Social, Behavioral, And Psychosocial Causes Of Diseases: Type 2 Diabetes (T2d) Essay
Development of Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) in the United States
Diabetes refers to a condition in which there is a shortage of insulin the body, a diminished ability to utilize the insulin in the body. Both scenarios may also occur at the same time. Insulin is a bodily hormone that allows the entry of glucose (blood sugar) into the cells of the body for the manufacture of energy and functionality of the body. Failure to control diabetes results in the accumulation of glucose and fats in the body, which may damage vital organs in the body over the years. There are two types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes often occurs in young adults and children. In most cases, it results from environmental or genetic factors, and it accounts for nearly 5 percent of all the cases of diabetes in the United States. In this paper, the focus is on type 2 diabetes.
Cases of type 2 diabetes are often associated with physical inactivity of the body, old age, and obesity. In addition, other cases also emanate from a personal or family history of type 2 diabetes. In the United States, type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 to 95 percent of all the cases of diabetes in the country. The disease has become increasingly prevalent even though it is preventable through healthy lifestyle. The cause of the disease is unknown. Currently, the United States has approximately 29.1 million diabetes patients, and 8.1 million of them may not be aware that they suffer from the condition (Tulchinsky&Varavikova, 2014, p. 1). In adults who are over 20 years, nearly one in ten people suffers from the condition. However, the figure increases to more than one in every four adults for those aged above 65 years. In 2012, the United States recorded 1.7 million new cases of people with the condition, and the trend has been on the rise since then(Brill, 2012, p. 1).
The major cause for the rising trend in the number of cases results from the poor decisions people make in terms of their lifestyle. Such decisions can be improved over time through the effort of the patient. For the past three years, diabetes cases have cost the United States nearly 250 million dollars every year and the figure may increase in the future. Men are at a higher risk to develop the condition than women are. However, excess weight (especially in the waist region), physical inactivity, family history, and poor diet put both men and women at the same level of risk of developing the condition. Nearly 9.5 percent of pregnant women develop gestational diabetes, most of which may culminate into type 2 diabetes at an approximate rate of 40 to 60 percent.
Comparison to the Developing Nations
Developing countries have a lower rate of type 2 diabetes conditions that the United States. In spite of the fact that the condition poses a threat to a majority of countries in the world, the rate at which people develop the condition is far much lower than the United States. However, developing countries have the same increasing trend in the number of patients. Most of the developing nations are undergoing rapid urbanization implying that there is a significant change in people’s lifestyle. As a result, there is also a transition in people’s nutrition, as they must eat foods that fit and suit into an urban context. Today, most of the developing nations account for over 50 percent of the diabetic population in the Asian continent. For instance, the prevalence of diabetes type 2 has reached a high of 20 percent in the major cities of India(Michaud, 2012, p. 2).
The number of fatalities is smaller than the effect on the population in the United States. However, the some of the developing nations may be at the same level with the United States because rapid urbanization will result in similar effects on the health of the population. Therefore, it is expected that economies growing very fast such as South Africa, Brazil, and India will have a high number of people with the type 2 diabetes condition. China provides good evidence on the manner in which the urbanization can lead to a change in the health demographics of the people. At the beginning of the 1980s, China had a prevalence rate of 1 percent for type 2 diabetes. By the end of 2008, the figure had escalated to a prevalence rate of 10 percent due to the country’s rapid industrialization. Other developing nations should expect the same rates of prevalence of T2D following the rate of economic growth.
A comparison between the Statistics in North Carolina and the United States
Type 2 diabetes is among the most prevalent medical condition in the state of North Carolina. The rate at which overweight people, diabetes, and obesity are increasing is alarming within the state. The statistics are higher that national statistics regarding T2D. The state ranks ninth among the nation’s most diabetic state with an obesity ranking of seventeenth among all the states. In the state, one out of ten residents has diabetes, which brings the numbers to 788,000 individuals diagnosed with diabetes type 2. At the same time, it is estimated that 512000of then residents are pre-diabetic meaning that the condition is inherent for them. The state has a rate of obesity, which implies that the cases of type 2 diabetes will continue to rise. Five in ten adults aged above 65 years are diabetic in North Carolina(Tulchinsky&Varavikova, 2014, p. 3). The statistics in the state surpass the numbers indicated in the national statistics. As such, it is right to assert that North Carolina contributes to the high rates of type 2 diabetes in the country. Another saddening aspect of the condition in the state is that it occurs according to social stratification. Ethnic minority and racially minority adults are at higher risk of developing the condition that the rest of the population.
Addressing Psychosocial Proliferation of the Disease
Type 2 Diabetes requires ample treatment in order to annihilate its probable consequential effects. If the current course and state of Type 2 Diabetes stay the same or continues the estimated costs of treatment in both the private and public sectors is more than $17 billion annually in the medical expenses. In addition, approximately $5.3 billion in excess is spent on the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes. T2D is associated with psychosocial proliferation. As such, in order to address this proliferation, various steps can be taken into consideration (Selby, Ray, Zhang, & Colby, 2007, p. 10). These steps include counseling and education, clinical interventions, long-lasting protective interventions, changing the contexts to encourage healthy decisions, and socioeconomic factors.
