Sep 24, 2019 in Research

Diabetes Disease Overview

Diabetes is a combination of metabolic diseases associated with elevated levels of glucose, a condition known as hyperglycemia. It occurs in a result of the malfunctioning of pancreas, the insulin producing organ or the lack of the tissue response to the naturally produced insulin. Diabetes is an all-time disease. According to Polonsky, the disease dates back to the 1500 B.C, over 2000 years ago. It was a description of the condition where individuals urinated sweet-tasting urine in ancient Egypt. However, it was recognized clinically upon the establishment of the Medicaland Surgery Journal in 1812.

 

Diabetes is a non-selective disease that affects all social groups from children through the youth to old people. According to an advocacy report by the ADA, it is clear that the fight against discrimination of the individuals with diabetes was to be advocated in education centers (youth), work places (adults) and child care facilities (kids). However, the CDC indicates that in the United States (US), some ethnic groups are at a higher risk of diabetes than others. For instance, African-Americans or the Hispanic-Americans are more likely to acquire the disease than other groups, e.g. the white Americans. 

 

As it has been mentioned above, the risk of diabetes indicates an equal probability. The CDC indicates that the male gender affected more than their female counterparts. As an individual grows old, the risk factors of diabetes increase. The majority of people diagnosed with diabetes are over the age of 60. However, the disease also affects the youth and children. CDC indicates that over 0.2% of the individuals below 20 year are diabetic. Additionally, more than 80 million individuals above the age of 20 have pre-diabetes and about 400,000 of them being older than 65 years.

 

The poor are more susceptible to diabetes than rich individuals. The reduced access to health care due to financial constraints, culture and behaviors increases the chances of not being diagnosed. As a result, there is a lack of medical advice on prevention as well as treatment. Education provides a platform of understanding the disease in terms of causes, effects, prevention, treatment and prognosis. Therefore, lack of education may be a factor of increasing the vulnerability to diabetes. For instance, the illiterate are at a higher risk than the literate.

 

Diabetes is a serious disease and demands immediate intervention. According to the CDC, in their Statistics report, over 29 million individuals representing over 9% of the United States Population suffer from diabetes. Surprisingly, more than 27% of these people are not diagnosed, indicating the risks and seriousness of the health issue. From the same report, the total cost estimated in 2012 was $245 billion for direct and indirect costs.

Causes

Edible food substances contain, at a large scale, glucose or complex sugars. When ingested, they serve in the provision of energy to the body after body metabolic processes e.g. digestion and absorption. Transfer of the glucose from the blood to the body cells is facilitated by the hormone insulin produced by the body pancreas, which is located near the stomach. Lack of production of adequate insulin or the body malfunctioning that inhibit the use of the naturally produced insulin leads to elevated levels of glucose that eventually causes diabetes.

 

The development of diabetes takes several processes starting with the destruction of the beta (β) cells of the pancreas that consequently result in insulin production deficiency. In the complex hormone path, the reduced insulin secretion and lack of tissue response to the hormone are the attributing factors to abnormalities. These abnormalities prevent the normal functioning of the insulin hormone and can be found in one individual.

 

The disease is non-infectious but hereditary, especially type 2 diabetes. However, individuals with diabetes experience quite a number of discrimination behaviors due to the health demands of the disease. Child care providers fear enrolling diabetic kids for the reason that it requires a lot of responsibility. The state government implements complex regulations for diabetic adults, which adversely affect their social life especially employment and the freedom of movement. Additional diabetic individuals have low self-esteem, which makes them have difficulties in social interactions.

 

Some individuals are at the risk of having diabetes more than others. The chance of getting diabetes is associated with a number of modified and non-modified factors. The conscious factors include obesity or overweight, physical inactivity (sedentary lifestyle), and high blood pressure. The unconscious factors include, age, family history, ethnicity, gestational diabetes, pre-diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome, and pancreatic.

Signs and Symptoms

After the blood sugars exceed the normal level, an individual enters the pre-diabetic stage, which then follows the real disease diabetes mellitus. Undiagnosed diabetes is accompanied with the following symptoms; urinating regularly, the urge to take massive amounts of water (excessive thirst), and unaccountable loss of body weight. Others include, feeling extreme hunger, blurred vision, tiredness, slow-healing wounds, frequent infections, and skin dryness.

