Diabetes Mellitus: Treatment and Statistics

Diabetes mellitus is a medical condition that is a result of the body producing insufficient insulin or the body failing to react to the insulin produced. Insulin is an essential component that the body requires for the digestion of glucose; failure to which results in the accumulation of blood sugars which is hazardous to human health (Rolka et al. 32). Diabetes is always associated with high blood sugar levels in the body. High blood sugar is characterized by conditions such as frequent urination, increased hunger, and thirst.

There are three main categories of diabetes: type 1 diabetes which is a result of the body failing to produce insulin and requires the frequent injection of insulin into the body; type 2 diabetes, which is associated with the body resistance towards insulin, the body cells fail to use the insulin produced; gestational diabetes, which occurs in women during pregnancy due to the high levels of glucose deposits in the body. Other types of diabetes include congenital diabetes, which is a result of genetic defections with respect to insulin secretion, steroid diabetes, and many more (Steven 69).

The fundamental concept towards the treatment of diabetes is basically due to the availability of insulin. Insulin was first made available in 1921, and this marked the beginning of treatment for diabetes. Type 2 diabetes currently has medications that are aimed at controlling and avoiding the complications that result due to its infections. Type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes are chronic conditions implying that in most cases, they can not be cured. Curative methods towards the cure of diabetes have been suggested and experimented with; one such method is the pancreas transplant which yielded limited successes towards the treatment of type 1 diabetes.

Diabetes should be controlled properly. Otherwise, it will result in diabetic complications that may be irreversible and long-term. Acute complications that are a result of diabetes include hypoglycemia which is characterized by impairment functions; diabetic ketoacidosis, which may lead to death if unmanaged properly; nonketotic hyperosmolar coma. Some of the long-term complications include heart failures, retinal failures, and kidney problems. Adequate curative and preventive measures are thus important; blood sugar control is one of the preventive strategies that help check diabetes and its complications. Lifestyle habits such as eating and smoking habits are important to help the prevalence of both diabetes forms (Rolka et al. 32).

Symptoms

The classical signs and symptoms that are associated with diabetes include frequent urination, increased thirst, and hunger. Symptoms tend to develop faster in type 1 diabetes, while in diabetes type 2, the symptoms may be mild or sometimes even absent. Continual high glucose levels may result in absorption of glucose which causes alterations in the shape of the eye, which in turn results in vision impairments; blurred vision. Type 1 diabetes is characterized by rapid changes in the lens shape, while in type 2, the changes are gradual. Type 1 diabetes is characterized by a condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis, which is characterized by rapid breathing, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and cases of unconsciousness (Colwell 15). Diabetes is also characterized by dehydration which is due to frequent drinking of beverages that contain high sugar contents.

Causes

The causes of diabetes vary according to the type. Type 2 diabetes is primarily due to genetic factors and lifestyle habits. Poor eating, drinking, and smoking habits greatly contribute to the cause of diabetes (Colwell 22).

Treatment and management

The treatment of diabetes in most cases is individualized depending on factors such as the type of diabetes, whether the patient presently has other active medical disorders, whether the patient has other diabetic complications, the age of the patient, and the general health conditions of the patient. The only medical treatment for diabetes that has been proven efficient is the use of insulin. Insulin injection is primarily aimed at increasing the levels of insulin that are required for glucose digestion (Rolka et al. 32). The medication of type 1 diabetes always encompasses daily injection of insulin, which is a combination of both long-acting insulins such as lispro or aspart with short-acting insulin such as lente or ultra lente. Insulin must be administered as an injection but not through the mouth, usually two to three times a day, especially after meals.

For the case of type 2 diabetes, medication depends on the patient’s blood sugar level at the time of diagnosis. The patient may be given time to lower his/her blood sugar without medication; this can be achieved through dietary checking and physical exercise, normally for a period of 6 months. The use of insulin is the most efficient approach to diabetes treatment. Another way of treating diabetes is through pancreas transplants, although it has not been proved to be efficient compared to insulin injection (Drum & Terry, 80).

Management of diabetes is hard; it aims at ensuring a stable concentration of blood sugar levels without posing a danger for the patient. To ensure this, dietary habits must be monitored and enough physical exercising, aimed at the breaking down of glucose. Patient education is one of the effective strategies to manage diabetes and to avoid diabetic complications. Diabetic complications are less severe in individuals who have knowledge on managing their blood sugar levels. The onset of diabetes is accelerated by smoking, taking foods with cholesterol, obesity, and the lack of adequate regular physical activity. Management of long-term diabetes needs strict consideration to lifestyle issues (Drum & Terry 60).

Statistics

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that diabetes is a medical condition that is life-threatening, attributing to almost 3 million deaths annually. It also reports that diabetic complications are on the rise basically due to ignorance by the people in terms of lifestyles and the need to adhere to the necessary preventive measures.

The American Diabetes Association (A.D.A) reports that 7.8% of the American population, which equates to 23.6 million people, has diabetes. It also infers that diabetes is responsible for many deaths in America (Knowler et al. 20). Type 2 diabetes is prevalent among African Americans, Latin Americans, Native Americans, and Asian Americans. The worrying trends in statistics mean adequate measures need to be put in control to prevent further complications and deaths.

Interesting facts about diabetes

There are a number of interesting facts concerning diabetes. One of the facts about diabetes is that sedentary lifestyles are the major cause of diabetes and that exercise and diet can reduce the onset of diabetes by about 50%. Diabetes can be termed a silent killer disease because its early symptoms cannot be noticed; the common sign of diabetes is increased hunger and thirst, which is also common to other diseases (Drum & Terry 56).

Reasons for choice of diabetes

One of the reasons that compelled this research was the worrying trend of diabetic complications and the incidences of diabetes, and the fact that the majority of the people are not aware of the effects of sedentary lifestyles.

Works cited

Colwell, John. Diabetes: Hot topics. New York: Elsevier Health Sciences. 2003. Print.

Drum, David, And Terry Zierenberg. The Type 2 Diabetes Sourcebook. New York: McGraw-Hill Professional. 2005. Print.

Knowler, William. et al. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2002. Web.

Rolka, Deborah et al. Diabetes Care. American Diabetes Association. 2001. Web.

Steven, Levene, and Richard Donnelly. Management of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Practical Guide. Sydney: Elsevier Health Sciences. 2008. Print.