Diabetes Why Study Diabetes? Term Paper

Pages: 10 (3065 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 9  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Native Americans


Why Study Diabetes?

There are two kinds of diabetes, Type I and type II, and they both tend to be a problem for many people throughout the world today, but for Americans it is especially alarming. The major concern with the American people is that Type II diabetes tends to occur at a very young age (Gilliland, Carter, Skipper, & Acton, 2002). Traditionally, Type II diabetes was assumed to be an adult onset disease. However, research shows that the development of Type II diabetes in Americans tends to decrease as population ages, therefore it is especially important to educate young Americans about the risks (Gilliland, Carter, Skipper, & Acton, 2002).

Since American youths are getting Type II diabetes at a high rate, the mortality rates for Americans from this disease have been on the rise. Type I diabetes typically appears in children or younger people and has never been specifically linked to aging, nor have the number for individuals acquiring this disease been rising (Gilliland, Carter, Skipper, & Acton, 2002). It is important to address not only the prevalence of diabetes in society today, but what can be done to help lessen it, especially in the younger population.

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Further research shows that not only are young Americans getting Type II diabetes at a faster rate, but having Native American blood affects the likelihood of developing the condition. In older Native Americans, for example those aged between 45 and 74, the Type II diabetes incident rate is several times higher than that of the general United States population. Research shows a Type II diabetes rate between 38% and 72% in the Native Americans that were studied (Gilliland, Carter, Skipper, & Acton, 2002). Clearly this research shows the need for further investigation and informational programs for Native Americans. For those who are not of this genetic makeup, however, there is no call for complacency. Diabetes and insulin resistance is rising in America no matter what the heritage of the person.

Type I or Type II - What Are the Differences?

Term Paper on Diabetes Why Study Diabetes? There Are Two Assignment

Type II diabetes, also called adult onset diabetes, differs from type I diabetes in significant ways. In type I diabetes, the body does not produce enough insulin and therefore the sugar in the blood of the afflicted individual is raised to a level that is deemed unsafe (Studies, 2002). In Type II diabetes however, whether or not the body produces enough insulin is not really the issue. The body makes the proper amount of insulin, but the insulin does not work the way it should, and therefore the sugar in the blood still rises to an unsafe level, which can harm many different organs (Studies, 2002).

Because of the differences between the two types, Type II diabetes is sometimes considered much easier to treat. Although both kinds can be dangerous, Type II diabetes often requires dietary changes, weight loss, and pills which have to be taken once a day. Type I diabetes often requires insulin shots every day, and sometimes more than once a day. Both types of diabetes must be monitored, as excessive amounts of sugar in the blood can lead to severe complications such as stroke, blindness, and heart disease (Studies, 2002). For people with Type I diabetes, however, controlling their disease can become a constant battle, where individuals with Type II diabetes usually do not have as serious of an issue to deal with, provided they follow their doctors' orders and make some changes to their diet and lifestyle, along with taking their medication.

Diabetes Complications

Both Type I and Type II diabetes have many complications. Hundreds of thousands of people die every year as the result of diabetes. In addition to those that are killed by the disease, many others suffer through uncomfortable, painful, and debilitating conditions that are related to diabetes. Kidney disease is one of the complications of diabetes. As it progresses, it often requires kidney transplants or dialysis for the patient to survive. Blindness is another complication of diabetes. Over 10,000 people every year between the ages of 20 and 74 lose their sight to diabetic complications. Other complications such as heart disease, nerve disease, stroke, amputation, and impotence can all be attributed to diabetes (Studies, 2002).

While it is true that many people who do not have diabetes have heart disease, stroke, and other problems, the rates are much higher for those who have diabetes than for those who do not. Because they are greater risk, people who have diabetes must be more careful of their health in general so as to avoid serious problems.

The Spread of Type II Diabetes - Research Studies

Through the use of medical reviews, the prevalence of Type II diabetes in the American population has been studied. According to research, the onset of Type II diabetes, which is typically see only in adults, has been found to be occurring at younger ages. This was determined by studying blood glucose readings from medical charts in many communities across the United States. Through this it was discovered that many young Americans had blood glucose readings that should have been lower. While many diabetics in these communities were seeking treatment, there was a large segment of people who were going untreated.

Those who did research into this topic found that many Americans were dying of diabetes or diabetes related complications (Lee, Welty, Cowan, Wang, Rhoades, Devereux, Go, Fabsitz, & Howard, 2002). Many of these steps could be prevented by proper treatment, health assessments, and information as to the causes of diabetes. Intervention programs were found to be desirable, especially for the younger population.

Another study confirmed a correlation between Type II diabetes and periodontal disease (Gilliland, Azen, Perez & Carter, 2002). According to this research, adult diabetes is more easily controlled when good oral health regimens are followed. During the study it was discovered that giving antibiotics to Americans with gum or periodontal disease helped with the control of blood sugar (Gilliland, Azen, Perez & Carter, 2002). Some who participated in the study are of the opinion that periodontal disease and oral health is the most important risk factor when looking at the causes of diabetes.

It would take precedence, in the opinion of those researchers, over such factors as obesity, age, and smoking. Researchers believe that glycated hemoglobin, a marker of blood sugar control, becomes elevated during gum or periodontal disease (Gilliland, Azen, Perez & Carter, 2002). Therefore, treating the disease with antibiotics also helps to control blood sugar, and can work independently of, and just as well as, standard diabetic medications. In doing the study, researchers noted that the American population needed to be taught the importance of good oral health, and more needed to be done to treat periodontal infections in this population (Gilliland, Azen, Perez & Carter, 2002).

Participants in one study were examined for both their rates of diabetes and also for their risk factors (Jacobson, Booton-Hiser, Moore, Edwards, Pryor, & Campbell, 1998). Risk factors included such things as obesity and smoking. While these were largely expected by the researchers, an unexpected development was that an additional risk factor appears to be having Native American blood. Researchers were quite alarmed by the prevalence of diabetes in those with this blood.

This single risk factor appeared to be more significant than smoking, obesity, and many other factors which were traditionally associated with diabetes (Jacobson, Booton-Hiser, Moore, Edwards, Pryor, & Campbell, 1998). After viewing the result of the study, researchers recommended that prevention programs and information programs be implemented immediately in the Native American population to reduce the risk of further cases of diabetes (Jacobson, Booton-Hiser, Moore, Edwards, Pryor, & Campbell, 1998).

While researchers were careful to note that this would not stop Americans from getting diabetes, they also help believe that, through proper understanding of the causes of the disease, Native Americans could lessen their chances of becoming diabetic in their lifetime. Also discovered during the study was that many Native Americans who did not already have diabetes did have an impaired level of glucose tolerance (Jacobson, Booton-Hiser, Moore, Edwards, Pryor, & Campbell, 1998). Through close monitoring of their health, weight control, and other helpful measures these Native Americans would have the potential to avoid becoming diabetic (Jacobson, Booton-Hiser, Moore, Edwards, Pryor, & Campbell, 1998).

Diabetes Avoidance

In order to help the American population avoid diabetes, researchers are finding that intervention programs are becoming very necessary (Acton, Shields, Rith-Najarian, Tolbert, Kelly, Moore, Valdez, Skipper, & Gohdes, 2001). In order for these intervention programs to work, researchers have also discovered that the programs need to meet the cultural needs of the American society. Intervention programs that are not culturally acceptable to Americans will not be as beneficial to them as intervention programs that fit in with the culture and lifestyle that this population is accustomed to. In response to their growing concerns, researchers created an intervention program that was designed specifically for the Native American population, as well. This intervention program focused on many of the things… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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