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  • diabetes mellitus
  • unspecified diabetes mellitus


A disease in which the body does not properly control the amount of sugar in the blood. As a result, the level of sugar in the blood is too high. This disease occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin or does not use it properly.

Definition from:  National Cancer Institute dictionaryThis link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference.

Diabetes mellitus is a disease characterized by an inability to make or use the hormone insulin. Insulin is needed by cells to metabolize glucose, the body's main source of chemical energy. Type I diabetes, also called insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, is usually caused by an autoimmune destruction of insulin-producing cells. Type II diabetes, also called non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, occurs when cells become resistant to the effects of insulin.

Definition from: Talking Glossary of Genetic TermsThis link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference. from the National Human Genome Research Institute

Related discussion in the Handbook

See also Understanding Medical Terminology.

Published: September 28, 2015