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Diabetes Mallitus Essay Research Paper

Diabetes Mallitus Essay, Research Paper

“Diabetes Mellitus”

Diabetes mellitus is one of the most serious health problems facing the Native American Indians today. The disease is very common in many tribes cross the United States. “Diabetes plagues our Navajo people and will continue to be an epidemic disease until each of us takes action”.

Diabetes mellitus is a disease that occurs when the body is not able to use sugar. The body needs sugar for growth and energy for daily activities. It gets sugar when it changes food into glucose (a form of sugar). A hormone called insulin is needed for the glucose to be taken up and used by the body for energy.

In a non-diabetic person insulin is secreted in response to increases in blood glucose levels. When the blood glucose increases, insulin is producing lower blood glucose. So the body keeps the blood glucose at normal levels. Many people with diabetes do not produce enough insulin and must take it by injection. Because insulin is a protein it would be digested if taken orally.

When a person is diagnosed with diabetes, which means the body cannot make use of the glucose in the blood for energy because either the pancreas is not able to make enough insulin or the insulin that is available is not effective. The beta cells in areas of the pancreas usually make insulin.

There are three main types of diabetes mellitus: insulin-dependent (Type 1), noninsulin-dependent (Type 2), and gestational diabetes (occurs during pregnancy). In insulin-dependent diabetes (IDDM), the pancreas makes little or no insulin because the insulin-producing beta cells have been destroyed. This type appears most commonly in younger people under the age of 30. Treatment consists of daily insulin injections or use of an insulin pump, a planned diet and regular exercise, and daily self-monitoring of blood glucose. Type1 diabetes is relatively rare in Native American Indians. Many cases of Type1 diabetes are seen in people who have both American Indian and Caucasian heritage.

In noninsulin-dependent diabetes (NIDDM), the pancreas makes some insulin, sometimes too much. The insulin, however, is not effective. NIDDM is controlled by diet and exercise. Sometimes oral drugs that lower blood glucose levels or insulin injections are needed. This type of diabetes usually develops gradually, most often in people over 40 years of age. NIDDM accounts for 90 to 95 percent of diabetes.

About 9 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. On an average, they are 2.8 times as likely to have diagnosed diabetes as non-Hispanic whites of a similar age. Data from the Navajo Health and Nutrition Survey showed that 22.9 percent of Navajo adults age 20 and older had diabetes, but another 7 percent were found to have undiagnosed diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is becoming increasingly common among the youth. Researchers found out that 5,274 Pima Indian children from 1967 to 1996 have type 2 diabetes. In girls age 10 to 14 have increased form 0.72 percent to 2.88 percent in eight years. In 1999, 70,000 Natives Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes.

Gestational diabetes develops only during pregnancy. Many changes take place in a woman’s body during pregnancy. Care of the pregnant woman with diabetes requires a careful balance of the mother’s blood sugars and the nutritional needs of the fetus during the nine months of pregnancy. This kind of diabetes usually disappears after delivery.

Gestational diabetes, in blood glucose levels that are above normal during pregnancy, occurs about 2 to 5 percent in Native American woman. Prenatal problems such as macrosomia (large body size) and neonatal hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) are higher in babies born to women with gestational diabetes. Even though blood glucose levels return to normal after childbirth, an increased risk of developing gestational diabetes in the future while pregnant can occur again. Studies show that many women with gestational diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes later on in life.

+ 14.5 percent of pregnancies in Zuni Indians

+ 3.4 percent of deliveries in Navajo Indians

+ 5.8 percent of deliveries in Yup’ik Eskimos

From 1984 to 1986, diabetes was the sixth leading cause of death among the American Indians. Because mortality rates are based on the underlying cause of death on a death certificates, the impact of diabetes on mortality among American Indians and Alaska Natives has increased. Diabetes contributes to several of the leading causes of death in American Indians: heath disease, cerebrovascluar disease, pneumonia, and influenza. In addition, one study found that American Indian heritage was underreported on death certificates by 65 percent. Between 1986 and 1988, the mortality rate for diabetes in American Indians was 4.3 times the rate in non-Hispanic whites. Age and sex death rate studies of the Pima Indians from 1975 to 1984 was nearly twelve times greater than the mortality rate in 1980 for all races in the United States.

When you are diagnosed with diabetes, there are different side effect to be aware of. Diabetes included having to urinate often, losing weight, getting very thirsty, and being hungry all the time. Other signs are blurred vision, itching, and slow healing of sores. People with untreated or undiagnosed diabetes are thirsty and have to urinate often because glucose builds to a high level in the bloodstream and the kidneys are working hard to flush out the extra amount. People with untreated diabetes often get hungry and tired because the body is not able to use food the way it should.

In insulin-dependent diabetes, if the level of insulin is too low for a long period of time, the body begins to break down its stores of fat for energy. This causes the body to release acids (ketones) into the blood. The result is called ketoacidosis, a severe condition that may put a person into a coma if not treated right away.

The causes of diabetes are not known. Scientists think that insulin- dependent diabetes may be more than one disease and may have many causes. They are looking at hereditary (whether or not the person has parents or other family members with the disease) and at factors both inside and outside the body, including viruses.

In conclusions, I think that having diabetes is a very serious disease that our own flesh and blood have to face everyday. I have some relatives who are diabetic. My grandfather once told me ” being diabetic isn’t fun at all because you have to inject insulin into your body everyday”. Every time I visit him, he looks thinner and thinner. I think it’s because of his diet. He can’t just pick out something from the refrigerator and eat it, but has to watch what he eats. Because of his diabetes, he can’t enjoy life as much as he use too. For that reason his loosing interested in everything. I know it’s hard for him sometimes but as a grandchild, I have to encourage him to keep perusing his dreams and to be thankful that his family is standing right beside him.

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