Despite the fact that inherited diseases are often associated with genetic factors, the aspect of nutrition should also be taken into account as it can influence the quality and effectiveness of treatment. This statement is reasonable in terms of discussing how nutrition can influence the development and treatment of type 1 diabetes (T1D) and type 2 diabetes (T2D) (Chiang, Kirkman, Laffel, & Peters, 2014). In most cases, nutrition can influence T1D indirectly, but it is important for the complex therapy. On the contrary, the impact of a nutritional aspect on the development of T2D is direct and significant (Wu, Ding, Tanaka, & Zhang, 2014). The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of genetics on policy issues, analyze the effects of nutrition on the causes of T1D and T2D, discuss the aspects of the nutritional assessment and counseling, and describe testing, prevalence rates, treatment, and prognosis with the focus on nutrition.
The Impact of Genetics on Policy Issues
The spread of genetic testing and the use of genomic technology can be discussed as becoming more popular among clinicians and the public because these resources allow for determining a genetic component related to many diseases, predict and prevent their development, as well as propose the most effective treatment. Therefore, genetic information is important to be collected and analyzed in order to improve the management of inherited or genetics-based diseases (Cesarini & Visscher, 2017; Mills, Barry, & Haga, 2014). However, the focus on genetics in diagnosing and treatment leads to provoking many ethical and administrative or policy issues, and this factor has caused modern changes in healthcare policies.
Typical policy issues associated with genetics include the ethical and legal manipulation of the results of genetic tests and the use of genetic material. Other issues are associated with the genetic discrimination based on the results of testing that should be prevented in the workplace and in interactions with insurance companies (Cesarini & Visscher, 2017; Mills et al., 2014). As a consequence, the focus on more opportunities of genetic testing leads to developing policies that can regulate testing procedures, the use of genetic material, and the application of genomic information to prevent the misuse of any chromosomal data, discrimination, or the violation of privacy rights.
Nutritional Impacts on Diabetes
The causes associated with the progression of T1D include genetics, changes in metabolic processes, and environmental factors, including viruses. However, researchers also add the physical activity, lifestyle, and nutrition to the list of aspects that can be discussed as triggers for the development of T1D depending on the genetic predisposition (Sami, Ansari, Butt, & Ab Hamid, 2017; Piłaciński & Zozulińska-Ziółkiewicz, 2014). In this context, nutrition can provoke the development of T1D when individual’s intake cow’s milk and sugar in childhood, when people consume food with a high glycemic index and with much fat, or when malnutrition is observed (Piłaciński & Zozulińska-Ziółkiewicz, 2014). The uncontrolled consumption of carbohydrates and saturated fat leads to changes in the body mass index, and this aspect is correlated in some cases with diabetes (Nussbaum, McInnes, & Willard, 2007; Piłaciński & Zozulińska-Ziółkiewicz, 2014). In order to regulate the health state, people with T1D are recommended to limit the consumption of carbohydrates and sugar, as well to eat products with a low glycemic index in order to control glycemia.
Nutrition can directly influence the development of T2D, as it is confirmed with the results of experiments and studies. Researchers mention sodium glutamate, glucose, fructose, carbohydrates, saturated fats, soft drinks, fried foods, and red meat among substances and products that can provoke obesity and metabolic changes associated with insulin resistance and T2D (Sami et al., 2017; Wu et al., 2014). Therefore, a healthy diet based on the consumption of green vegetables and low-fat products is usually proposed for patients with T2D.
Nutritional Assessment and Counseling
A nutritional assessment should be discussed as a critical step in diagnosing and treating diabetes because of the importance of changing a diet in order to address the problem of insulin resistance. At the first stage of a nutritional assessment, a genetic counselor is expected to inform a patient regarding the role of keeping to an appropriate diet for the health of a person who is at risk of developing diabetes (Piłaciński & Zozulińska-Ziółkiewicz, 2014; Sami et al., 2017). In addition, for a person with the family medical history of diabetes, the prevention measures include the assessment of a current diet in terms of the glycemic index of products that are regularly consumed by an individual and the amount of fat and sugar that is eaten by this person (Chiang et al., 2014; Piłaciński & Zozulińska-Ziółkiewicz, 2014). While conducting screening and diagnostics, it is necessary to assess nutrition along with identifying the type of diabetes because an unhealthy diet can directly provoke the development of T2D, as it is found by many researchers in the field.
While referring to the aspect of prognostics, a person should be informed regarding all possible changes that are associated with consuming saturated fats and sugar and developing diabetes if the body mass index is high and the proposed diet is not followed. It is also important to note that the absence of changes in a diet leads to worsening the symptoms of insulin resistance, and risks of diabetic ketoacidosis increase (Sami et al., 2017; Wu et al., 2014). In addition, a nutritional assessment is also important at the stages of selecting a therapy and monitoring the effectiveness of treatment (Chiang et al., 2014; Piłaciński & Zozulińska-Ziółkiewicz, 2014). The reason is that different patients can demonstrate worsening in symptoms even when following a special diet for persons with diabetes, and individual assessments and additions of substances are required in these cases.
Human Nutrition and Associated Aspects
Discussing prevalence rates in the context of human nutrition and the development of diabetes, it is important to note that an unhealthy diet or malnutrition can influence the disease in 60% of cases along with other important factors (Chiang et al., 2014; Sami et al., 2017). Thus, the prevalence rate is comparably high. According to Piłaciński and Zozulińska-Ziółkiewicz (2014), “several aspects of nutrition may be taken into account, including macro- and micronutrient content, daily meal regimen, effect of food on glycemia and other metabolic parameters, and adjustment of insulin treatment to the timing and content of meals” (p. 128). Therefore, the analysis of a patient’s nutrition plays a key role in testing and treating diseases that directly depend on the consumption of certain substances, as it is in the case of diabetes and consuming sugars (Sami et al., 2017). Furthermore, the prognosis regarding the progression of the disease can also be based on alterations in a diet and positive changes or the absence of any changes in the course of a disease.
In this paper, the impact of genetics on policy issues has been discussed with the focus on modern trends in developing genome technology and genetic testing. The impact of nutrition on developing T1D and T2D as one of the possible causes has also been analyzed in this case report. Thus, one should note that it has been found that T2D can directly depend on changes in the nutritional status of patients when alterations in a diet often work as triggers for developing T1D. Furthermore, the paper has also provided the discussion of the aspects of the nutritional assessment and counseling to influence diagnosing, testing, and treating diabetes. Finally, additional aspects associated with human nutrition have also been discussed in the case report.
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