Growing Problem of Diabetes
As today’s youth grows, health and physical activity haves slowly been shifted to the back of people’s thoughts. Everyday life can become busy and the quickest and easiest option is to grab an unhealthy snack or meal for the family or as an individual. Proper nutrition and exercise are the main components to creating a better and healthier lifestyle. In today’s society there is an overt disregard in the choices made as a part of a routine which include daily nutrition and exercise. Sadly, it takes a toll on health and causes many health problems. If parents do not have the responsibility and the knowledge needed to be healthy and choose a path that leads to a healthy lifestyle, children will suffer. Changing and helping to improve the lifestyle of youths is a problem that can be dealt with. Type 2 diabetes is an extensive concern because it is increasing and becoming common (MedlinePlus, 2016). Type 2 diabetes occurs in adults, however it can also develop in young children. The research case, The Search for Diabetes in Youth, that was funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), found that from the years 2002 to 2012, “the rate of new diagnosed cases of type 1 diabetes in youth increased by about 1.8 percent each year. During the same period, the rate of new diagnosed cases of type 2 diabetes increased even more quickly, at 4.8 percent. The study included 11,244 youth ages 0-19 with type 1 diabetes and 2,846 youth ages 10-19 with type 2″(National Institute of Health, 2017).
Dr. Giuseppina Imperatore an epidemiologist in National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion states, “Because of the early age of onset and longer diabetes duration, youth are at risk for developing diabetes related complications at a younger age. This profoundly lessens their quality of life, shortens their life expectancy, and increases health care costs.” (National Institute of Health, 2017) Diabetes is a significant problem in today’s youth. Monitoring the health of the young generation can help prevent type 2 diabetes which can be moderated by healthy diet, exercise, and prevention education taught in schools. Diabetes mellitus is a disease that prevents the human body from properly using the energy gained from eating food. Diabetes can occurs in one of these situations: the first being, when the pancreas produces little insulin or can no longer produce insulin at all.(Diabetes Mellitus: An Overview. 2018). Insulin, a hormone produced by the beta cells made by the pancreas, allows the body to use glucose, which is sugar from the carbohydrates consumed in the food eaten for energy, or to store more glucose for future use. Insulin helps keep the blood sugar in a person’s body from getting either to high (hyperglycemia) or getting to low (hypoglycemia).(Fischl, 2018) The other situation is when the pancreas can make insulin, but the insulin that is made does not work as well as it should, therefore this condition is called insulin resistance.
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How it works
One may ask how does the body regulate glucose? When a person eats food the glucose in the body rises to an extreme because the food is converted to sugar and is to be transported to the cells of the body. After this, the cells in the pancreas sense the increase and release insulin to the body. This leads the insulin to do one of its main tasks which is to decrease the blood glucose levels by activating a system that transports glucose from the blood to the cells in the body. It then decreases the glucose by prompting an enzyme called glycogen synthase in the liver. This molecule is then responsible for making glycogen,which is a long string of glucose, that is stored in the liver and used in the future when low blood glucose appears. As insulin starts working in the body, the glucose in the blood slowly returns to the same level it was before food was eaten by the person. This glucose level when a person has not eaten lies around 3.5-6 mmol/L. Whereas right after a meal, the blood glucose can rise as high as 7.8mmol/L depending on the amount that is eaten or what is eaten. (Khan Academy)
Type 2 diabetes begin with insulin resistance and it typically ends in loss of insulin secretion. Tissue cells, over a period of time,become insulin resistant when the cells in the body become resistant to insulin, the body makes more and increases the amount of insulin to keep the sugar levels in a regular range. This causes more insulin molecules that require to open glucose channels. As an example, in tissue cells, it takes one insulin molecule to open one channel. When a cell is insulant resistant it takes almost up to four insulin cels to to open a glucose channel. This would lead the pancreas to continually work overtime to make up for the demand. As this continues to increase, the pancreas will continue to work until it cannot compensate for the level of the demand. At this point the blood glucose would gather in the bloodstream of the person.
