Diabetes mellitus is a chronic metabolic disorder in which the body either doesn’t produce enough insulin to keep blood sugar at normal levels (type 1, or insulin-dependent diabetes), or the cells do not properly respond to the insulin(type 2, or non-insulin-dependent diabetes). The normal fasting blood sugar is 80-120 mg/dL; this can go up to a level of 160 mg/dL two hours after meals. Symptoms of diabetes include increased thirst and frequent urination (especially at night), unexplained increase in appetite, unexplained weight loss, fatigue
, erection problems, blurred vision, and tingling or numbness in the hands or feet.
People who have diabetes are at increased risk for many serious health problems, including hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) and heart problems, eye problems that can lead to blindness, kidney problems, circulation and nerve problems.
Diabetes is treated with diet and lifestyle changes and with medications (such as insulin or oral medications). If blood sugar levels are kept within the recommended range, the risk for many complications from diabetes decreases.