Chronic Disease in Australia: Diabetes

Diabetes is one of the chronic diseases that have caused many deaths and injuries among many people both within and without Australia. Diabetes is a condition that arises when the amount of glucose in one’s blood is high because the level of insulin produced is inadequate or when the insulin in the body is not able to respond properly to the cells of the body. The three types of diabetes are Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes. Type 1 diabetes arises when the body of a person is not in a position to produce insulin. This disease is common to people aged below 40 years (Rosemary, & Sally, 2011, p. 126). It is among young people and teenagers hence referred to by others as juvenile diabetes. Another important point about this chronic disease is that it is not common as only approximately 10 percent of people are reported to suffer from the disease. People diagnosed with this disease should ensure that they keep the level of glucose in their body through proper diet. Type 2 diabetes is yet another category of diabetes that is most prevalent among many people rated at 90 percent of all diabetes cases that have been reported in the whole world.

It occurs due to failure of body cells to react to the insulin in the body (Rosemary, & Sally, 2011, p. 126). The possible ways that people can control falling victims of these diseases is through regulation of body weight, which is attained through eating balanced diets and doing many body exercises. This will help monitor and regulate the level of glucose in the body. Even though there is no tangible study that has attempted to explain why old people have a higher threat of catching the disease, many say it is due to the increase in body weight and lack of body exercise when people become elderly. When a person is obese, this deters proper functioning of cardiovascular muscles and other metabolic systems leading to release of chemicals in the body that destabilizes the body (Carolan, Steele, & Margetts, 2010, p. 2446: Colagiuri, Colagiuri & Ward, 1998, p. 10). Research has also suggested that men with low levels of testosterone are at a higher risk compared to those with more to suffer from this class of diabetes. Gestational diabetes, on the other hand, mostly affects women when they are pregnant. Such women have high glucose levels in the body while some have glucose that is not transported by insulin leading to its accumulation in the body.

This category of diabetes is managed through proper diet and doing physical exercises. Many women are diagnosed with the disease during their pregnancy (Carolan, Steele, & Margetts, 2009, p. 584). An individual suffering from diabetes will exhibit some symptoms. These include blurred vision or simply vision impairment. Other symptoms include weight loss, bad smell of acetone, signs of nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, urinary problems such as frequent urination or lack of urine and other respiratory complications such as hyperventilation or kussmaul breathing (BMC Public Health, 2012, p. 120). The disease has some impacts on the life of those people suffering from it. One of the impacts is that it affects the normal functioning of a person, as more time is spent seeking medication. It can also lead to injuries to an individual hence causing an individual to have more complications. The long outcomes of individuals suffering from the disease arise based on individuals and the type of the disease. For instance, those suffering from type 1 cannot cure it. Therefore, they die with the condition. Those with type 2 can eradicate the disease through proper diet and exercise. However, in most cases, they also die from the diseases.

Australia is among the nations in the globe that have diagnosed high numbers of individuals suffering from the disease. According to the National Health Priority Council (2006), it is estimated that 80 percent of the cases reported are of chronic diseases. Diabetes, being one of the diseases, is a serious problem that really needs urgent measures to save the Australian community. According to Karl et al (1996), close to 700,000 people in Australia suffer from diabetes (p. 140). Of the number mentioned above, many people do not know their status. This, therefore, makes it difficult for the country to reach them and advise them on proper medication and lifestyle. Researchers have also noted that cardiovascular and renal diseases (Phillips, Patel & Weeramanthri, 1995, p. 482: Braun et al., 1996, p. 475) cause most of the deaths in Australia among them being people diagnosed with diabetes. In Australia, people aged above the age of 50 are at risk of becoming diabetic due to old age. Furthermore, it is evident that the indigenous communities in Australia have high-related risk factors like complications of becoming diabetic at an earlier age compared to the non-aboriginal. According to the BMC Public Health (2010), the prevalence of diabetes is two or more among the adult aboriginals compared to non-aboriginals (p. 120). Studies have also suggested that more deaths resulting from diabetes are experienced in rural areas of Australia compared to the urban or metropolitan areas (Karl et al. 2011, p. 139). This, therefore, shows the lack of awareness and education of people from the Australian rural areas.

A human service professional is likely to educate the people suffering from the disease to take medicine and engage in body exercise besides eating a proper diet. The professional will also try to sensitize people on the importance of seeking earlier medication or treatment when diagnosed with the disease. Some of issues such people may face while doing their duties are lack of resources to reach many people. They may also face challenges of resistance and ignorance from the members of the communities that are yet to be civilized. Therefore, for these professionals to achieve their goals in sensitizing and educating the public, they require government and other stakeholders’ assistance/support.

Reference List

BMC Public Health. (2012). Management and impact for long-term empowerment and Success: Methods and sample characteristics of a national survey of the psychological aspects of living with type 1 or type 2 diabetes in Australian adults. Diabetes MILES-Australia, 12(1), 120-132.

Braun, B., Zimmerman, B., Dretchmer, N., Spargo, M., & Gracey, M. (1996). Risk Factors for diabetes and cardiovascular disease in young Australian Aborigines. Diabetes Care, 19(1), 472-479.

Carolan, M., Steele, C., & Margetts, H. (2010). Attitudes towards gestational diabetes Among a multiethnic cohort in Australia. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 19(17/18), 2446-2453.

Carolan, M., Steele, C., Margetts, H. (2009). Knowledge of Gestational Diabetes among a Multi-ethnic Cohort in Australia. Midwifery, 26(6), 579-588.

Colagiuri, S., Colagiuri, R., & Ward, J. (1998). National Diabetes Strategy and Implementation Plan. Canberra: Diabetes Australia.

Karl et al. (2011). Review article: Diabetes prevalence and determinants in Indigenous Australian populations: A systematic review. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, 93(2), 139-149.

Phillips, B., Patel, S., & Weeramanthri, S. (1995). High mortality from renal disease and infection in Aboriginal Central Australians with diabetes. Australian Journal of Public Health, 19(1), 482-486.

Rosemary, K., & Sally, W. (2011). Juggling type 1 diabetes and pregnancy in rural Australia. Midwifery. 25(2), 126-133.