Ammon L. 2001. Nutrition management of patients with diabetes. In Edwards M, Lisi KJ, Schlegel ML, Bray RE, Eds., Proceedings of the Fourth Conference on Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition, AZA Nutrition Advisory Group, Lake Buena Vista, FL.
Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is the hormone needed to help process the sugars and starches (carbohydrates) into energy for our body. It is also necessary for our body to use protein and fat from our diet. The two most common types of diabetes are classified as Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an inherited autoimmune disorder and accounts for five to ten percent of diabetes. With this type of diabetes the pancreatic beta cells are damaged or destroyed and the body can no longer produce life essential insulin. The individual with Type 1 diabetes must take insulin shots to stay alive. Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 to 95% of diabetes. This type of diabetes occurs when the body cannot make enough insulin or properly use the insulin it produces. Type 2 diabetes can be
managed with medical nutrition therapy, oral glucose-lowering agents and insulin, either alone or in combination.