Proposal Essay on Diabetes
Diabetes is a group of diseases which are characterized by high blood glucose. These high levels of glucose are mainly brought about by reduced insulin secretion, or reduced response of the body cells to insulin. Insulin is the hormone that is responsible for moving sugar from the circulation into the body cells. In the recent past, the prevalence of diabetes has been increasing in our community due to the lifestyle change. Various types of diabetes exist, type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. Type 1 diabetes, is mainly acquired genetically, it is mostly found in children, and it is caused by autoimmune destruction of the beta cells of the pancreas (Martinez et al., 43). This results in reduced insulin production and secretion. Type 2 diabetes is mostly a lifestyle disease, found in adults, and it is caused by increased peripheral tissues resistance to glucose. Gestational diabetes is only recognized during pregnancy, but it disappears when the pregnancy ends. In this essay will address the effects of diabetes in our community, how to combat the rising prevalence of diabetes, and most likely objections to my solutions.
Effects of Diabetes in Our Community
Diabetes affects people of different ages, groups, races, and socioeconomic status. According to the recent studies done, the prevalence of diabetes in America in 2018 was at around 11%, and the number of cases being diagnosed yearly is approximately 1.5 million cases. Diabetes significantly interferes with the quality of life a person lives, and substantially reduces the life expectancy. Diabetes is one of the few diseases that affects every system in the body and the society in general (Toniolo et al., 8). It also drains a person financially and affects relationships in the families.
Diabetes Effects on the Human Body
As mentioned earlier diabetes affects every system of the human body. Uncontrolled diabetes has been linked to the development of various comorbidities in the human body. For instance, people with diabetes have been associated with a high risk of developing a dysfunctional kidney. This is because diabetes triggers changes in the small vessels of the kidney thought this only manifests at an advanced stage. Diabetes also causes neuropathies, which interfere with the conduction of action potentials along the axon. This might result in reduced sensations, thus predisposing a person to the development of leg ulcers. Furthermore, it can result in impaired movements if the motor aspect of the nerves is impaired. Diabetes also contributes to foot problems by impairing the flow of blood in the small vessels. When a neuropathy compounds the reduced supply of blood, it might delay the healing process.
The high blood sugar impairs the functionality of the immune cells like neutrophils, thus results in impaired immunity, predisposing a person to infections. It also increases the probability of a thyroid gland dysfunctioning. Therefore it might lead to thyrotoxicosis or hypothyroidism. The dysfunctional thyroid can further compound the problem by affecting the metabolism of glucose.
The Economic Burden of Diabetes
Diabetes presents a substantial economic burden on the community as a whole. For instance, it interferes with the productivity of an individual, thus reduces the amount of revenue generated. Some complications of diabetes like diabetic retinopathy can render one unproductive as they can make an individual blind. Moreover, early deaths take away the productive years of a person. For instance, in 2017, it was estimated the United States lost $90 billion in productivity. In the United States, the total cost of diabetes is estimated to be around $327 billion. Moreover, people who have diabetes in the community spend two times more on medical expenses when compared to people without diabetes. This takes a toll on available family resources, thus reducing the amount of available financial resources that can be used to perform other activities.
Social Effects of Diabetes
Complications of diabetes do not affect the individual only, but they also affect his/her family and the community in general. For instance, if one gets blind, the family has to get actively involved in helping him/her adapt to the new life. Moreover, effective management of diabetes requires strict adherence to blood glucose control, exercise, diet, and timely usage of medications (Toniolo et al., 9). The family has to be responsible for making sure the individual monitors his/her blood glucose level well and adheres to medication. Research has shown that if the family does not provide the necessary support, it usually results in reduced adherence to treatment and severe complications. Furthermore, diabetes can sometimes force a family to adjust its diet to accommodate a newly diagnosed family member.
Solutions That Can Be Used To Prevent Diabetes and Its Complications
The health and socioeconomic effects can be prevented in our community if the right strategies are put into place. Some of these solutions might be costly and time-consuming, but most of them can easily be implemented without taking a toll on resources and time. Am going to discuss solutions that are cheap and take less time to implement. There are two major ways of preventing diabetes and its complications. Primary prevention entails preventing the development of diabetes itself, while secondary prevention entails preventing the occurrence of diabetic complications (Machado et al., 806). These strategies can be applied to individuals or the community.
In the prevention of type 1 diabetes, insulin can be administered to those at high risk, like those with a family history (Krischer et al., 1893). The primary way of preventing diabetes type 2 in the community, is promoting a healthy lifestyle, as this will significantly reduce the risk of one developing diabetes. For instance, a poor diet, obesity and lack of exercise have been associated with a higher chance of developing diabetes. Thus, there is a need to encourage community members to take a well-balanced diet and frequently engage in exercise. These two activities will reduce the occurrence of complications in those who have diabetes and the development of diabetes in those at risk.
Moreover, those who already have diabetes. Should reduce the consumption of alcohol, since it significantly contributes to the development and worsening of the complications. They have to engage in dieting and exercising to avoid gaining weight. Dieting involves taking of whole grains, minimizing the intake of sugary foods, drinking water regularly, and limiting the intake of red meat and fats. It is recommended that people with diabetes should engage in at least an hour of physical activity on a daily basis.
People with diabetes have to avoid tobacco smoking since it significantly contributes to the occurrence of complications in diabetes. Smoking has been shown to undo all the benefits that result from taking other precautions. Smoking increases the probability of occurrence of cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, regular screening checks should be recommended to those with diabetes. This screening checks include renal function tests, eye tests, neurological tests, blood pressure tests, and blood glucose levels, including HbA1c. These tests allow monitoring of end-organ damage, and they make it possible to single out ongoing end-organ damage. Therefore, interventions might be applied where possible. Moreover, unhealthy habits that aid the pathogenesis of diabetes in the community can be restructured, discouraged, and avoided.
Likely Objections to My Proposed Solutions
Even though the solutions I have mentioned above are useful in reducing the prevalence of diabetes in our community, they are not perfect as they might face obstacles when they are implemented. For instance, regular exercising is a hard habit to get used to, and most people who are obese might find it hard to start working out at first (Machado et al., 803). Another problem is that it is hard to force people to stop habits they have been used to like smoking tobacco and taking alcohol. This might need the provision of rehabilitation services for it to be implemented fully. Moreover, the existence of unhealthy habits as part of the traditions of the community can make my proposed solutions ineffective unless the culture is restructured.
Diabetes has left many people dead and others with detrimental complications. As discussed in this essay, the impact of diabetes can be felt in every aspect of our life in this community. Hence, the community needs to adhere to the solutions I have mentioned above for us to combat this disease.