How Diabetes Happens Essay
World Health Organization defines diabetes mellitus as a chronic disease in which one's body does not produce sufficient insulin or it has a decreased ability to use insulin. It was calculated that there were 29.1 million people suffering from diabetes in the United States of America in 2012 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 1). Currently diabetes cannot be cured but only treated with insulin injections and/or healthy lifestyle. This chronic disease remains the 7th leading cause of death. Cardiovascular disease, blindness, kidney failure, lower limb amputation are among the common complications of diabetes mellitus (International Diabetes Federation). It is therefore important to understand how diabetes develops.
Goel (16) believes that generally there are five factors contributing to the development of diabetes. They include heredity, obesity, diet and food, endocrine glands' malfunctioning, and drug-induced diabetes. According to Diabetes UK, symptoms of diabetes typically include increased thirst, passing urine more often than usual especially at night, blurred vision, unexplained weight loss, slow healing of cuts and wounds, blurred vision and genital itching. The total economic cost of diabetes is approximately $245 billion with direct costs accounting for $176 billion and indirect costs are $69 billion.
It is essential to differentiate between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Type 1 or Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus can be caused by an immune system that can, in turn, attack those cells in the pancreas that produce insulin (Biermann, Valentine and Toohey 7). Type 1 diabetes can affect people of all ages but is usually diagnosed in childhood or adolescence. The reasons why body's defense system target the insulin producing cells or beta cells are not fully understood by scientists and doctors. The immune system will keep destroying the beta cells and therefore patients suffering from type 1 diabetes require insulin injections to compensate for this phenomenon.
Type 2 or non-insulin dependent diabetes, on the other hand, is diagnosed by resistance to insulin, insulin deficiency or both and accounts for 90% of the cases of diabetes in the United States of America (Biermann, Valentine and Toohey 7). The body starts to produce more insulin and if it does not, blood sugar levels elevate. In the majority of cases type 2 diabetes is diagnosed in people over 30 years old. It is often associated with obesity, which on its own can lead to insulin resistance and high blood glucose levels. Non-insulin dependent diabetes sometimes might be undiagnosed until major complications arise. Insulin producing cells might start to fail due to the increased amount of insulin they produce and patients with type 2 diabetes might lose the ability produce the hormone and will therefore also require insulin injections.
Another type of diabetes is gestational diabetes, which is a form of glucose intolerance that develops in pregnant women in second or third semester (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 10). This can cause serious problems to both mothers and infants including subsequent development of type 2 diabetes and/or obesity.
Biermann, June, Valentine, Virginia, and Toohey, Barbara. Diabetes: The New Type 2: Your Complete Handbook to Living Healthfully with Diabetes Type 2. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, 2008. Print.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Diabetes Statistics Report: Estimates of Diabetes and Its Burden in the United States. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2014. Print.
Diabetes UK. Diabetes Symptoms, 2015. Web. 26 Feb. 2015.
Goel, Satish. Causes and Cure of Diabetes. New Delhi: Diamond Pocket Books Ltd., 2006. Print.
International Diabetes Federation. Complications of Diabetes, n.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2015.
World Health Organization. Diabetes Programme, 2014. Web. 26 Feb. 2015.