Introduction And Definitions

Diabetes mellitus is a group of metabolic diseases characterized by high blood sugar or hyperglycemia. Chronic hyperglycemia results from defects in insulin secretion from the pancreas and/or insufficient insulin action in muscle and adipose tissue. Diabetes is characterized by both under- and over-secretion of insulin, the hormone that transports glucose across cell membranes. Diabetes is associated with long-term damage and dysfunction of the pancreas, eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart, and large and small blood vessels (American Diabetes Association [ADA], 2002a; Harris, 1995).

In type 1 or juvenile diabetes the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas are attacked by the individual's immune system resulting in a decrease in insulin production. Type 1 diabetes is designated as an autoimmune disease and accounts for approximately 5% of the cases of diabetes worldwide. Individuals with type 1 diabetes require insulin.

Type 2 diabetes or adult-onset diabetes is characterized by hyperinsulinism in response to the resistance of target tissues to the transport of glucose into cells. Obesity is a significant risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes accounts for approximately 90% of diabetes worldwide and is often considered a "disease of modernization" since it occurs disproportionately among populations adopting a Westernized lifestyle (Baschetti, 1998; Joe & Young, 1994; Popkin, 2001). It may be controlled through diet, exercise, and medication.

Approximately 5-10% of diabetes is due to other causes that are often transient rather than chronic.

These include gestational diabetes occurring during pregnancy (2-5%), drug or chemically induced diabetes, genetic syndromes, infections, and other endocrine diseases. A classification of diabetes lists more than 50 specific causes (ADA, 2002a; Centers for Disease Control, 2001).

Supplements For Diabetics

Supplements For Diabetics

All you need is a proper diet of fresh fruits and vegetables and get plenty of exercise and you'll be fine. Ever heard those words from your doctor? If that's all heshe recommends then you're missing out an important ingredient for health that he's not telling you. Fact is that you can adhere to the strictest diet, watch everything you eat and get the exercise of amarathon runner and still come down with diabetic complications. Diet, exercise and standard drug treatments simply aren't enough to help keep your diabetes under control.

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