Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a serious condition with complications that include stroke, blindness, heart disease, kidney failure and possible amputation of limbs. DM is not a single disease but a group of entities characterised by persistently high blood sugar (chronic hyperglycemia) and abnormality in the metabolism (handling) of carbohydrates, proteins and fats within the body. DM occurs due to lack of the blood sugar lowering pancreatic hormone insulin or insulin’s ineffectiveness or both.
Diabetes arises from the Greek designation for siphon because people with diabetes can pass lots of urine and mellitus arises from the Latin term for honey as the urine is sweet.
In the 17th century, the English doctor, Thomas Willis described DM thus: “pissing evil” … “the urine is wonderfully sweet, as if it were imbued with honey or sugar.”
The sweet urine of DM had been previously described by the ancient Hindus and others.
Sanders LJ. From Thebes to Toronto and the 21st Century: An Incredible Journey. Diabetes Spectrum, 2001 15:56-60. Go to reference
Major symptoms of DM