1. Introduction 3
1.1 What is diabetes? 3
2. Types of Diabetes 3
2.1. Type 1 Diabetes 3
2.2. Type 2 Diabetes 4
2.3. Gestational Diabetes (Diabetes of Pregnancy) 4
3. Main signs and symptoms of Diabetes 5
4. Diagnosis of Diabetes 5
4.1 What to do in case of diagnosis 6
5. Treatment of diabetes 6
5.1. Management of diabetes 6
6. Risk factors 7
7. Complications associated with Diabetes 7
8. Prevention 8
9. Prediabetes 8
10. Conclusion 9
11. References 10
Accordingto the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the numberof individuals at risk of developing type 2 diabetes andcardiovascular diseases has dramatically increased throughout theworld. In the United States alone, more than 29 million have thischronic disease with one in four individuals unawares they have thecondition (CDC, 2016).
1.1What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a disorder or a life-long condition characterized by highglucose levels in the blood. It is a defect caused by the inabilityof the body to convert glucose into energy. The most common type ofdiabetes are diabetes type 1 (insulin-dependent diabetes) and type 2diabetes (non-insulin dependent). All kinds of diabetes have severehealth consequences. Besides the serious effects of abnormal glucosemetabolism, the disease is associated with many other long-termcomplications such as cardiovascular diseases, renal abnormalities,neurologic, ocular and peripheral vascular, responsible fordisability, premature deaths, and morbidity in young people.Furthermore, the disease is linked to reproductive complications formothers and their children, although these complications associatedwith diabetes can be control or their risks decreased, this diseaseremains a burden socially, financially and psychological inpopulations globally (American Diabetes Association, 2016).
Types of Diabetes
2.1.Type 1 Diabetes
Thiskind of diabetes is chronic and represents approximately 10% of alldiabetes patients in the United States. Also known as juvenilediabetes, it can occur at any age but frequently diagnosed in youngadults and children. . It is caused by the destruction of the immunesystem of the pancreas cells. Presently, the only treatment for thistype of disease is through lifelong insulin therapy. Otherwise,individuals with this type 1 diabetes will not survive without theinsulin injections.
2.2.Type 2 Diabetes
This is the most common type and accounts for approximately 90% ofcases of diabetes. Primarily, type 2 diabetes is a lifestyle diseaseaffecting adults, but recently, there have been cases of this diseasedeveloping in children. In this kind of diabetes, the pancreascapability to make insulin is faulty, or the amount of insulinproduced is insufficient and does not work properly. Typically, thistype of diabetes is controlled with exercise, health diet and in somecases exogenous insulin. The main risk factor for this disease isobesity and a sedentary lifestyle. The dramatic increase in obesitycases globally has been attributed to the increased rates of thistype of diabetes. Physical inactivity is another risk factorassociated with diabetes types 2 (American Diabetes Association,2016).
2.3.GestationalDiabetes (Diabetes of Pregnancy)
Thistype of diabetes develops in a pregnant woman preferably in theirsecond or third trimester. Large amounts of hormones produced bypregnant women can cause the body to become insulin resistance. Toreduce complications to both the mother and the infant, treatmentwhich includes diet, insulin or regular physical activity isrequired. However, this type of diabetes is only temporary andusually disappears after pregnancy. Nevertheless, in the future,these women with Diabetes of pregnancy have an increased risk ofdeveloping Type 2 diabetes (CDC, 2016).
Main signs and symptoms of Diabetes
Accordingto the American Diabetes Association (2016), most often diabetes cango unnoticed since the affected individuals maybe unaware of thechanges related to this condition. Those at risk of getting thisdisease can learn to spot any signs and symptoms to know when to seekfurther testing and treatment. The most common symptoms associatedwith diabetes include blurred eyesight, unexplained tiredness andlethargic, unusual thirst, frequent urination, numbness or tinglingin hands or feet, slow-healing cuts, itchy skin, erectile dysfunctionin men rapid weight loss and constant hunger (American DiabetesAssociation, 2016).
Diagnosis of Diabetes
Diabetescan be diagnosed by a simple blood test to measure the level of bloodglucose. More often, these tests should be done in the morning andrepeated on the following day to verify the diagnosis. The diagnosisof this disease is frightening and shocking because the patient needsto take so much information. Normally, the blood sugar levels rangebetween 70 and 100mg/dl after fasting. However, if the sugar levelis greater than 125mg/dl, then diabetes is diagnosed. During anexamination, the doctor will determine if the patient has obesity,high blood pressure, blood deposits or yellow spots in the retina ofthe eyes. On the other hand, a laboratory test is done to includefasting plasma glucose test, sugar, a hemoglobin A1C test, and anoral glucose tolerance test ((Mayo Clinic, 2016).
