Diabetes - Diabetes Essay Example
In America, Diabetes is becoming a widely prominent disease - Diabetes introduction. Diabetes can be the result of many things from unlucky genetics to an unhealthy lifestyle. Diabetes is a serious, life-long illness ultimately caused by high levels of glucose in the blood. The condition makes it so that the pancreas cannot produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that controls the blood’s glucose level. Glucose is significant since it is “the main source of fuel” for the body (Wilson, 2013). The American Diabetes Association found that in 2011 in the United States, 25.
8 million children and adults were diagnosed with diabetes (2012). There are many types of diabetes; Type I, Type II and gestational. Each has its own causes and treatments. Cures for each are being extensively researched. Type I diabetes is also known as “Juvenile Diabetes” because it normally occurs in children and young adults. It is typically found in people ages one year to thirty years old (Zhao and Mazzone, 2010). Type I diabetes is “an autoimmune disease caused by an autoimmune destruction of pancreatic islet beta cells” (Zhao & Mazzone, 2010).
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The symptoms for Type I diabetes are frequent urination, extreme thirst and hunger, unusual weight loss, and exhaustion (American Diabetes Association, 2012). Many new concepts about the causes of this disorder have come about and it has been questioned whether the cause is nature versus nurture (Atkinson & Eisenbarth, 2001). The treatment for patients with Type I diabetes has significantly improved over the past few decades; however, it is still impossible to fully normalize blood sugar levels as there is only current technology to work with when it comes to finding a cure (Gallagher, Goland & Greenbaum, 2011).
A necessary treatment for patients with Type I diabetes is daily insulin injections (Zhao & Mazzone, 2010). In the “American Medical Association Guide to Living with Diabetes,” Dr. Boyd Metzger explains that insulin is injected under the skin rather than taken by mouth because digestive enzymes would destroy it before it could reach the bloodstream (2006). If left untreated, Type I diabetes can lead to many other problems.
These problems include but are not limited to heart and blood vessel disease, neuropathy, nephropathy, eye damage that can lead to permanent blindness, foot damage that can lead to amputation, osteoporosis and hearing problems (American Diabetes Association, 2012). Type II diabetes occurs when muscles and cells begin to become unresponsive to the body’s signal for it to receive glucose. The body’s response to this sudden change is to work in overdrive to produce insulin in excess, trying to compensate for its lack.
Eventually the cells that produce this insulin become so exhausted from working so hard that they start to fail. (Harvard. edu). This disease was once known as adult-onset diabetes because it was extremely rare in children; but as the rate of obesity in America began to skyrocket in people of all ages, the rate of Type II diabetes increased drastically and without age discrimination (Harvard. edu). The symptoms for Type II diabetes are similar to those of Type I, but also include blurred vision, infections, and numbness in the hands or feet (American Diabetes Association, 2012).
However, symptoms do not usually present during the early stages (Metzger, 2006). Commonly, before a person’s blood glucose levels reach a high enough point to be officially considered Type II diabetes, they are diagnosed with prediabetes. Prediabetes is likely to progress into Type II diabetes within an average of eight years from diagnosis if precautionary measures such as making major lifestyle changes and/or taking a glucose-lowering medication are not taken.
Those who do not make these changes are also at greater risk of having a heart attack or stroke. It is highly advised that people with this condition strive to lose at least 5 to 7 percent of their body weight and exercise on a regular basis for at least 30 minutes every day (Metzger, 2006). Type II diabetes is not strictly caused by obesity; genetics is another key component. If either of a child’s parents has Type II diabetes, the chance that the child will also develop the condition becomes 1 in 7 (Diabetes: Genetics, 2003).
