Diabetes Mellitus-Etymology, Overview, Signs and Symptoms, Diagnosis

This article gives information about the Etymology, overview, signs and symptoms of Diabetes Mellitus. Check this article to know the various aspects of Diabetes in simple words

Diabetes mellitus


The word Diabetes comes from Latin. As the term for disease characterized by the elimination of large amounts of urine (polyuria), begins to be used in the first century in the etymological sense of "step", referring to the "passage of urine" of polyuria. It was coined by the Greek philosopher Arateus of Cappadocia.

The word Mellitus (Greek mel, "honey") was added in 1675 by Thomas Willis when he noticed that the urine of a diabetic patient had a sweet taste.


The cells metabolize glucose to make it a useful form of energy, which is why the body needs to receive glucose (through food), absorb (for digestion) to circulate in the blood and distributed throughout the body, and finally, the blood from inside the cells so it can be used. The latter only occurs under the effects of insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas.

In the DM (diabetes mellitus) the pancreas does not produce or produces too little insulin (DM Type I) or the body's cells do not respond normally to the insulin that is produced (Type II DM).

This prevents or hinders the entry of glucose into the cell, increasing its levels in the blood (hyperglycemia). Chronic hyperglycemia that occurs in diabetes mellitus has a toxic effect that impairs the different organ systems and can lead to coma and death.

Diabetes mellitus is a disorder endocrine - metabolic chronic, affects the function of all organs and body systems: the process by which food is available as an energy source for the body (metabolism), blood vessels (arteries, veins and capillaries) and blood circulation, heart, kidneys, and nervous system (brain, retina, skin sensitivity and depth, etc.)..

Signs and symptoms of untreated diabetes mellitus

In the event that has not yet been diagnosed with DM or started your treatment, or who is not well treated, they may find the following signs (derived from an excess of glucose in blood, either point or continuous):

Signs and symptoms most common:

• Polyuria, polydipsia and polyphagia.
• Weight loss despite polyphagia.
• Fatigue or tiredness.
• Changes in visual acuity.

Less common signs and symptoms:

• Vaginitis in women, balanitis in men.
• Appearance of glucose in the urine or urine with a sweet taste.
• Absence of menstruation in women.
• Appearance of impotence in men.
• Abdominal pain.
• Tingling or numbness in hands and feet, dry skin, sores or wounds that heal slowly.
• Weakness.
• Irritability.
• Mood swings.
• Nausea and vomiting.
• Breath smells like apples.


It is based on single or continuous measurement (up to 2 fold) the concentration of glucose in plasma. The World Health Organization (WHO) established the following criteria in 1999 to establish accurately the diagnosis:

• Classic symptoms of the disease (polyuria, polydipsia, Polyphagia and unexplained weight loss) plus casual blood draw or random with levels greater or equal to 200mg/dl (11.1 mmol / L)

• Measuring fasting plasma glucose greater than or equal to 126mg/dl (7.0 mmol / L). Fasting is defined as not having eaten food in at least 8 hours.

• The test oral glucose tolerance (curve of glucose tolerance). The measurement in plasma is two hours after ingesting 75g of glucose in 30ml of water, the test is positive with levels greater or equal to 200 mg / dl.

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