General Knowledge Of Diabetes Health And Social Care Essay

1. Introduction

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

to child.

"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"

(Nelson 2013).

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



3. Conclusion

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.