Diabetes Mellitus refers to a metabolic disease where there is high blood sugar level in the body for a long period of time. Diabetes Mellitus is characterized with frequent urination, thirst and increased appetite. If diabetes is not given medical attention, it could lead to blindness, kidney failure, heart disease, and stroke. Diabetes results from pancreatic failure to produce enough insulin. Normally, human body is expected to break down sugars and carbohydrates into glucose. Glucose gives energy to the body, however, for this to happen; insulin is needed (Stoglade, 2014, p. 204-209). Diabetes mellitus therefore makes the cells in the body unable to take in the glucose, making it build up in the body. An increase in blood glucose leads to damage of blood vessels in the body organs such as; heart, eyes and kidney.
Diabetic ketoacidosis is a chronic diabetic disease that may lead to a coma when not properly monitored. It results from insufficient glucose in the body that is needed for energy for body operations. This condition initiates the body to burn down fat for the purposes of energy production. The energy burnt down from fats produces ketones. This is especially done when there’s not enough insulin to use the glucose that the body needs. However, great concentrations of ketones in the body may become more acidic which in turn poison the body (Rosival, 2014).
Diabetes mellitus is divided into three, namely; first, type 1 diabetes mellitus in which the pancreas does not produce enough insulin; second is type 2 diabetes mellitus in which the body cells do not utilize the insulin produced; third, gestational diabetes which occurs in pregnant women when they have high blood sugar levels (Assal & Group, 2010, p. 97-101). Type 1 diabetes is also called juvenile onset diabetes because it begins in childhood. In this, the body tends to attack the pancreas with antibodies, thus interfering with its ability to make insulin. Type 1 diabetes affects nerves in the eyes and kidneys. It is normally managed by administering insulin to the patient through injections using syringes, insulin pens and jet injectors. When a person notices that he/she has type 1 diabetes, his/her lifestyle is expected to change tremendously. For instance, one needs to test their blood sugar levels frequently, frequent exercise, maintaining a healthy diet and taking insulin as required (National Diabetes Data Group, 2011, p. 103-110). Type 2 diabetes occurs in a situation where the body either produces very little insulin that is not enough for normal body functions or the body cells become resistant to the insulin produced. Individuals who develop type 2 diabetes are usually obese. It is however controllable by management of weight, proper nutrition and frequent exercise to avoid cases of obesity. Gestation diabetes is normally diagnosed in the second or the last trimester of pregnancy because pregnancy to some level leads to insulin intolerance. Gestational diabetes is risky to the newborn baby because they can have abnormal weight gain in the womb, breathing problems after birth and risk of being obese and developing diabetes later in their lives. The woman also faces the risk of undergoing caesarean section because of an overweight baby, or problems with their eyes, nerves, kidneys, or heart. Luckily, after pregnancy, this type of diabetes resolves itself on its own. It is however possible that after a woman suffers gestational diabetes; they can develop type 2 diabetes later in life. A pregnant woman suffering from gestational diabetes can have healthy meals, carry out daily exercise and taking insulin to control blood sugar if need be as a measure of trying to treat and control the effects of gestational diabetes. (Gavin, Alberti, Davidson & De Fronzo, 2013, p. 79)
There are several factors which when put together affect the health of an individual or a population. Where a person lives, his/her environment, genetic composition, a person’s income, education level and relationship with other members of the community greatly determine one’s health. Rarely does a person have control over the determinants of his/her health and it is therefore not right blaming a person over their health status. Determinants of health according to World Health Organization (W.H.O.) are classified into; income, social status, education, physical environment, working conditions, genetics, personal behavior, gender, social support networks and health services. Income affects a person’s health in the following ways; a person inclined to a high income is directly related to good health. This is because, with the high income a person earns, he or she is able to access a good hospital in case they fall sick. Besides, they are able to go for routine medical checkup, unlike a person with low income who uses the low income they earn for the purpose of acquiring basic needs. A person with a high social status is also linked to good health system because they can use their influence to attain the best medical services. People with low education are directly linked to poor health because they are ignorant of the various diseases that affect human beings and measures that can be taken to control and treat these diseases (Blas &Kurup, 2010, p. 44-56).
