Diabetes, often referred to by doctors as diabetes mellitus, is a group of metabolic disorders that affect the way the body metabolizes, or uses, digested food to make glucose, the main source of fuel for the body. This can be as a result of the pancreas not producing enough insulin or, in some cases, the failure of the body’s cells to respond appropriately to the insulin that is produced.
Because insulin is needed by the body to convert glucose into energy, these failures result in abnormally high levels of glucose accumulating in the blood causing what doctors reference as "high blood sugar".
In some cases, diabetes may be a result of other conditions, such as genetic syndromes, chemicals, drugs, malnutrition, infections, viruses, or other illnesses.
There are three main types of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2 and gestational (during pregnancy only).
Diabetes is a serious disease, which can become life-threatening if not controlled. It can lead to severe, long-term complications that can affect every system and part of the body, including: