Epidemiology of Diabetes Essay

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Epidemiology of Diabetes

Causes and Types of Diabetes

Symptoms of Diabetes

Consequences of Diabetes

Etiology and natural history of condition

Diagnosis and Treatment


Elderly Population

Individuals with Family History of Diabetes

Pregnant Females

Obese Population

Incidence and Prevalence

Elderly Population

Individuals with Family History of Diabetes

Pregnant Females

Obese Population

Causes and Types of Diabetes

Diabetes is not an infectious/communicable disease; rather it is a disorder that is linked to the abnormal metabolism in human body. The food that one consumes is digested and broken down into smaller units, prominently glucose, in a series of enzyme controlled chemical reactions. Furthermore, these simpler substances enter blood capillaries from where cells absorb and utilize them to harvest energy for numerous processes that are continuously occurring for healthy growth and development of an individual (Gropper, Smith & Groff, 2009).

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Glucose is an essential product of metabolism that primarily provides energy to human body; therefore, it is necessary to continuously regulate its concentration in the bloodstream. This function is performed by a chemical messenger -- Insulin, which is released by an endocrine gland Pancreas. Insulin directs the cells to absorb glucose so that it does not accumulate in bloodstream; however, if glucose is not effectively taken up by the cells, blood sugar concentration escalates and ultimately damages normal functioning parts of the body such as components of nervous and circulatory systems (Gropper, Smith & Groff, 2009).

Essay on Epidemiology of Diabetes Assignment

An individual suffering from diabetes experience increased blood sugar level at all times; however, causes differ from person to person. One of the foremost causes is the inefficiency of pancreas, which means that insulin is not released to a least bit. Additionally, in certain cases insulin is not produced in the required amount or even if it is released, cells are incapable of detecting its presence; thus, they fail to absorb glucose from the blood (WHO, 2012).

Diabetes is categorized into two main divisions namely Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, pancreatic cells lose their capability to produce insulin; therefore, patients have to administer measured dose of insulin through injections to control their blood sugar level (WHO, 2012).

Reports of different health organizations depict that this type of diabetes is incurable because its causes are still unidentified; however, few studies suggest the probable causes of it.

According to these studies, a proposition has come to forefront that the cells responsible of producing and releasing insulin are eaten up by the body itself due to multiple factors such as microbial infection, chemical exposure through food items and so forth. Consequently, due to absence of insulin producing cells, blood sugar does not fall back to its normal level (Hicks, 2012).

On the other hand, in second type of diabetes, although insulin is produced by the pancreas but the body cells do not respond to them appropriately. Therefore, despite of the presence of insulin in the bloodstream, glucose is not utilized by the cells to fulfill their needs (Hicks, 2012).

Type 2 is more commonly found amongst people globally and is mainly caused by obesity and lethargic lifestyle. Consumption of food with high sugar and fat content beget to increase in body weight that eventually causes obesity. Moreover, obesity makes insulin receptors (that are present on the cell surface) ineffective towards detection of insulin. Additionally, few sources exhibit a fact that obesity stimulates the body to release such elements that undermines the performance of circulatory and metabolic activities. As a result glucose accumulates in the blood causing diabetes (Cryer, 2004).

When the body cells starve for glucose, this message is sent to insulin producing cells which results in more insulin being released. When this cycle of events continues, normal insulin producing cells become functionally weak. Consequently, insulin production is hampered and the quality of insulin that is being produced is poor (Cryer, 2004).

Scientific sources reveal another cause of diabetes specifically in male population. According to it, those individuals that are reported to have testosterone imbalance are vulnerable of suffering from type 2 diabetes (Cryer, 2004).

Symptoms of Diabetes

There are numerous signs and symptoms that indicate the existence of the state of diabetes. Accumulation of glucose in the blood causes reduction in blood water potential, which when detected by the brain generates the feeling of extreme thirst in the individual. It also leads to drying of tongue and whole mouth. Furthermore, as glucose is not absorbed by the body cells, it needs to be excreted somehow; therefore, frequent urination occurs that remove excess glucose with water from the bloodstream (Saleh, 2010).

Under normal circumstances, kidney regulates blood water and solute potential by reabsorbing glucose and other substantial elements couple to regulating water content that is to be retained. However, in case of diabetes, kidney is burdened and glucose is not completely reabsorbed; thus, glucose is present in urine of diabetic patients (Saleh, 2010).

Moreover, despite of the fact that glucose is present in the blood, lack of insulin does not allow it to enter body cells where it can be utilized for energy and other purposes. As a result, the hunger and desire for food boost up and persist even after intake of a wholesome meal. Furthermore, as body becomes incapable of using the consumed food to fulfill its growth and energy demands, the stored content (substrates like fats and eventually proteins) are metabolized to yield energy from. This process is conducive to acute weight loss (Saleh, 2010).

As the body suffers from lack of vital nutrients, the sufferer often feels tired and exhausted after performing even mild tasks. Coupled to it, gastric abnormalities are also experienced which include persistent pain in the abdominal cavity, stomach sickness and there also exists a high possibility of vomiting. Additionally, eye sight is also adversely affected, as they begin to lose clear vision and view unclear images (Saleh, 2010).

Studies portray that diabetes also affects certain parts of reproductive system that can be viewed as a symptom of this disorder. It refers to repeated infections and irritation in genitals that is mainly caused by micro organisms in individuals of both genders. Infections are also witnessed on skin, mouth and in parts of excretory system (Saleh, 2010).

Moreover, another common symptom that is particularly recognizable amongst type 2 diabetic patients is the slowing down of healing process. Clotting activities at the site of wound (that seals it by natural process) slows down, often causing excessive blood loss. However, many cases have been recorded all over the world where type 2 diabetes does not show recognizable signs; therefore, monitoring of blood glucose level from time to time is crucial (Saleh, 2010).

Consequences of Diabetes

Diabetes is a complicated and multifaceted disorder which means that several factors contribute to its development. It is a complex state of health that is not localized; rather it affects almost every part of the body and impairs their function. For instance, cardiovascular system is primarily distressed that makes the sufferer vulnerable to heart attacks and strokes. Furthermore, blood vessels are narrowed which slows down the blood flow to different parts of the body (Riaz, 2009).

Another aspect to be considered is the development of ulcers mainly in the limbic region due to shortage of blood and nerve impairment. This condition can become so severe that it may result in cutting down of whole limb at later stage in order to prevent the spread of ulcer (Riaz, 2009).

As mentioned earlier, one of the symptoms of diabetes was the onset of unclear vision. As the disorder progresses, vision damage becomes severe and retina which is the most important and delicate part of the eye becomes destroyed causing blindness in considerable number of cases (Riaz, 2009).

Moreover, diabetes makes the renal system of the body burdened that reduces its efficiency by historic proportions. Kidneys become ineffective at reabsorbing glucose; thus, its ability of retaining appropriate amount of water to maintain correct osmotic balance in the blood becomes hampered. Excessive load on renal system may lead to kidney failure amongst diabetic patients (Riaz, 2009).

Etiology and natural history of condition

Diabetes is a long lasting disorder that is caused by several factors which are discussed earlier. Although damage caused to the insulin producing cells in pancreas mainly due to autoimmune action of the cells is considered to be the major initial cause of type 1 diabetes, precise etiology is still unidentified. However, its history and records of past occurrences depict that some genetic factors along with few environmental agents such as micro organisms play a critical role in developing cellular bodies that in turn are believed to destroy insulin producing cells. This occurs before the onset of clinical stage of diabetes, which then progresses to become clinical diabetes (Achenbach, Bonifacio, Koczwara, & Ziegler, 2005).

Multiple studies and assessments have been carried out by experts to analyze the series of occurrences that are responsible for the development and advancement of diabetes. The outcome of these studies have aided in comprehending the nature and extent of effects of the autoimmune… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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