ESSENTIAL DIABETES MANAGEMENT 7
Diabetesis a common disease affecting people throughout the globe. Referredto as a lifestyle disease, it affects people from all walks of lifedue to various factors such as poor diet, susceptibility due geneinheritance and pancreatic failure. Diabetes occurs in two formsdiabetes mellitus and diabetes insipidus. The most common type ofthe two is the diabetes mellitus type two. The disease is a lifelongchronic ailment that makes an individual a health handicap due todependency on medication to manage the disease. This research paperwill focus on diabetes mellitus, its causes and how to lead a healthylifestyle as a diabetic affected by the type two diabetes mellitus.
TheAmerican Diabetes Association defines diabetes mellitus as acombinative metabolic disease characterized by hyperglycemia due toinsulin resistance, low insulin levels or lack of insulin productionby the pancreas. The result is a myriad of symptoms such a thirst,excessive loss of water through large amounts of urine.
Diabetesmellitus is preceded by hyperglycemia that results in deposition ofhigh amounts of glucose in the blood and cells resulting in anindividual with a weak immune system and body due to lack of energyand inefficient metabolism. A diabetic also suffers from low energylevels due to loss of excessive amounts of glucose from the bodythrough processes such as glycosuria.
Diabeteshas been affecting people since the ancient times where it was theultimate death sentence. The management and treatment of the diseasewas painful, and individuals were never cured. However,modernization created lifestyles and the disease was associated withthe rich and termed as a lifestyle disease from the onset of the 20thcentury. Although changes in lifestyle leading to different eatingmethods and diets of middle-class individuals and the poor has seenthe disease affect individuals from different walks of life. Diagnosis of the lifestyle disease occurs from the individual tofamily and racial level. According to Ahmed 2002, diabetes wasclinically a terminal disease due to lack of proper knowledge of itscauses and the role of the pancreas in the management of diabetes.However, scientific developments changed the management and effectivetreatment of the disease when the Canadian scientists, FrederickBanting and Charles Best conducted precise experiments further toclarify the role of insulin and the pancreas to manage the disease.
Therefinement of bovine insulin initiated the formation of large-scaleproduction of insulin in the 1920`s to manage the disease. Treatmentwas subsequently improved as a result of the above findings. Thedistinction of the types of diabetes was done by Sir HaroldHimsworth, who identified the one and two types of diabetes.Diagnosis of diabetes and its transmission was however an unsolvedissue since development of the disease in a person could not betracked to a particular cause although many patients showed similarsymptoms.
Subsequentresearch findings showed that an individual was at risk of gettingaffected by diabetes if the individuals’ family had a history ofbeing affected by the disease. Baptiste-Roberts, Gary, Beckles,Gregg, Owens, Porterfield and Engelgau (2007) opine that genepatterns in particular individuals, families and races make them easytargets of developing the disease. Individuals who were or are atrisk of suffering from obesity are also susceptible to diabetes.Baptiste-Roberts et al. 2007, also note that diabetes affects peopleof various races more than they affect others, such as AfricanAmericans, Native Americans and Asians, although lifestyle changeshave seen people from different continents such as Africa getaffected.
Variousfactors cause an individual to develop diabetes mellitus. Bloodglucose levels in the body are regulated by the pancreas in the bodythrough the release of insulin that helps cells in the synthesis ofglucose to produce metabolic energy for body functions. Rhodes 2005,notes that diabetes mellitus occurs when the pancreas fails toproduce insulin sufficiently to meet the body’s metabolicrequirements due to the breakdown of cells in the islets ofLangerhans cells in the pancreas.
Theresult of such an occurrence is that high amounts of glucose areabsorbed into the body although a lesser amount is processed andstored in the liver for metabolic functions. Lack of insulin occursdue to degradation of the beta cells in the islets that produce thehormone. The high levels of glucose in cells are toxic to organs,hence causing acidosis and permanent organ failure.
