Chapter I Introduction to Diabetes Mellitus

Chapter II Diabetes Mellitus

Chapter III Laboratory Tests and Monitoring

Chapter IV Insulin and Oral Antidiabetic Agents

Chapter V The Diabetic Diet

Chapter VI Diabetic Foot and Wound Conditions and Treatment

Chapter VII Complications of Diabetes Mellitus

Chapter VIII The Family and Diabetes

Chapter IX Coping With Diabetes


Post Examination

Chapter I     Introduction to Diabetes Mellitus


Diabetes is a condition that affects the way the body uses food.  A genetically determined disorder of metabolism, it is manifested by insulin deficiency and the inability to tolerate carbohydrates.

Diabetes in a completely developed state is characterized by

  • Fasting hyperglycemia
  • Microangiopathic and arteriosclerotic vascular disease
  • Neuropathy

The incidence of diabetes is high, with more than 16 million Americans having some form of the disease.  More than 700,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.

The term diabetes covers a wide spectrum of disability ranging from the elderly, a symptomatic individual with glucose intolerance, to the young patient dependent on exogenous insulin.

The manifestation of diabetes mellitus can be divided into two main groups:

  • The acute diabetic syndrome characterized by hyperglycemia, ketoacidosis, and if untreated, death.
  • The chronic diabetic characterized by diffuse microangiopathy involving vital tissue.

Diabetes has a heterogeneous etiology.  Different types of lesions may be lead to insulin insufficiency along with environmental factors, causing an alteration in the function and integrity of the beta cells in the pancreas.  The factors include pregnancy, diet, obesity, and infective agents such as the mumps virus.

Next: The Role of Insulin