The Endocrine System

Diabetes mellitus is classified as a disease of the endocrine system. The endocrine system is composed of glands that secrete the hormones that travel through the circulatory and lymph systems to regulate metabolism, growth, sexual development, and reproduction. When one of these glands — the adrenals, the thyroid and parathyroids, the thymus, the pituitary, testes, ovaries, and the pancreas — secretes either too little or too much of a hormone, the entire body can be thrown off balance.


While the term diabetic is a useful adjective for describing things and conditions related to diabetes — diabetic supplies, diabetic kidney disease, and so on — some people with the disease bristle at being labeled “a diabetic.” People with diabetes should not have to be defined by the disease, nor marginalized because of it.

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