Prevention

Checking on the modified risk factors indicated above, it is feasible to say that diabetes is preventable. Research also indicates that diabetes can be prevented. Understandably, diabetes is associated with obesity, a condition of reduced muscles and increased fat levels in the body. Research has shown that obesity is attributed to sedentary lifestyle, physical inactivity, and poor dietary. Having the body tissues covered with fats reduces its response to the insulin hormone (insulin resistance), which consequently prevents intake of glucose.

 

Individuals can prevent and delay the diabetic conditions through engagement in physical activities and proper diet intake with reduced fats, which is possible by changing their lifestyles. According to Colberg et al. “aerobic and resistance training” enhance the working of insulin, which helps control glucose levels as well as other health problems associated with obesity. However, they urge that the effectiveness of the exercises is the continuous, regular and routine application of various types of training. 

Treatment

According to NHS Choice, there is no cure for diabetes. Buse et al. indicate that treating diabetes is not a straight forward approach. He offers the reason that hyperglycemia exists on a continuum impacted over a short time frame by every day treatment or events. Biological treatment includes insulin therapy (injections), glucose lowering therapy using agents, such as Biguanides, Sulfonylureas, Meglitinide, etc., that lower the blood glucose levels. Medical nutrition therapy involving patient understanding of the carbohydrate level of food taken as well as fat content. Additionally, the change of the inactive lifestyle can play an important role in the treatment of diabetes. Family engagement in the education of the risks, proper diet, and physical exercise can also contribute to the behavior change that will favor weight loss and hence low risk of diabetes.

 

Kennedy provides new developments in the fight against diabetes including the introduction of the gliflozin (drug that assists to absorb glucose from urine). Additionally, research and medical facilities are promising new drug class such as the GLP-1 receptor agonists. These drugs will assist in the enhancement of the hormones, incretins, responsible for the secretion of insulin. At the same time, Kennedy indicates that new insulins are potential in the diabetes drug pipeline, and will offer new treatment methods due to their longer fatty acid moieties that will delay the breakdown into active insulin. Also, isle transplantation and other new therapy of diabetes are among the developments in the world of diabetes, courtesy of the National Institute for Health Research Diabetes Research Network.

Prognosis for the Future

While research has indicated a positive future in addressing diabetes, other previous studies indicated that the percentage of diagnosed and non-diagnosed diabetes will increase by over 20 million in the next 20 years. The effect of this trend will be the increased cost of dealing with the high demand of treating diabetes. Huang indicated that the direct and indirect cost of dealing with diabetes will increase by 223 million from 113 million, which represents almost a 200% increase.

 

Diabetes will continue to be a problem to humans. Firstly, type 2 diabetes is hereditary and, therefore, likely to be inherited from one generation to the other. Secondly, the medical therapies, which are promising a bright future, are making individuals, especially those in ravish lifestyles, to ignore the best strategy of physical exercise. After all, prevention is better than cure. To conclude, while medical research institutes are working hard to provide solutions to diabetes, it is only the individual effort and commitment that is adequate enough to address the deadly disease. Therefore, the urge is concentration towards patient education that will enable a psychological change on feeding behavior, lifestyle and hence dealing with obesity, a top of the list risk factor.

Summary

Diabetes is a combination of metabolic diseases associated with elevated levels of glucose. It dates back to 1500 B.C and is a result of deficient insulin secretion and/or insulin resistance by tissues. It affects people of all ages. However, the old people are more affected. It affects the African, Hispanic or Indian American more than the whites. Males are more affected by the disease than females and the poor have a high risk of aquiring the disease because of reduced access to medical health care services.

 

Statistics from CDC indicate diabetes being a serious disease, which induces a high individual as well as economic cost. It is caused by insulin secretion deficiency and/or tissue insulin resistance. It develops through various processes starting from destruction of the β-cells to abnormalities. The diabetic individuals have experienced discriminations and develop low self-esteem. The risk factors of diabetes include obesity, physical inactivity, age, family history, ethnicity, high blood pressure, pancreatic diseases, polycystic ovary syndrome, pre-diabetes, and gestational diabetes.

 

The undiagnosed symptoms include frequent urination, severe thirst, weight loss, extreme hunger, vision change, slow wound healing, frequent infections, and skin dryness. Prevention of the disease is possible and the method recommended is physical exercise that reduces fats in the body, hence reducing insulin resistance. Treatment of the disease includes insulin therapy, medical nutrition therapy, physical exercises, psychological therapy and social engagement. New drug classes and pipeline are being developed, indicating a bright future in the treatment of diabetes. However, even with new drugs and interventions, research indicates a growth trend of diabetic individuals and consequently higher cost of medication to patients as well as economy.

 

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