Diabetes mellitus (diabetes), is a group of metabolic disorders characterized by a high blood sugar level over a prolonged period of time.  Diabetes is due to either the pancreas not producing enough insulin, or the cells of the body not responding properly to the insulin produced.  There are two major types of diabetes mellitus, type 1 diabetes results from the pancreas's failure to produce enough insulin due to loss of beta cells, in turn caused by an autoimmune response.  In type 2 diabetes cells fail to respond to insulin.  The most common cause is a combination of excessive body weight and insufficient exercise.

Further reading

Vats et al (2005) Emerging Targets for Diabetes. Curr. Sci. 88(2) 241

Rother  (2007) Diabetes treatment--bridging the divide. N. Engl.J. Med. 356(15) 1499 doi:10.1056/NEJMp078030

Morimoto et all (2013) Impact of impaired insulin secretion and insulin resistance on the incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus in a Japanese population: the Saku study. Diabetologia 56 1671

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