diabetes: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (dī"u-bē'tis, -tēz), [key]
— n. Pathol.
  1. any of several disorders characterized by increased urine production.
  2. Also calleda disorder of carbohydrate metabolism, usually occurring in genetically predisposed individuals, characterized by inadequate production or utilization of insulin and resulting in excessive amounts of glucose in the blood and urine, excessive thirst, weight loss, and in some cases progressive destruction of small blood vessels leading to such complications as infections and gangrene of the limbs or blindness.
  3. Also calleda severe form of diabetes mellitus in which insulin production by the beta cells of the pancreas is impaired, usually resulting in dependence on externally administered insulin, the onset of the disease typically occurring before the age of 25.
  4. Also calleda mild, sometimes asymptomatic form of diabetes mellitus characterized by diminished tissue sensitivity to insulin and sometimes by impaired beta cell function, exacerbated by obesity and often treatable by diet and exercise.
  5. Also calledincreased urine production caused by inadequate secretion of vasopressin by the pituary gland.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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