What Is Diabetes Mellitus?

diabetes definition with magnifying glass

Too much sugar in your blood stream.

If you don’t have enough insulin, sugar accumulates in your blood stream and you have diabetes.

To put it simply, you have Diabetes Mellitus when too much sugar is circulating in your blood stream. Sugar, also known as glucose, is an important and necessary fuel for our bodies. So necessary, that both the liver and the kidneys produce it naturally; however, we get the most sugar from the foods we eat.

Blood sugar levels normally stay in a certain range. In other words, your body has a system that regulates how much sugar is circulating in your blood stream. That system centers on a hormone called insulin, which is released from cells located in the pancreas.

Insulin speeds up the transfer of sugar from your blood and delivers it into your muscle, liver and fat tissues where it is used as fuel or stored for your body to use later.

Insulin and Glucose work throughout the body

If you don’t have enough insulin, sugar accumulates in your blood stream and you have diabetes. There are different factors that determine why you don’t have enough insulin, and those factors determine if you have type 1, type 2, gestational diabetes or other types of diabetes.

Self-assessment Quiz

Self assessment quizzes are available for topics covered in this website. To find out how much you have learned about  Facts about Diabetes, take our self assessment quiz when you have completed this section.  The quiz is multiple choice. Please choose the single best answer to each question. At the end of the quiz, your score will display. If your score is over 70% correct, you are doing very well. If your score is less than 70%, you can return to this section and review the information.

©2007-2014 Collective work Martha Nolte Kennedy,
The Regents of the University of California.
All rights reserved.