font size

Definition of Diabetes

Diabetes: Refers to diabetes mellitus or, less often, to diabetes insipidus. Diabetes mellitus and diabetes insipidus share the name "diabetes" because they are both conditions characterized by excessive urination (polyuria).

The word "diabetes" is borrowed from the Greek word meaning "a siphon." The 2nd-century A.D. Greek physician, Aretus the Cappadocian, named the condition "diabetes." He explained that patients with it had polyuria and "passed water like a siphon."

When "diabetes" is used alone, it refers to diabetes mellitus. The two main types of diabetes mellitus -- insulin-requiring type 1 diabetes and adult-onset type 2 diabetes -- are distinct and different diseases in themselves.

For information in depth, see:

  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Insulin Therapy for Diabetes
  • Diabetes insipidus
Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=11148
Last Editorial Review: 4/27/2011 5:27:15 PM

Drug Medical Dictionary of Terms by Letter

Top RxList Drug News

Diabetes

Find tips and advances in treatment.

advertisement
advertisement
Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations