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Diabetes mellitus

How Common is Diabetes Mellitus?

Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic illness. At least 4 million people in Germany have this illness. There are, however between 40 to 50% unreported cases of people who do not know that they have diabetes. According to this information, one estimates that there are between 7 to 8 million diabetics in Germany which means that every 10 th German has diabetes. The illness is characterized by an increased blood sugar level. It is based either on an insulin deficiency or its decreasing effectiveness in the blood.

There are two types of diabetes mellitus.

  • Type 1 Diabetes mellitus:
    Roughly 1 to 2% of all diabetes cases. Type 1 diabetes is a hereditary condition. These patients usually have an absolute lack of insulin. The reason for this is the gradual exhaustion of the insulin secretion.
  • Type 2 Diabetes mellitus:
    Type 2 is characterised by a relative lack of insulin. The responsiveness of the tissue to insulin is reduced. The insulin secretion can be reduced, normal or increased. This acquired metabolic disorder, which appears cumulatively, is caused by overeating or under nourishment, a lack of exercise, smoking etc. 90% of type 2 diabetics are overweight.

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The American Diabetes Association Diabetes Comfort Food Cookbook,
Robyn Webb M.S.

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There are 3 options when treating type 2 diabetes:

Going on diets, medications and administering insulin. Below is a brief portrayal of the kind of diets one could go on.

  1. General food reduction for diabetics
    In the beginning stages, the blood sugar levels can return to normal by decreasing the energy supply and losing weight.
  2. Food selecting for diabetics
    Carbohydrates that are light to reabsorb and that are insulin dependant when used by the body should only be eaten in small amounts so that the glucose flows slowly into the blood. Macromolecular carbohydrates - polysaccharides are therefore most favourable.
  3. Number of meals for diabetics
    Having many small meals a day helps to provide the body with a constant supply of nutrients. The usual three meals a day are not suitable for diabetics.

A diabetes diet is a carbohydrate controlled and low fat diet. Implementing such a diet requires medical training courses and regular check-ups. It is common that the diet is combined with the in take of medication or insulin.

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Diabetes For Dummies
Alan L. Rubin MD


The Diabetes & Heart Healthy Cookbook  

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