Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes Mellitus Chapter Overview

Jennifer Kong

Chapter Learning Objectives

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  1. Define diabetes mellitus and differentiate between Type 1, Type 2, and gestational.
  2. Explain the differing roles of insulin and insulin receptors in the types of diabetes.
  3. Identify histological features in the pancreas associated with diabetes.
  4. List the diverse clinical manifestations of the onset of diabetes and explain the pathophysiology behind each.
  5. Correlate consequences of uncontrolled diabetes in the cardiovascular, neural, and renal systems.
  6. Briefly describe how interprofessional collaboration of health care professions work towards diagnosis and management of diabetes and its consequences.

Diabetes mellitus is a dysfunction of either insulin production and secretion (Type 1) or the tissue’s insensitivity to the insulin hormone (Type 2 & gestational). As a consequence, glucose can not get into most cells of the body resulting in high blood sugar and cells ‘starving’ for glucose.  The blood sugars become abnormally high, regardless of whether when or what a person has eaten.

An increasingly common disease, diabetes mellitus is diagnosed in both adults and children; however, millions more adults have diabetes but have not yet been diagnosed. In addition, the population as a whole is approaching pre-diabetic levels, a condition in which blood glucose levels are abnormally high, but not yet high enough to be classified as diabetes.

This chapter is subdivided into:

  • Pre-test
  • Anatomy & histology of endocrine pancreas and glucose homeostasis
  • Normal gross anatomy & histology of pancreas
  • Type I (1) diabetes
  • Type II (2) diabetes
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Diagnosis of diabetes
  • Consequences of chronic high sugar in other systems
  • Interprofessional collaboration during care of diabetes
  • Management and treatment of diabetes
  • Consequences of untreated high blood sugar:  diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Video of patient and family’s life with Type I diabetes:  the McKinstry family
  • Chapter summary
  • Post-test


The following abbreviations are used throughout the chapter.

DM Diabetes Mellitus
DKA Diabetic Ketoacidosis
T1DM Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus
T2DM Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus




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Pathology Copyright © 2022 by Jennifer Kong is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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