Insulinresistance is also another cause of the disease that occurs whenthere is a mismatch between the cells key and the insulin’s lockreceptors. Insulin resistance occurs when the body’s cell insulinreceptors do not respond well to insulin available in the body,therefore failing to aid in the process of regulating the glucoseavailable in the body.
Pancreaticfailure leading to the formation of diabetes mellitus can beattributed to lifestyle changes and poor eating habits and indulgencein diets that are high in processed sugars, carbohydrates causing theorgan to overwork while producing insulin to cope with the demand.Diabetics portray similar symptoms, although each diabetic suffersdifferently.
Thefinancial ability of an individual determines how they will managethe disease. Diabetes requires effective and essential management ofa persons’ lifestyle form change of diet to use of the medicationto manage the disease.
Middleand upper-class persons can afford better healthcare facilities andservices and also able to follow a stipulated diet to control theattacks related to diabetes. Individuals with low income and poor arenot able to afford essential medical service and care. Diabetes as isevident is a painful disease if not managed well. The poor andindividuals with low income suffer more from diabetes. Aside from afinancial perspective, people various races suffer more from diabetesthan other people. Asians, Africans, Hispanics, Native Americans andAfrican Americans suffer from diabetes more than other races.
Adiabetic can lead a healthy lifestyle if they stick to basicnutritional rules stipulated for diabetics. According to Franz et al.2002, diabetics should avoid processed foods such as deli meats,white bread, sugary foods such as cakes and confectionery. Diabeticsshould also avoid fatty foods. A preferable diet of a diabetic shouldcontain a small portion of carbohydrate, larger servings ofvegetables, and a reasonable serving of plant protein.
Animalprotein should be restricted to white meat or smaller portions oflean meat. Diabetics should also regularly do exercises to enable thebody use excessive glucose and prevent build up of glucose in thecells. Overweight individuals face a high risk of developing diabeteshence following a regular exercise regime and maintaining weight atan optimum level is essential as a prevention measure.
Diabeticsface a number of challenges in society. The social effect of being adiabetic is such that a person cannot partake of feeds or indulge asthe masses around them. Although the stigma associated with diabetesis minimal as compared to other diseases, diabetics may be affectedby the feeling of being different from the rest.
Rehabilitationof an individual diagnosed with diabetes is essential as this willenable a person effectively to follow the diet, terms ofadministering medication, whether orally or intravenously and how tolead a healthy lifestyle. In most countries, there are formations ofassociations that cater to the welfare of diabetics. The life storyof a comedian and author, Sherri Shepherd shows how an individual caneffectively manage diabetes and still lead a normal and healthylifestyle.
Diabetesmellitus is a disease that can affect anyone. Changes in lifestyleand adoption of fast food cultures have made increased the risk ofmany people suffering from the disease, genetics aside. In order toreduce the risk of people developing diabetes, people should followproper diets if they can and exercise on a regular basis.
Ahmed,A. M. (2002). History of diabetes mellitus. Saudi medical journal,23(4), 373-378.
AmericanDiabetes Association. (2008). Diagnosis and classification ofdiabetes mellitus. Diabetes care, 31(Supplement 1), S55-S60.
Baptiste-RobertsK, Gary, T. L, Beckles G. L, Gregg E. W, Owens M, Porterfield D, &Engelgau M. M. (2007). Family history of diabetes, awareness of riskfactors, and health behaviors among African Americans. AmericanJournal of Public Health.
FranzM. J, Bantle J. P, Beebe C. A, Brunzell J. D, Chiasson J. L, Garg A,& Wheeler M. (2002). Evidence-based nutrition principles andrecommendations for the treatment and prevention of diabetes andrelated complications. Diabetescare, 25(1),148-198.
Rhodes,C. J. (2005). Type 2 Diabetes-a Matter of ß-Cell Life and Death? Science, 307(5708), 380-384.