Counseling and education are the first elemental step. It encompasses educating patients with T2D concerning their disease. This education involves creating awareness among the patients concerning the consequences of the psychosocial proliferation of the disease. Counseling involves taking these patients through a process of making them feel they are worth and understand that having the disease is not the end of their lives. Counseling also encompasses making them aware of the various ways of staying healthy and managing their sickness.
Clinical interventions are the second step in addressing the psychosocial proliferation of the disease. Clinical interventions involve the medical practitioners and clinicians who guide these patients, as well as the society concerning the issues surrounding the T2D. They also educate these groups of individuals on the factors that cause such diseases and the various ways of preventing the disease. These practitioners and clinicians also teach these groups of people, the T2D, and the society on the effects of the proliferation. Clinical interventions also include the medical research and application to the treatment of the disease.
Long-lasting protective interventions are another step. These interventions are essential because they are preventive and curative. These long-lasting protective interventions enable the patients of T2D to recover from the disease. With the recovery, the patients integrate into the society especially when they had been secluded because of their condition. As such, the instances of the psychosocial proliferation reduce considerably with the use and incorporation of these interventions (Tuomilehto et al., 2001, p. 17).
Changing the contexts to encourage the health decisions is another step. In this case, the health decisions encompass the addressing of such issues as the psychosocial proliferation of the disease. Changing the context of addressing and encouraging these health decisions is an avenue to accommodate all aspects relative to these health conditions. The encouraging of the health decisions, on the other hand, is elemental because it covers all the aspects related to health, including the psychosocial proliferation of theT2D. The health decisions are those aiming to safeguard the patients and the society in terms of their conception towards the health issues and diseases.
Last, socioeconomic factors are on the last step. Socioeconomic factors include both the economic and the social factors that contribute to the existence of the psychosocial proliferation elements. The economic factors could be the costs associated with the process of addressing the issues. The social factors are the conceptions of the society toward the proliferation of the diseases. As such, understanding these factors is important because it allows for the drawing of a plan on how to address the underlying issue, which, in this case, is the psychosocial proliferation of the T2D.
Addressing T2D in Workplace Environment
In order to address T2D in the workplace environment, six steps have to be taken into consideration. These steps are in the form of the health-related programs for the T2D control and prevention. They encompass different employee programs that include activities of active involvement of the employees, such as competitions, classes or seminars (Selby, Ray, Zhang, & Colby, 2007, p. 16). The first step is to organize surveys of employee health in the workplace to provide opportunities for assessment and implementation. The information from these surveys can be used in the identification of the percentage of the employees who have been appropriately screened for T2D.
The second step is the use of the multifaceted participation programs of employee lifestyle changes. Physical activity, obesity, and nutrition programs in the workplaces are essential elements in the addressing of T2D. With the use of such programs, the progression from the pre-diabetes to T2D can be delayed or prevented. Sustained changes in lifestyle including physical activity and weight loss can substantially reduce the progression especially among the adults who are at the highest risk.
Step 3 is the establishment of programs of community education on the self-management of diabetes. Such programs are elemental and often effective in the control of diabetes. Self-management training or education is a major step in the improvement of the quality of life as well as the health outcomes. It focuses on the behaviors of self-care, such as being active, monitoring the blood sugar levels, and eating healthy. The fourth step is relaxing. If an employee or an individual in the workplace environment is under stress, their bodies can react physically ("Intensive Blood-Glucose Control with Sulfonylureas or Insulin Compared with Conventional Treatment and Risk of Complications in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes," 2009, p. 18). This aspect is a response known as the fight or flight that can affect the blood sugar levels adversely. Usually, stressed individuals do not eat right, which affects them in such ways. Relievers of stress such as deep breathing, relaxation exercises, and meditation can assist.
Step 5 is keeping active. Every individual gains from regular exercise. As such, individuals with T2D or those at risk of the same, have to keep active because it plays an elemental role in keeping them healthy. Regular exercises are significant aspects of their T2D management. These exercises assist the insulin to work well, improving the management of diabetes. The last step is managing their everyday life as diabetic individuals. Having T2D does not alter their basic needs, desires or wants. For this reason, it is essential to explain the condition and be open as well as maintain a responsible and possible attitude toward work. Step 3 is the most important because it is a collaborative Avenue and process in which the educators of diabetes assist individuals with or at risk for the diabetes acquire the problem solving, knowledge, and coping skills require for the successful self-management of the disease.
Brill, M. (2012). Diabetes. Minneapolis: Twenty-First Century Books.
Intensive Blood-Glucose Control with Sulfonylureas or Insulin Compared with Conventional Treatment and Risk of Complications in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes. (2009). Endocrinologist. doi:10.1097/00019616-199903000-00016
Michaud, P. (2012). Understanding the Economic Consequences of Shifting Trends in Population Health. Cambridge: National Bureau of Economic Research.
Selby, J. V., Ray, G. T., Zhang, D., & Colby, C. J. (2007). Excess costs of medical care for patients with diabetes in a managed care population. Diabetes Care. doi:10.2337/diacare.20.9.1396
Tulchinsky, T., &Varavikova, E. (2014). The New Public Health.
Tuomilehto, J., Lindstrom, J., Eriksson, J. G., Valle, T. T., Hamalainen, H., & Parikka, P. I. (2001). Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus by Changes in Lifestyle among Subjects with Impaired Glucose Tolerance.
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