6.2 Diabetes

About 2% of the USA population suffer from diabetes. There are two main types.

Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). The pancreas stops making insulin, which then must be supplied (usually by injection). IDDM accounts for 10-25% of cases. Patients do not make enough insulin because of autoimmune destruction of the beta cells. Insulin must be given by injection on a carefully controlled basis. Lack of insulin results in high blood glucose, ketoacidosis and even coma and death.

Non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) . Is very common. The beta-cells seem normal, but fail to increase their secretion of insulin following a rise in blood glucose. NIDDM accounts for 75-90% of cases. The beta cells appear normal, but do not respond to glucose by producing insulin. Common in older people, especially if overweight. Often may be controlled by diet and weight loss.