The symptoms of type 2 diabetes are similar to type 1 diabetes. Almost 40% of patients notice any symptoms. The other 60% can deal with increased urination and thirst, a condition of hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state, weight loss, fatigue, diabetic ketoacidosis, hunger due to starvation of cells and a severe stare of dehydration of the body all which require hospitalization. Praise be to Allah (SWT), the Lord of the Worlds, all Knower of illnesses and each of their hidden cures. May salutation and peace be upon His (SWT) first, Adam(AS), and His last and final, Muhammad (PBUH). Ameen! In Islam, muslims come from many cultures and contribute much to the nutritional practices all around the world. However, the Islamic nutritional practices are expected to be determined by the regulations and injunctions of Islam as explained by the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and outlined in the Holy Book, the Quran. Islam, a complete religion, teaches and advises believers as to what the best method of eating and health lifestyle is, believers are advised to be moderate in every aspect of life. In this generation people are living in times where there is an epidemic of chronic illnesses such as cancers, diabetes, heart diseases, etc, even in the youth. How does one face these challenges in light of Islam? Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Messenger (PBUH)said, “There is no disease that Allah has created, except that He also has created its remedy.”(Bukhari) The Messenger (PBUH) furthermore said, “There are two blessings that many of the people lose out on, good health and free time.” (Bukhari) Prevention of illnesses by preserving and maintaining good health through diet is astounding means provided by Allah.
Muslims need to be aware of what is good and what is harmful in foods also realizing the harms of chemicals, processed foods and sugar in their regular diet. The Qur’an did not restrict itself in mentioning all the permissible and impermissible foods but also goes to the extent of giving great useful tips regarding a balanced and nutritional diet, a diet that contains most useful ingredients required for the strength, growth, and repairing the body. Allah states, “O mankind: Eat of what is lawful and good on earth” and “eat from the good things which We have provided for you.”(Quran 2: 168,172) Analyzing through the Quran further,those foods that are lawful include: honey (16:68-69), vegetables such as corn and herbs (55:12, 80:27-32) and fruits such as olives, dates, grapes, pomegranates (6: 99,141), bananas (56: 28-29), cattle (22:28), and fish (16:14). It is emphasized clearly that Allah has provided many good things to eat in this world that can help keep the body healthy and fit. In another verse Allah commands, “Eat of the good things we have provided for your sustenance, but commit no excess therein, lest my wrath should justly descend on you, and those on whom descends my wrath do perish indeed.”(Quran 20:81) It is essential that any food should be consumed in moderation. Allah says in verse 31 of surah Al-Araf, “”eat and drink and do not commit excesses; indeed He does not love those who are excessive.” (7:31).
Prophet Muhammad advised muslims to not overeat, it can be described by the hadith, “Don’t indulge in overeating because it would quench the light of faith within your hearts”(Al-Mustadrak, vol. 3, p-81) Lessons can be learned from the eating habits of Ahlul Bayt(the family of the prophet). It was reported that the Prophet and his cousin Ali refrained from eating any type of bread made from flour, however they would eat those of the bread that included wheat bran or barley. This shows how in the prophetic times people would refrain from anything that would affect the health of the body. The theme of keeping respect for the body can come from the Quran and Hadith this include having regular physical activity. Nutrition and diet play a big role on maintaining a good healthy body, so does also having a good regimen of exercise. Islam has an emphasis on this, evn fulfilling the three of of the five pillars. * A representative from the World Health Organization in the Middle East, Dr. Mohammad Al-Khayat referenced many ideas from the Quran and Sunnah,one of which includes, Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger saying, “Do not with your own hands throw yourself into ruin.” (2:195) The second of which is, “A strong believer is better and is more lovable to Allah than a weak believer, and there is good in everyone, (but) cherish that which gives you benefit (in the Hereafter) and seek help from Allah and do not lose heart, and if anything (in the form of trouble) comes to you, don’t say: If I had not done that, it would not have happened so and so, but say: Allah did that what He had ordained to do “(Muslim)