A theory that is being further researched is that a child born from a mother with type II diabetes is at even higher risk of developing Type II diabetes (American Diabetes Association, 2012). The main challenge that Type II diabetes researchers have to face is pin pointing each of the various environmental and genetic factors that contribute to this condition (Marx, 2002). Gestational diabetes occurs during the time when the usual hormonal changes of pregnancy take place. The increased levels of certain hormones made in the placenta (which is the organ that connects the baby by the umbilical cord to the uterus and transfers nutrients and oxygen from the mother to baby) get in the way of the insulin’s ability to properly control glucose. This condition is known as “insulin resistance. ” As the placenta grows larger during pregnancy, it produces more hormones that inadvertently worsen the insulin resistance. In most cases of this gestational insulin resistance, the mother’s pancreas is able to produce more insulin (approximately three times the typical amount) in attempt to overcome it.
It is when the pancreas cannot produce an adequate amount of insulin to beat the effects of the increased hormones during pregnancy and causes sugar levels to rise when gestational diabetes takes place. Like in Type II diabetes, excess weight is a primary cause of gestational diabetes. Overweight and obese women are at an especially high risk for gestational diabetes because they tend to go into their pregnancy already having insulin resistance or the beginnings of it. An excessive amount of weight gained during pregnancy also greatly increases a woman’s risk of developing this condition (Buchanan & Xiang, 2005).
The symptoms for gestational diabetes are the same as Type I diabetes symptoms. It is recommended that the mother seek treatment promptly to prevent complications for herself and her baby. Pregnant women diagnosed with gestational diabetes are, unfortunately, at higher risk of developing Type II diabetes at a later point in life. If gestational diabetes is not taken care of large birth weight, premature delivery, the need for a cesarean section or fetal and neonatal death can occur (American Diabetes Association, 2012).
Since a woman’s hormone levels typically return to their normal state soon after delivery, gestational diabetes disappears in most women soon after giving birth. However, women who did have gestational diabetes are at risk of developing it again with future pregnancies and have a 35 to 60 percent chance of getting Type II diabetes ten to twenty years after delivery. Women who are diagnosed with gestational diabetes should be tested for lingering diabetes 6 to 12 weeks after they deliver and should then be checked annually in the years following.
Gestational diabetes doesn’t just have an affect on the mother. The exposure to high glucose levels while in the womb increases the baby’s risk for becoming overweight or obese in the future and can possibly cause Type II diabetes as they get older. To help prevent Type II diabetes, both the mother and child should try to maintain a healthy body weight while remaining physically active on a daily basis (Buchanan & Xiang, 2005). Diabetes is a chronic condition that can lead to high risk factors if not treated immediately.
The most common factors that can lead to a person’s development of diabetes are obesity, family/genetic history, age and ethnicity. If a person is carrying an excessive amount of weight in their abdomen, the extra fat causes the cells to be sensitive to insulin and can also possibly lead to the development of Type II diabetes People over the age of forty-five are at higher risk of becoming diabetic because their pancreases may not have enough energy to produce insulin and can possibly become less responsive to it.
Those who come from a long line of diabetics are significantly more likely to become diabetic themselves. Any damage to the pancreas could also lead to Type I diabetes (Metzger, 2006). Alongside its causes are the potential complications that may stem from diabetes. Complications such as hypoglycemia, hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic syndrome, and diabetic ketoacidosis occur commonly for type II diabetes. Hypoglycemia is also known as low blood sugar. This can be easily treated by consuming anything with a significant amount of sugar such a piece of candy or cup of juice (Metzger, 2006).
Hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic syndrome happens when blood sugar levels are high and causes severe dehydration. Diabetic Ketoacidosis happens when a person becomes dehydrated during a time of insulin deifiency and causes high sugar levels. This condition should be monitored by testing one’s sugar levels more frequently and keeping hydrated with sugar free drinks (Morris, Boyle, McMahon & Stephen, 1997). Other complications that can come from Type II diabetes are heart disease, nerve damage, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Heart disease patients with diabetes are more likely to pass away from the disease than those without diabetes. If sugar levels are not maintained at a normal level, damage to the nerves Alzheimer’s disease can occur (Pinhas-Harniel & Zeitler, 2007). No matter what type of diabetes a person has, it is important that they learn to manage it and live a physically active and nutritious lifestyle. Both while eating at home and out at restaurants or other public locations, people with diabetes need to make a conscious effort to pick the healthiest choices they can find.
