Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is also known as "honey-sweet diabetes" because of the sweet breath a person with diabetes mellitus can have. DM is a disease in which a person has an increase in the amount of sugar in their blood. DM interfers with the body's ability to metabolize carbohydrates, proteins and fats from food. In a healthy individual, the pancreas releases enough insulin to metabolize the carbohydrates, proteins and fats in the body according to the specific needs of the individual. DM is caused by a combination of hereditary and environmental factors. Signs and symptoms of DM is excessive thirst, hunger, urination and weight loss.

Types of Diabetes Mellitus (DM)

1. Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM or Type 1) - IDDM is also known as "childhood diabetes" because it usually occurs before a child is age sixteen. IDDM means that insulin by injection is required to manage the disease. In IDDM there is an inadequate amount of insulin that can enter into the body's muscles and adipose (fat) tissue. There are four hormones found in the body that raises blood glucose levels these hormones are glucagon, growth hormone, epinephrine and cortisol. Insulin lowers blood sugar levels.

2. Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (NIDDM or Type 2) - NIDDM is also known as "adult-onset diabetes" because the onset of the disease is when an individual is over the age of forty typically. NIDDM means that the body is not dependent on insulin by injection to manage the disease. Typically oral insulin supplements are given. These medications are taken by mouth.

3. Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) - GDM is also known as "pregnancy induced diabetes" because this disease only occurs during pregnancy. The body can not produce enough insulin for the individual and fetus. Insulin by injection must be given due to the fact that oral medications can not cross the barrier to reach the fetus. Women with GDM have a greater risk of developing NIDDM than a woman who does not have GDM.

4. Impaired Glucose Tolerance - Impaired Glucose Intolerance is also known as borderline diabetes because it is when an individuals blood sugar level is 140 or greater but less than 200 without the treatment of insulin injection or oral medications.

The criteria for Diabetes Mellitus (DM) diagnosis is a blood sugar level greater than 200 with excessive thirst, urination, weight loss and a fasting blood glucose level of 140 or greater. A blood sugar level of 115 is considered normal.