Diabetes: The Silent Killer Essay, Research Paper
The Silent Killer: Diabetes
Diabetes is the sixth leading cause of death by disease. It is a chronic disease that has no cure. Therefore it comes to no surprise that this disease has acquired countless number of attentions. Unfortunately, 5.4 million people in the United State are unaware that they have this disease. Until they do, they have already developed life-threatening complications. This may include blindness, kidney diseases, nerves diseases, heart diseases, strokes, and amputations. It is no wonder that diabetes is known as the silent killer. Diabetes is condition where the body does not produce or properly use insulin, which is a type of hormone that converts sugar, starches, and other types of foods into the energy that humans need everyday. It controls the blood sugar level and without it, death is inevitable.
There are two major types of diabetes: Type I, and Type II. Type I is where the body does not produce any insulin also known as insulin dependent or immune-medicated diabetes. It is a disease that destroys the cells in the pancreas that produces insulin. Type II, is where the body can?t make enough or properly use insulin, also known as non-insulin dependent. Other specific type of diabetes may have its origin from certain genetic syndromes, surgery, drugs, malnutrition inflection and other illness.
The cause of this disease remains a mystery. Genetics, environmental factors, lack of exercise, plays an important role in the cause of diabetes. Diabetes can cause different types of problems depending on which types of diabetes they have. For Type I diabetes, two problems may occur: ketoacidosis, and hyperglycemia. In ketoacidosis, your body produces ketones. This occurs when your blood glucose level increases too high. The productions of ketones have its unpleasant results. Ketones can cause you to vomit, have trouble breathing, become dehydrated, have dry itchy skin, and/or go into a coma. Hyperglycemia is where your blood glucose level is too low. In results, one may feel shaky, tired, hungry, confused or nervous. Lastly, there may be complications for Type I diabetes. Since the levels of glucose are high, it can damage organs. Eyes, kidney, and nerves can be damaged. It may also provoke heart and blood vessels more likely. In Type II diabetes, three types of problems can occur such as high blood glucose, low blood glucose, and complications itself. In high blood glucose, there are times when your blood glucose level may increase too high. This occurs more likely when one is under a lot of stress. When the glucose level does increase, problems such as headaches, blurry vision, thirst, frequent trips to the restroom, and dry itchy skin may occur. When the body lacks blood glucose, a problem such as low blood glucose may occur. This is also called hypoglycemia. When hypoglycemia occurs, one may feel shaky, tired, hungry, nervous and confused. With all of these serious complications, it is highly recommended that people get checked for diabetes before other problems arise.
Diabetes seems to be targeting at certain ethnic groups. Because of this information, a biological/genetic factor may be involved. The percentages, calculations, and estimates, seems to be pointing at three ethnic groups: African American, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans. According to the Diabetes American Association, it is estimated that African Americans are 1.7 times more likely to have diabetes than Hispanic whites. Thus, Hispanic Americans are almost twice as likely to have Type II diabetes then non-Hispanic whites. There are even cases where in most tribes, half of the populations of the Native American have diabetes.
People who have diabetes have a certain nutritional management to keep their diabetes under control. Because of the fact that there are different types of diabetes, there are different nutritional managements to suit each type with its specific needs. For type one diabetes, the goal of the nutritional management is to lower the glucose in blood, since the glucose level is too high. To control the level, diabetics must take insulin shots before meals, exercise, and/or maintain a healthy diet. The diet must be low in fat, have moderate amounts of protein, and have high complex carbohydrates. This may include breads, cereals, noodles, or rice. The diet must have consistency; it is recommended that the same number of calories is consumed each day, and that the meals and snacks are timed. Meals must never be skipped. Being active by exercising, helps the human body cells consume the glucose. The process helps lower the glucose levels in blood. Therefore, exercise is very helpful for diabetics. The nutritional management is also similar for type two diabetes. However, losing weight is also a step for the nutritional management. By losing weight, the body is more likely to take the insulin. Therefore, exercise is involved and is advised so by the doctor. The nutritional management varies from person to person since everyone is different. Therefore, a dietitian may help the diabetic to plan out a meal plan that fits.
15.7 million or 5.9% of the men women and children in the United States have diabetes, while estimates of 10.3 million are diagnosed. Sadly, one third of these people are not aware that they have the disease. According to American Diabetes Association, each day approximately 2,200 people are diagnosed with diabetes and an estimate of about 798,000 people will be diagnosed this year. Estimates of 7.5 million of men and 8.2 million of women have diabetes. In 1995 alone, diabetes has contributed to more than 187,000 deaths and this year, 190,000 will die from diabetes. Of the two types of diabetes, type 1 usually occurs during childhood or adolescence. Risks of developing type 1 in siblings and adolescence is higher than virtually all other sever chronic diseases with its peak incidence during puberty. Some warning signs include frequent urination, unusual thirst, extreme hunger, unusual weight loss, extreme fatigue, and recurring skin, gum or bladder infection. Type 2, the most common form of diabetes, usually occurs after the age of 45. Nearly 18.4% of the United States population ages 65 and older have diabetes. However, unlike type 1, people with type 2 diabetes have no symptoms.
Subsequently, there are many treatments when dealing with diabetes. Since people with diabetes have blood sugar problems, meal planning for sugar control, and excising is just one method of treatment for diabetes. But sometimes, these treatments are not enough to help out with the problems. The next step is to take medicine. These methods are: oral medicine such as pills or insulin shots. However, people with type 1 diabetes don?t produce any insulin for the glucose to pass into a cell, therefore they can?t take any oral medication and insulin shots are their only way to keep blood sugar levels down.
When diabetics signs starts to appear upon an individual, it is imperative that they must seek a physician immediately. If not, one may develop life-threatening complications, which in severe cases, can result in death. The numbers of deaths will only climb even higher, and diabetes will remain its title as the sixth leading cause of death by disease in the United States. As information about diabetes continue to spread out across the nation, more people will be informed and familiar about this serious disease, in result, advance action will take place for care and maintenance. The silent killer title will thus be removed, and diabetes will not remain in the dark.
Frances Sizer and Eleanor Whitney, What is diabetes?: 112-115; Nutrition Concepts and Controversies 8th edition (2000)
packet from The medical Center at the University of California, San Francisco;
Caring for your Diabetes
Medical Notes on Diabetes, BBC News; http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/health/medical_notes/
American Diabetes Association, http://www.diabetes.org