Diabetes / diabetes mellitus, is a human disorder where a blood sugar/ glucose surpasses their normal level either due to inadequate insulin production in the body known as type 1 diabetes or if the body cells are unable to respond properly to insulin (type 2 diabetes) or even both cases (American Diabetes Association, 2014). A person can also have pre-diabetes which is a case where the blood sugars are higher than normal but have not reached the levels of being called diabetes. A person in this situation is more prone to getting type 2 diabetes. Glucose comes from foods that a person eats mostly carbohydrates such as bread, rice, pasta, etc., while insulin is a hormone that gets into a person’s cells to help glucose produce energy. Pregnant women are at a risk of getting gestation diabetes as this facilitated by inability of the body to make/use the insulin needed during pregnancy.
Statistics done by Americans Diabetes Association in 2015 shows that 30.3 million Americans (9.4% of American’s population) had diabetes and 20.3% of that population was diagnosed and 7.2% were undiagnosed. Most of those patients were found to be 65 years and above. The study also shows that 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes annually and 81.4 million Americans of 18 years and above had pre-diabetes. The majority cause of death in the year 2015 was proved to be diabetes with approximately 80,000 death cases pointing it as the leading cause of death and approximately 250,000 death cases indicating that diabetes was a contributing /underlying determinant of death (American Diabetes Association, 2015).
Diabetes type 1cause is usually unknown, what is known is that insulin-producing cells are destroyed by immune system leaving insufficient insulin in the body. Scientists think that this type is caused by genetic susceptibility and environmental factors. In type 2 diabetes which is the most common type, cells become resistant to insulin and the pancreas which is used to make insulin is unable to make enough of it to overcome this problem, causing glucose building up in the body. This type is caused by lifestyle factors and genes including being obesity, overweight and physical inactiveness (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014).
Endocrinologists are specialists in disorders such as diabetes, and as such, they manage patients with diabetes. The primary goal in treating/preventing diabetes is mainly to control glucose levels within normal range. To treat type 1 diabetes, a patient must take insulin mainly because their body does not make this hormone and the patient can also use insulin pump as it gives steady dose throughout the day. Patients with type 2 diabetes can manage this disease by engaging in physical activities and making healthy food. Diabetes type 2 patients also need diabetes medicines either pills or in extreme cases injecting insulin under the skin.
When people talk about diabetes prevention, they broadly mean preventing type 2 diabetes. Diabetes type 1 cannot be prevented but living healthy life, regular physical exercise and eating healthy life can minimize chances of getting pre-diabetes (Dunkley, Bodicoat, Greaves, Russell, Yates, Davies, & Khunti, 2014). Type 2 diabetes has various ways to avoid it; the first way is eating healthy food. A person trying to avoid diabetes is advised to choose foods with fewer calories and high fiber. The fiber grain reduces the ability of diabetes enzymes to break down starch into glucose lowering sugar increase and glycemic index. The grain is also well known to be rich in minerals and vitamins that help reduce the risk of diabetes.
Reducing excess pounds is a way a person can minimize the risk of diabetes. Research shows that obese persons are 20 to 50 times more likely to be diabetic than an ordinary person with a healthy weight. Losing 7% of an obese weight can help to reduce chances of being diagnosed with this condition. A person with this target of losing weight should engage in permanent changes of exercise habits (Ley, Hamdy, Mohan, & Hu, 2014).
Choose good fats rather than bad fats. Polyunsaturated fats are said to help prevent diabetes type 2, they are found in liquid vegetable oils and nuts. These fats are also found in fish (omega 3) and although they don't prevent diabetes, they help to prevent diabetes patients from having a heart attack. Bad fats include fats found in margarine, baked and fried foods. A person should also avoid red/ processed meat and instead choose poultry and fish. Research findings from nurses’ health study shows that eating once 3-ouch serving of red meat increase of type 2 diabetes by 20%
Quit smoking and reduce alcohol consumption. (Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group, 2015)A person who smokes has a 50% chance more likely to develop diabetes problems than a nonsmoker. A person with drinking problems should try to maintain a moderate range of alcohol consumption to reduce diabetes risks.
American Diabetes Association. (2014). Diagnosis and classification of diabetes mellitus. Diabetes care, 37(Supplement 1), S81-S90.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014). National diabetes statistics report: estimates of diabetes and its burden in the United States, 2014. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, 2014.
American Diabetes Association. (2015). Standards of medical care in diabetes—2015 abridged for primary care providers. Clinical diabetes: a publication of the American Diabetes Association, 33(2), 97.
Dunkley, A. J., Bodicoat, D. H., Greaves, C. J., Russell, C., Yates, T., Davies, M. J., & Khunti, K. (2014). Diabetes prevention in the real world: effectiveness of pragmatic lifestyle interventions for the prevention of type 2 diabetes and of the impact of adherence to guideline recommendations. Diabetes care, 37(4), 922-933.
Ley, S. H., Hamdy, O., Mohan, V., & Hu, F. B. (2014). Prevention and management of type 2 diabetes: dietary components and nutritional strategies. The Lancet, 383(9933), 1999-2007.
Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group. (2015). Long-term effects of lifestyle intervention or metformin on diabetes development and microvascular complications over 15-year follow-up: the Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study. The lancet Diabetes & endocrinology, 3(11), 866-875.