4.1What to do in case of diagnosis
First,if an individual is diagnosed with diabetes, they should request fora referral to a certified diabetes educator or a dietitian. Theyshould find a prescription for testing supplies and a glucometer.Also, they should start making a life style changes by beginning anexercise program, make healthy food choices, test the levels of yourblood sugar at varying times of the day, increase fiber intake andreduce the intake of concentrated sweets (CDC, 2016).
Additionally,continuous glucose monitoring for people with diabetes is a methodused to check the level of glucose in the blood. People with type 1diabetes use this method in addition to insulin to manage thiscondition (American Diabetes Association, 2016).
Treatment of diabetes
Somepeople with this condition never exhibit any of these symptoms.Therefore, a blood test is the surest way to know one have diabetes. Up till now, the cure for either form of diabetes is not known.However, there are various ways to keep the disease under control.The available treatments are designed to help in the management ofthe blood sugar levels (CDC, 2016).
5.1.Management of diabetes
Asmentioned, diabetes treatment only helps to improve the blood glucoselevels. The treatment Type 1 diabetes requires daily insulininjections to replace the missing insulin in the body. The patientsneed to learn how to maintain a healthy lifestyle as well as balanceinsulin with the food intake, in addition to physical activity. Moreimportantly, the patient should work with a diabetes educator, andwork with a diabetes team to assist them in the management ofdiabetes (American Diabetes Association, 2016).
Thetreatment of Type 2 diabetes varies depending on the levels of theblood sugar. A majority of patients are advised to make changes intheir lifestyle and also lose their weight. More significantly, theyshould work with a dietitian and a diabetes educator. The disease isprogressive, and thus, the treatment may change with time laterrequiring tablets and insulin. Treatment with metformin is a firstline therapy for patients where the oral drug is administered tolower the levels of blood glucose (American Diabetes Association,2016).
According to the World Health Organization, the number of personswith diabetes has been fueled by changing population demographics,urbanization, and lifestyle factors. The well-known risk factors of aperson getting diabetes include a family history of diabetes,central obesity, smoking, high cholesterol, fat and calories diet,high blood pressure, age where the risk of a person getting diabetesincreases with age and gestational diabetes (Mayo Clinic, 2016).
Complications associated with Diabetes
Asa result of high blood sugar levels in an individual, patients sufferfrom a number of health problems. Diabetic retinopathy or Eyecomplication is the main cause of visual disability and blindness.Diabetes is linked to the damage of the retina`s small blood vessels,thus leading to a loss of vision. Other diseases include cataracts,glaucoma, and some others. However, blindness and loss of vision inpatients can be avoided through early detection and timelyinterventions (American Diabetes Association, 2016).
Kidneyfailure is another complication associated with diabetes. Thus, it isimportant for persons with diabetes to go for early screening todetect the onset of kidney damage. Another problem associated withdiabetes is referred to as the diabetic foot disease or footcomplications that are the most costly problem associated withdiabetes because it often leads to foot amputation (Mayo Clinic,2016).
Patientswith diabetes are more susceptible to skin disorders and infections.The other complication is Heart problems and stroke. Diabetes is themain cause of most cardiovascular complications such as ischemicheart disease. This occurs when the blood supply to the heart muscleis reduced. Studies show that half of the diabetes patients die ofcardiovascular diseases (American Diabetes Association, 2016).
Diabetescan be prevented by following a healthy lifestyle, which hasdemonstrated effectiveness in delaying or preventing the occurrenceof type 2 diabetes. Therefore, people should reduce the burden ofdiabetes by making regular physical activities on most days tocontrol their weight. Achieving and maintain a healthy body weightshould be a key. Moreover, people should also avoid tobacco use sincesmoking is associated with a majority of cardiovascular diseases, andmaking healthy food choices (Alibasic, Ramic & Alic, 2013).
Individualswith prediabetes have high levels of blood glucose but not enough tobe termed as diabetes. However, this can progress to heart diseases,stroke and type 2 diabetes although, some patients with thiscondition will not develop diabetes (Alibasicet al., 2013).
Inconclusion, the World Health Organization predicts that in the year2030, diabetes will be among the leading causes of death. It is sadthat most diabetes cases may be underreported as a cause of death.Presently, diabetes cannot be cured but with better management andcontrol, a person with diabetes can maintain good healthy life. Atthe end of the day, diabetes can cause serious problems. Therefore,public and professional awareness of symptoms and risk factorsrelated to diabetes are crucial steps that can be made to prevent andcontrol the disease.
Alibasic,E., Ramic, E., & Alic, A. (2013). Preventionof Diabetes in Family Medicine. Materia Socio-Medica, 25(2), 80–82.http://doi.org/10.5455/msm.2013.25.80-82.
AmericanDiabetes Association (2016). Preventionor Delay of Type 2 Diabetes. Retrieved March 09, 2016, from http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/39/Supplement_1/S36.full
CDC(2016). ManagingDiabetes.Retrieved March 09, 2016, from http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/home/index.html
MayoClinic (2016). Diabetes.Retrieved fromhttp://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases- conditions/diabetes/basics/prevention/CON-20033091