Diabetes mellitus is a condition which is characterized by constant and increased hunger (polyphagia), frequent urination (polyuria), increased thirst (polydipsia), unexplained weight loss, drastic weight gain, weakness, fatigue, flu-like symptoms, blurred vision, slowly healing cuts and bruises, tingling in extremities, loss of feeling in hands or feet, and recurring infections. These recurring infections often involve gum infections, skin infections, bladder infections, or vaginal infections.
Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes mellitus which develops during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes mellitus presents complications to both the woman and the infant. Risks to the infant include decreased or increased birth size, low blood sugar, high red blood cell mass (polycythemia), low blood calcium levels (hypocalcemia), low levels of magnesium (hypomagnesemia), childhood obesity, and the risk of diabetes later in life, and jaundice. The mother is at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes mellitus has also been known as juvenile diabetes, Insulin Dependant Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM), and diabetes mellitus type 1. Diabetes mellitus is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks the insulin producing beta cells which are found in the part of the pancreas known as the islets of Langerhans. Unlike other forms of diabetes mellitus, a person with type 1 does not produce any insulin. Type 1 diabetes mellitus requires life long injections of synthetic insulin.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a form of diabetes that appears to be caused by lifestyle influences, although there is also a genetic component associated with the development of diabetes mellitus type 2. Factors that may make a person more likely to develop type 2 diabetes melitus include obesity, hypertension, higher levels of cholesterol, and the metabolic syndrome that is alternatively known as Syndrome X, Reavan's Syndrome, or CHAOS.
Prediabetes is a condition which may be diagnosed in a person before the full onset of diabetes mellitus. It is not always diagnosed, since the condition is often asymptomatic in this stage. Prediabetes is diagnosed by comparing blood glucose levels determined through a fasting glucose test or a glucose tolerance test. These are the same clinical tests used to identify other forms of diabetes mellitus, although in a person with prediabetes the levels will not depart as radically from the norm as in a person who does have diabetes mellitus.