Skip to Main Content


Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a common chronic disease caused by pancreas deficiency in production of insulin or by reduction in sensitivity to insulin1,2. This results in hyperglycemia or increase in blood glucose. Chronic DM may lead to long-term serious complications, including microvascular (i.e. nephropathy, neuropathy, retinopathy) or macrovascular disorders (i.e. atherosclerosis, hypertension, food infections).


The majority of patients with diabetes are classified as either type 1 DM or type 2 DM. Most diabetic patients have type 2 diabetes1,3. Diabetes can also occur in pregnant women who become intolerant to glucose. This patients group is known as gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). There are some that fall between type 1 and 2 diabetes, known as the latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADAs). The table below provides descriptions of different types of DM.

Table 1Types of DM


Type 1 DM commonly develops in childhood or early adulthood and thinner patients. However, it may occur at any age. It is caused by an autoimmune destruction of the pancreatic β (beta) cells that are responsible for the production of insulin. Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a life threating condition often occurs in younger patients due to their more rapid rate of β cells destruction. In type 1 DM, patients do not produce insulin. In absence of insulin, glucose cannot enter muscle cells, leading to the utilization of fat as an alternative energy. Fat breakdown results in ketone production that ultimately causes DKA. Because patients with type 1 DM do not produce insulin, they must be treated with insulin.


Type 2 DM is more common than type 1 DM as it accounts for over 90% of all diabetes cases. Type 2 DM is caused by both insulin resistance and insulin deficiency. It is strongly associated in patients with obesity, familial hereditary, lack of physical activity, and other comorbid conditions (i.e. hypertension, dyslipidemia). Type 2 DM are at higher risk of developing macrovascular complications in addition to microvascular complications. In type 2 DM, pancreatic β cells produce less insulin over time as more become damaged. Type 2 DM can be managed with lifestyle modification in combination with pharmacologic treatment.


GDM is characterized as ...

Pop-up div Successfully Displayed

This div only appears when the trigger link is hovered over. Otherwise it is hidden from view.