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Diabetes Mellitus

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Diabetes mellitus is a disorder in which blood levels of glucose are abnormally high because the body does not release or use insulin adequately (Merck 1999, p.788). There are two types of diabetes mellitus, which are type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. A hormone called insulin, released by the pancreas, is the primary substance responsible for maintaining appropriate blood sugar levels. Blood sugar levels vary throughout the day, rising after a meal and returning to normal within two hours. Blood sugar levels are normally between 70 and 110 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) of blood in the morning after an overnight fast (Merck 1999, p.788). Type 2 diabetes mellitus is the most common type of diabetes. It is also known as non-insulin dependent diabetes and formerly known as adult-onset diabetes. Although type 2 diabetes mellitus typically affects obese individuals older than 40, due to the epidemic of obesity and inactivity in children, it is occurring at younger and younger ages (Khardori 2011). Thus, it can be said that type 2 diabetes mellitus is a disease that is closely related to obesity and diet. International statistics show that the prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus is higher in Western countries. On the other hand, type 2 diabetes mellitus is less common in non-Western countries where the diet contains fewer calories and the daily caloric expenditure is higher. However, due to the fact that these countries are slowly but surely adopting Western lifestyles, weight gain and type 2 diabetes mellitus are becoming virtually epidemic. The prevalence of type 2 diabetes for all age-groups worldwide was estimated to be 2.8% in 2000 and 4.4% in 2030 (Wild et al. 2004). At least 171 million people currently have type 2 diabetes mellitus worldwide and this figure is likely to more than double to 366 million by 2030 (Khardori 2011). The top 10 countries, in number of people with diabetes, are currently India, China, the United States, Indonesia, Japan,...