Physical environment comprises of aspects such as safe water, safe houses, clean unpolluted air and good roads. A person who has access to all of these is sure of having good health because they use clean drinking water which is safe from disease causing organisms, the air that they breathe in does not cause respiratory diseases and they have access to good roads, meaning that when they fall sick they can easily reach the hospital. The people who don’t have access to these privileges tend to be prone to diseases because they are greatly exposed to disease causing organisms. When it comes to working conditions, people who are employed and have control over their working conditions are healthier than those who are unemployed, or those who are employed but have no control over their working conditions because the latter group could be working in poor conditions (for example a dirty working environment) but are not able to fight for their rights, exposing them to disease causing organisms (Hankivisky & Christoffersen, 2013, p. 87).
Another determinant of health is genetics. Inheritance has a great role in determining the health of a person because there are diseases that are inherited for example diabetes type 2. The disease is therefore passed from one generation to another, posing a risk to a person from such a lineage. Personal behavior determines a person’s health because behavior is related to activity through physical exercise, balanced meals, smoking and taking alcohol. Lack of exercise and taking unbalanced meals leads to diseases such as diabetes (Benoit & Shumka, 2009, p. 58-63). Smoking can lead to lung diseases and taking alcohol leads to diseases such as liver cirrhosis. Gender is yet another determinant of health because men and women tend to suffer from different diseases. For instance, it is not possible for a man to suffer from gestational diabetes because men do not get pregnant. People who are more exposed to social support networks tend to be healthier than those who do not because sharing problems in social support networks eases anxiety that a person may be facing, hence relieving them from diseases such as hypertension (Wilkinson, 2015, p. 105). A person who does not share their problems tends to be more depressed leading to severe cases of hypertension. Culture as a determinant of health influences a person’s well-being because some customs and traditions expose a person to disease causing organisms. For instance, some cultures are against washing of hands, exposing members of such communities to germs and other pathogens. Last determinant of health is access to health services. If a person is able to access and make use of health facilities, they can access proper treatment and prevention of certain diseases, making them lead healthy lives (Hitiris&Posnett, 2015, p. 33-40).
It is important to link the determinants of health and diabetes mellitus. Some groups of people are more predisposed to diabetes mellitus than others. For instance, inadequate transport in some areas may force the people to travel long distances to obtain medical care and also to obtain healthy foods with regard to diabetes mellitus. People living in urban areas lack sidewalks because of congestion in urban cities, making the residents feel lazy going for walks as a type of physical exercise. The income of a person may determine how a person with diabetes mellitus takes care of him or herself. For instance, a person with higher income can afford money to go for the insulin injections. The personal behavior of a person can determine if this person will be affected by diabetes mellitus, for instance, a person who has a behavior of binge eating is likely to be obese and therefore develop diabetes mellitus. The genetic make-up of a person determines if a person will have diabetes mellitus or not because sometimes the medical condition is inherited from one generation to the other. Education level of a person determines how he/she takes care of him/herself in case of diabetes mellitus because at some point of acquiring education, one is taught about the causes of diabetes mellitus and various ways of managing the disease.
Assal, J. P., & Group, L., 2010.Definition, diagnosis and classification of diabetes mellitus and its complications.World Health Organization.p. 97-101.
Benoit, C., &Shumka, L., 2009. Gendering the health determinants framework: Why girls’ and women’s health matters. Vancouver, BC: Women’s Health Research Network.p. 58-63.
Blas, E., &Kurup, A., 2010. Equity, social determinants and public health programmes. World Health Organization. p. 44-56.
Gavin. J., Alberti, K., Davidson.,& De Fronzo, R., 2013. Report of the expert committee on the diagnosis and classification of diabetes mellitus.Diabetes care.p. 79.
Hankivisky, O., &Christoffersen, A., 2013. Intersectionality and the determinants of health: A Canadian perspective. Critical Public Health.p. 87.
Hitiris, T., &Posnett, J., 2015. The determinants and effects of health expenditure in developed countries. Journal of health economics.p. 33-40.
National Diabetes Data Group., 2011. Classification and diagnosis of diabetes mellitus and other categories of glucose tolerance.Diabetes.p. 103-110.
Rosival, V., 2014. Management of adult diabetic ketoacidosis. Diabetes, metabolic syndrome and obesity: targets and therapy, 7, p.571.
Stogdale, L., 2014. Definition of diabetes mellitus.The Cornell Veterinarian.p. 204-209.
Wilkinson, R., 2015. Socioeconomic determinants of health. Health inequalities: relative or absolute material standards? BMJ: British Medical Journal. p. 105.
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