Diabetes mellitus, or simply diabetes, is a group of metabolic diseases in which a person has high blood glucose (blood sugar), either because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced or because the pancreas does not produce enough insulin.
In the United States alone, 25.8 million people or 8.3% of the population have diabetes, 7.0 million of which have undiagnosed diabetes. In 2010, about 1.9 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed in population over 20 years. It is said that if this trend continues, 1 in 3 Americans would be diabetic by 2050, making it one of the most common medical illnesses in history.
The main symptoms of diabetes are three – polydipsia, polyphagia and polyuria. These mean increased thirst, increased hunger and increased frequency of urination. In addition, patients complain of feeling very tired and weight loss and loss of muscle bulk. Due to lack or insufficiency of insulin, there is high blood glucose in the body. Excess glucose in the blood can damage the blood vessels, making diabetics at risk of cardiovascular diseases. All forms of diabetes may lead to other several long-term complications like kidney damage, nerve damage, eye damage and blindness, impotence and stroke.