PubMed Health Blog...

read all...