General Knowledge Of Diabetes Health And Social Care Essay
Diabetes is known as "a serious chronic disease, characterized by abnormalities in
the metabolism of carbohydrate, protein and fat" (Mahan & Escott- Stump 1996).
Unfortunately, it can cause many dangerous diseases such as heart disease, stroke,
kidney disease, blindness, dental disease and amputation (National Diabetes Information
Clearinghouse IDIC 2013). As a recent statistics, in 2011, the number of diabetics
was about 366 million, and this figure increased significantly to 371 million in 2012
( International Diabetes Federation 2013). According to website of the World Health
Organization, there are approximately 3.2 million diabetes-related deaths every year. This
number is comparable to that of HIV/AIDS- related deaths in the world. Especially, the
majority of people with diabetes are adults (Diabetes Control Program 2013). Moreover,
diabetes cost at least USD 465 billion dollars and 11% of total healthcare expenditures in
adults in 2011. Because of its negative impacts on health, finance of patients, diabetes has
correctly named as the "silent epidemic" (Diabetes Control Program 2013). Therefore,
with the aim to reduce influences of diabetes, this paper provides some knowledge for
adults including causes of and solutions to it.
2. Discussion of findings
2.1: General knowledge of diabetes.
Diabetes relates a group of metabolic disease in which the person has high blood glucose
(Medical News Today 2013). People, who suffer from diabetes, have bodies that do
not make and response to insulin. Insulin which is a hormone made by the beta cells in
pancreas, is essential for the usage and storage of body fuels (Mahan & Escott-Stump
1996). "If beta cells do not produce enough insulin, or the body do not respond to the
insulin, glucose builds up in the blood instead of being absorbed by cells in the body,
leading to diabetes" (National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse 2013).
There are 3 different types of diabetes: type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. Firstly,
the body produces little or no insulin, is referred as type 1 diabetes or insulin-dependent
diabetes. It may occur at any age, but most the cases of diabetes in the world are of type
2 or non-insulin-dependent diabetes. Patients with type 2 diabetes have bodies which do
not produce enough insulin for proper functions, or the cells in the body do not react to
insulin (Medical News Today 2013). The last kind that affects women during pregnancy,
is called gestational diabetes. It occurs in about 2 to 4 % of all pregnant women, usually
during the second or third trimester (Mahan & Escott-Stump 1996).
2.2: What causes diabetes among adults
According to National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse 2013, genes take significant
part in sensibility to diabetes. If people have certain genes or combinations of gens,
their risk for getting the disease may rise. If both of parents have diabetes, the risk of
their children getting diabetes is between 1 in 10 and even 1 in 4. Especially, some
scientists believe that children’s risk is higher when the parent with diabetes is the mother
(American Diabetes Association 2013). In other words, genes have heredity from parents
"Genes carry instruction for making proteins that are needed for the body’s cells to
function. Many genes, as well as interactions among genes, are thought to influence
susceptibility to and protection from diabetes"
(American Diabetes Association 2013)
As stated in some studies of American Diabetes Association 2013, genes called human
leukocyte antigens (HLAs) are considered as the major risk genes for type 1 diabetes.
Moreover, some combinations of HLA genes foresee that a person will be at higher risk
of getting diabetes. Some other studies have illustrated that the TCF 7L2 gene increases
sensibility to type 2 diabetes. For people with this gene, the risk of getting diabetes is
approximately 80% higher than usual. Although in this modern life, scientists have
identified many genes cause diabetes, the majority yet to be discovered (American
Diabetes Association 2013).
Another cause known as the main cause of diabetes is patient’s lifestyle such as
unhealthy diets, stress and physical inactivities (McLaughlin 2010). Without suitable
diets, "glucoses can build up in body and ultimately threaten vital organs" (Franco 2011).
