Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: December 31, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412961165 | Print ISBN: 9781412961158 | Online ISBN: 9781412961165| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Robert C. Cantu
Diabetes mellitus is a condition characterized by a relative insulin deficiency resulting in an abnormal fuel-hormone response, especially when challenged by the ingestion of food. This abnormal fuel-hormone response involves decreased storage and utilization of fuels and results in elevated blood levels of glucose, free fatty acids, and ketones. Diabetes results from a deficiency in the insulin-secretory mechanism of the beta cells of the pancreas, a faulty insulin receptor site on the cell surfaces of liver, adipose, and muscle tissue, and/or a metabolic defect in the cell itself. There are two basic types of diabetes, insulin dependent and noninsulin dependent. Insulin-dependent diabetics are usually under 20 years of age at the onset of the disease and constitute less than 10% of the diabetic population. Their symptoms at the onset of diabetes are acute, coming speedily to a crisis: Metabolic ketoacidosis and insulin reactions are frequent, insulin production is decreased, the ...