Psychology and Health Issues Program Review October 7, 2012 HCA/250 Instructor: Catherine Doughty In this final project of the class, we are asked to follow a widespread psychological issue to be chosen from a list of subjects. The overview that was selected was diabetes. An explanation of the health issue overview, education program, and a proposal to improve the program will be explained in the following paragraphs as well as psychology issues, risk factors, and treatments that are associated with this disease. After researching diabetes, the findings were that African Americans are the ethnic group that is most affected by the disease. . 9 million African Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes and the numbers continuously rise every year. (Centers for Disease Control, pg. 3, 2011) Cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and strokes are a major cause of death linked to this disease at an alarming rate of 67%. Psychology in diabetes care is important because it is linked as well with the illness. The psychologist provides direct services to the patient by promoting health behaviors and treatment of psychological problems and provides counseling to patients that do not adhere to the diabetes regimen.
They help them to understand the severity of diabetes and its symptoms and outcomes as well as provide knowledge. Helping the patient with depression, anxiety, eating disorders and additional burdens from everyday life effects health as well and the team of professionals work with the patient because these factors can cause elevation in blood sugars and interrupt routines such as eating and sleeping. Finding a way to cope is beneficial in the patient’s health. (Michael A. Harris, PhD. , pgs. 1 and 2, October 7, 2012)
The risk factors of diabetes that can be controlled are weight, how we eat, and the health of the mind and body. By controlling weight by eating healthy and incorporating a system of health with beneficial exercise, a person can avoid all of the ailments associated with the disease. The risk factors that cannot be controlled are being overweight, fat distribution, inactivity, family history, race, aging, pre-diabetes and gestational diabetes. Being overweight is a primary factor to diabetes due to the storage of fatty tissue. The more it is, the more resistant to diabetes and individual is.
With fat distribution, the body stores more fat in the abdomen, the risk factor to Type 2 diabetes is greater. Inactivity due to no exercise or inability to move normally makes cells inactive to insulin. Family history increases the risk if a parent and/or sibling has type 2 diabetes. African Americans (race) are the most likely to develop diabetes than any other race. The older we get, the less we are to exercise, lose muscle mass and gain weight. Untreated pre-diabetes will eventually turn into type 2 diabetes as well as gestational diabetes when pregnant. Centers for Disease Control, pg. 2, 2012) Diabetes seems to be linked strongly with poverty. Poor nutrition and being poor does not allow for the impoverished to obtain healthy and nutritious meals. Being poor means that you have to eat what you can when you can in order to survive. In poor neighborhoods, there is not an option of fresh produce or fresh meats, just canned or packaged foods that are easily prepared in the microwave or an oven are what they are subjected to eat. Their grocery store is the convenience store on the corners of the neighboring blocks.
Owners of the stores are scared to erect grocery stores because they are in fear of being robbed or their stores being destroyed. People do not want to take a chance to build stores, stealing the chance of families to purchase healthy and nutritious food. Another factor is affordability of diabetes medications and care. People are faced with the option everyday of choosing to feed their children, pay a bill, or buy their medicine. As any loving person or caretaker would choose the latter, to buy food and feed their families, neglecting their health in hopes of the sickness will eventually go away.
The government really needs to evaluate the situation and find a way to make it possible for diabetics to receive proper care and lessen the fear of their children starving if they buy their medication. Treatment options for diabetics are diet and exercise, medication, and insulin dependency. The beginning treatment of diabetes is diet and exercise which includes a low carbohydrate, high protein, and low fat eating regimen. Eating properly ensures that the body is well fueled and full of energy. Incorporated with exercise, it will allow the body to work as efficient as possible. Medication is based on what type of diabetes a person has.
There is non-insulin dependent diabetics and insulin dependent diabetes. Non-insulin diabetics take medicine to promote the pancreas to produce insulin. Insulin dependent diabetics need to inject insulin because the pancreas has worn out, unable to produce insulin. Working with the physician and psychologists will allow individuals to manage their diabetes, have the understanding of the benefits of managing their glucose levels, and obtain a health, vibrant life. Never be afraid to ask questions and voicing concerns will keep yourself and your physicians in tune with any problems that may occur. Robert M. Cohen, MD, Professor of Clinical Medicine, pg. 6, 2012) Health promotion strategies that would ensure that all diabetics, type 1 or 2, will get the care that they so really need is by incorporating a program in each and every city or town that will keep diabetics abreast of all different government granted resources that are available and will become available for care. Letting the lawmakers know the struggles and financial needs of impoverished individuals and make it possible for them to get their medicine and care at a fraction of the cost or no cost at all.
Diabetes awareness needs to be known by their families, friends, coworkers, or anyone that comes in contact with a diabetic person. Also knowing the signs and what to do if blood sugar levels become too low or too high and the proper way to administer medication will be of great value to everyone involved. Petitioning the government, local doctors’ offices, and clinics, to evaluate the need of low to no cost medication and care to be readily available for persons that cannot afford to purchase them, will bring the high number of diabetes fatalities and health related ailments to a low.
As everyone knows, diabetes is a very serious sickness that will cause an individual to die prematurely without the proper care. Making diabetics mindful of the consequences of not caring for themselves more feasible, the sufferer will take the proper care of their bodies. Family members and friends as a support group will encourage the patient to be healthier too. Being healthy in the body and mind go hand-in-hand when caring for diabetes.
Exercise, proper diet, and following a diabetes regimen suggested by you physician will allow you to live a normal and healthy life, being there for your friends and family. Making the proper steps and following the proper care will possibly encourage other patients to follow a healthy regimen too. References Centers for Disease Control, pg. 3, 2011 Michael A. Harris, PhD. , pages 1 and 2, October 7, 2012 World Health Organization, pg. 2, 2009 Robert M. Cohen, MD. , Professor of Clinical Medicine, pg. 6, 2012