Vegetables and fruits (in moderation) are always the best options when trying to eat healthyfully. Non-starchy vegetables have the fewest calories of all foods and are the best choice for a person with diabetes. Whole grain foods are also rich in nutrients and help satiate the body therefore reducing cravings for other, possibly unhealthy foods. Another way to maintain a healthy diet is by cutting out fatty, red meat and replacing it with fish, skinless poultry and small portions of lean meats. The best types of fish to eat are the ones that contain omega-3 fatty acids.
These kinds of fish include salmon, mackerel, and herring. It helps lower the major form of fat stored by the body called triglycerides. The best choices in beverages are water and calorie-free, sugar free diet drinks. Sugary drinks contain many calories that can raise blood glucose. It is also best to keep a close watch on the amount of carbohydrates being consumed as carbohydrates significantly influence blood sugar levels. Another very important thing to keep in mind when trying to maintain a healthy diet is portion control (Olokoba, A. B. , Obateru, & Olokoba, L. B. , 2012).
Exercise also greatly reduces the risk of complications for people with diabetes. Weight plays a huge role in people with diabetes and being physically active helps with weight loss and the maintaining of an overall healthy lifestyle. A daily exercise routine should be implemented after diagnosis. Aerobic exercise is the best kind of exercise for diabetics to do as it increases insulin sensitivity. Aerobic exercise also reduces the risk of developing Type II diabetes to begin with (American Diabetes Association, 2012). Each type of diabetes has similarities and differences in the way they are treated.
In all patients, checking the blood sugar level several times a week is, eating healthy foods including fruits, vegetables, and whole-grains and doing physical activity are key ways to improve quality of life. Some other approaches tested as possible, further treatments for this condition include islet transplantation, the regeneration of beta cells and daily insulin injections or medications such as metformin. Insulin therapy is used to aid in the normalizing of blood glucose levels and the prevention of complications. Metformin helps lower glucose levels in the liver.
The ideal sugar level for a diabetic person to be at is between seventy and one hundred milligrams per deciliter of blood. The two ways to check these levels is to test the urine or blood. (Lee, Su-Jin, Kim, Hang-Cheol Shin, & Ji-Won, 2000). There are many ways to prevent the development of diabetes. The main components are maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, being physically active, keeping up with a healthy diet, and limiting alcoholic beverage consumption. To prevent childhood obesity and diabetes, a child’s parents need to lessen the amount of fats, sugars, carbohydrates and calories in the foods their child eats.
Consuming fiber is also a key component in the prevention of diabetes as it boosts the body’s natural ability to control blood sugar levels and decreases the risk of heart disease. Whole grains have a similar affect on the body as fiber and is healthy to include in any diet. A huge way that diabetes can be prevented in overweight or obese people is weight loss. Studies show that for every 2. 2 pounds that an overweight adult loses, their risk is lowered by approximately 16 percent. People with diabetes have to adapt to their new lifestyle and stay committed to managing it properly.
This includes avoiding stress and any things that could obviously exacerbate the issue. Preventing diabetes from developing also prevent other chronic complications such as heart disease, stroke, or kidney disease. Ultimately, the main way to prevent diabetes is to stay healthy in any way possible (Renehan & Howell, 2005). Works Cited Anonymous. (n. d. ). Diabetes Basics. Retrieved from American Diabetes Association. Anonymous. (n. d. ). The Nutrition Source. Retrieved from Harvard School of Health. Atkinson, M. A. , & Eisenbarth, G. S. (2001). Type 1 diabetes: New perspectives on disease pathogenesis and treatment.
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