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Diabetes has been estimated to effect approximately 12 million Americans, 90 percent of whom have type II or non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). NIDDM is chronic and accompanied by long-term complications and comorbidity (Stolar, 1995). Due to the prevalence and costs of this disease, care and maintenance are important considerations. The American Diabetic Association offers official statements for the understanding of disease aspects such as definition, etiology, prevalence, treatment, and federal legislation.

Diabetes mellitus is refereed to as a heterogeneous syndrome. It is characterized by a lack of insulin secretion and/or an increased cellular resistance to insulin which results in hyperglycemia and metabolic disturbances. Diabetes symptoms include excessive thirst and hunger, frequent urination, blurred vision, weight loss, and recurrent infections; diabetes is often asymptomatic during early stages. Conditions associated with the disease include severe neurological, cardiovascular, ocular, and renal complications (American Diabetes Association, ADA, 1996).

There are different types of diabetes. Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) usually presents before 30 years of age with an abrupt onset of symptoms requiring immediate medical treatment; around 10 percent of all diabetes patients have this type. Non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) is found in adults 45 years or older; this type of diabetes is usually symptom free for years followed by a slow onset and progression of symptoms. Incidence increases with age and around 90 percent of all patients have NIDDM. Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is first recognized during pregnancy; it occurs in approximately three percent of all pregnancies and usually disappears after delivery. These women have an increased risk for developing diabetes at a later time. Symptoms are mild however, hyperglycemia ia associated with fetal morbidity....

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DIABETES. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 00:00, December 01, 2021, from