A diet which contains much carbohydrates and fats may increase risk for developing
diabetes because these raise cholesterol levels. Only simple carbohydrates or sugars
make the speed of glucose level quickly. These are easily found in animal-derived foods,
prepared and deep-fried foods such as red-meats, cheeses, cookies, pies, chips, ice-
cream... Especially, in this busy life, people are becoming abuse these foods. Moreover,
with people overeating, consuming more calories than they burn, they may experience
weight gain. If a person loses 5 to 10% of his body weight, his risk of getting diabetes
will decrease (Mayo Clinic 2013). According to studies, the risk of developing diabetes
can be reduced by more than 50% just by eating a proper diet (Diabetes Village 2012). In
this fast-paced society, people can easily under pressure or under stress. Sources of stress
can be physical like injury, illness, health or can be metal like problems in job, marriage,
finance. Both physical and emotional stress can affect on health. When being stress,
person’ blood sugar level rises (Nelson 2013). As stated by Sledge, medical director
of diabetes management at The Ochsner Clinic Foundation, people without diabetes
have "compensatory mechanisms to keep blood sugar from swinging out of control".
However, in people with diabetes, these mechanisms can’t keep a lid on blood sugar"
In addition, lacking physical activities is also major to serious disease, including
diabetes. Just doing exercise 20 to 30 minutes every day, the risk of getting type 2
diabetes can be reduced by more than 50% (Claude 2012). Because when foods are
digested, converted into glucose and released into blood stream. Then, the Pancreas has
to work so much and slows or even stops making insulin. Consequently, the blood sugar
continues rising, leading to diabetes. Furthermore, some inactivities such as watching
T.V, using computers, playing games, etc. have reduced playing outdoors and moving.
This lifestyle causes overweight which makes great risk of developing serious diseases
like diabetes (Claude 2012).
2.3: What solutions to diabetes
Diabetes is a dangerous disease, yet most cases are preventable with healthy lifestyle
changes (Help guide 2013). Nutrition is essential for anyone, especially for diabetics.
However, health care professionals and patients with diabetes consider nutrition and
meal planning principles as one of the most challenge things (Lockwood 1986). The
primary goal of nutrition self-management is that diabetics maintain as normal blood
glucose levels as possible and the most important thing for diabetics is to lose weight.
Experts indicated that losing only 5-10% of total weight can help patients lower blood
sugar considerably, as well as blood pressure and cholesterol levels. The strategies is
making good food choices, reducing fats, adequately spacing meals, and spreading
nutrient intake throughout the day instead of consuming only 3 meals (Mahan & Escott-
Stump 1996). Patients should eat foods containing much healthy carbohydrates, fibers
in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, wheat bran, and low-fat dairy products. Moreover,
some "good" fats in avocados, almonds, pecans, olives and peanut oils also help reduce
cholesterol levels, but diabetics should eat them sparingly. Especially, diabetics should
not eat foods having much fat, cholesterol and sodium such as beef, hotdogs, sausage,
processed snacks, animal meats and high-fat dairy products. Furthermore, a recent study
found that the effect of alcohol, soft drink, soda on blood glucose levels is considerable.
Therefore, diabetics should avoid them. (Help guide 2013)
On the other hands, exercise is essential in managing diabetes. It helps to improve
body’s use of insulin, burn excess body fat, reduce stress, decrease and control weight.
Because the muscles exercise, the amount of glucose is used at almost 20 times the
normal rate, which helps reduce blood sugar levels. However, if patients exercise too
much, they will have the opposite effect. Therefore, they should consider in designing
the exercise regimen with their doctors (Mahan & Escott-Stump 1996). The American
Diabetes Association 2013 offered the guideline for diabetics that:
"Exercise at least 3 to 4 times per week for about 30 minutes each session. Ideally,
you should exercise every day. A good exercise program should include a 5-to-10-
minute warm-up and at least 15& 30 minutes of continuous exercise followed by a 5-
minute cool down"
Especially, people with diabetes should monitor their levels carefully before, during, and
after workouts. Finally, diabetics should exercise during their lifetime regardless of their
From all the findings above, it is clear that diabetes is the most common disease among
adults. There have been more and more adults having diabetes which have become an
epidemic because of its impacts on health and finance. Unfortunately, this disease is
usually diagnosed lately and can’t be treated completely; therefore, its impacts are worse.
However, patients have many ways to reduce influences of diabetes including nutrition,
medication, monitoring and exercise. Hopefully, diabetics will be always optimistic,
healthy and scientists will discover treatments to diabetes in the future.