A to Z: Diabetes
May also be called: Diabetes Mellitus
Diabetes is a disease that affects how the body uses glucose, a sugar found in the foods we eat. Glucose is the main source of energy for the body's cells.
More to Know
Glucose level in the blood is controlled by a hormone, or special chemical in the body, called insulin. Insulin is made by the pancreas, and helps glucose enter the cells.
There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas doesn't make enough insulin. In type 2 diabetes, the body can't respond normally to the insulin that is made. Both types cause glucose levels in the blood to rise, leading to symptoms like increased urination (peeing), extreme thirst, and unexplained weight loss.
Keep in Mind
Diabetes is a chronic condition, which means it is long-lasting. But the good news is that the right treatment and care can keep diabetes under control and help prevent any long-term effects.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.