What are the Main Causes and Treatments of Diabetes
Diabetes is a chronic disease that can cause complications and death if left untreated. It is one of the most common chronic diseases in the world and affects nearly half of the global population. According to Koye et al. (2018), it is also a leading cause of disability worldwide, affecting more than 300 million people globally. Diabetes is one of the most common diseases in the United States, with more than 100 million adults affected by type 2 diabetes and over 6.3 million new cases yearly. Diabetes is caused by a combination of factors typically connected to genetics, environment, and lifestyle. The condition is characterized by complications that lead to death or amputation and can be avoided through proper care and treatment.
There are two generally recognized types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. Diabetes Type 1 is caused by a slight insulin production or sensitivity change. Type 2 diabetes happens when the body can no longer process glucose properly due to changes in metabolism (Chaudhary and Tyagi, 2018, p. 3031). Genes, viruses, and environmental factors are all considered causes of type 1 diabetes. Type 1 is typically thought to be an insulin-dependent type and the most severe form. Infrequently called “juvenile” because it usually affects children and teenagers, Type 1 diabetes can also develop at any age. People who have this condition need insulin injections to manage their conditions.
How it works
Type 2 diabetes presents in a markedly different way. In this type, the disease is caused by the pancreas not producing enough insulin or the body’s inefficiency to break down glucose effectively. It strikes adults primarily but can affect children as well. Dansinger (2021) affirms that people who have obesity and type 2 diabetes are more likely to develop metabolic syndrome. Insulin resistance can lead to many complications, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, fatty liver, and heart disease. As a result, blood glucose levels will be higher than average. Because many people with type 2 diabetes are unaware that they have the disease, they are not receiving the necessary treatment and often miss a chance to prevent complications. Reportedly, only a few people could be expected to have the symptoms at first but combat them promptly. Notably, people of some indigenous descent, African descents, Hispanic origins, and Asian ethnicities are more likely to be victims of diabetes.
Gestational diabetes affects pregnant women and is still a relatively uncommon condition. It occurs when the body’s insulin levels rise too high, which means that too much sugar is being taken in. For most, gestational diabetes poses little danger to a mother and her child after delivery, but complications can occur from time to time. Some complications can occur after the delivery, but for the most part, the effects of this type of diabetes are mild or resolved after delivery.
Generally, diabetes is a chronic disease that affects the body’s ability to use sugar, proteins, and fats for energy. It affects how the body uses insulin to regulate blood sugar levels and is caused by genetics and lifestyle factors. The most common causes of diabetes are obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, and poor diet (Wilding, 2018, p. 268). Diabetes can also be triggered by high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels. People with diabetes risk multiple complications, including blindness, kidney failure, amputations, and heart disease. They are also often financially burdened as they must continue costly health care.
Knowing the signs and symptoms of diabetes, risk factors, and causes helps an individual maintain a healthy lifestyle. Treatment aids in managing the symptoms of diabetes accordingly. Diabetes is a chronic condition in which the pancreas does not produce enough insulin. Insulin helps cells absorb glucose, also known as sugar, so that it can be used for energy. Insulin also has another potential use. When it is not producing enough insulin, hyperglycemia occurs, wherein there is too much sugar in the bloodstream. But when the pancreas is functioning properly, insulin helps keep the blood sugar from rising too high and assists with keeping the pancreas functioning properly and healthy.
The treatment of diabetes varies depending on the type and severity of diabetes. Still, it typically includes lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise, medications to control blood sugar levels, and sometimes, insulin injections or other treatments. The goal of the treatment methods for diabetes is to manage blood glucose levels, prevent complications, and reduce the risk of death in people with diabetes. According to Alhaik et al. (2019), diabetes is a chronic problem that requires close monitoring and careful management to avoid various complications. Regular checkups with a doctor, healthy eating, and exercise are ways not only to prevent diabetes but also to manage the disease better.
With type 1 diabetes, there is no known cure. However, insulin injections can prevent the symptoms and reduce the risk of further complications. Transplanting a fresh pancreas is also an option that provides immediate relief. Some medication options are effective in treating this condition, including anti-diabetes pills, insulin injections, or a combination of both (Otto-Buczkowska and Jainta, 2017). Type 2 Diabetes can be prevented as opposed to Type 1 because it is associated with lifestyle factors like obesity and overweight. Losing just a few pounds can start a healthy lifestyle that helps avoid diabetes. Sami et al. (2017, p. 67) assert that to ensure an individual maintains a healthy diet and regular exercise, they must make small daily changes. With this knowledge, an individual can prevent insulin resistance and live a better lifestyle in the meantime.
People with diabetes usually have to put much effort into treatment and management. But they do this not just for themselves but also for their family and friends. When dealing with diabetes, an individual must know what causes it, how to manage it, and knowledge on prevention. According to Khardori (2022), people with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes should monitor their blood sugar levels with a glucometer tool. It can be done quickly at home and requires no special equipment. The glucometer helps people know how much blood sugar they are taking in. It does this by measuring the blood glucose level, the amount of glucose found in their blood. The higher the blood sugar level, the higher the risk for health complications such as eye problems and nerve damage. Individuals should continually monitor their blood glucose levels because it will allow their doctor to view their progress and make suitable treatment suggestions. Additionally, the AIC test is an excellent tool an individual can use to check their blood sugar under a doctor’s care. It is a valuable and easy-to-carry tool that can give people many immediate results about their blood sugar and help manage their diabetes treatment.
In conclusion, it is essential to understand the risk factors of developing diabetes so that an individual can prevent it and lower their chances of experiencing health complications. These are family history, age, race, weight, and other lifestyle factors such as sleep duration and sedentariness.
- Alhaik, S. et al. (2019) “An assessment of self-care knowledge among patients with diabetes mellitus,” Diabetes & metabolic syndrome, 13(1), pp. 390–394. doi: 10.1016/j.dsx.2018.10.010.
- Chaudhary, N. and Tyagi, N. (2018) “Diabetes mellitus: An Overview,” International journal of research and development in pharmacy and life sciences, 7(4), pp. 3030–3033. doi: 10.21276/ijrdpl.2278-0238.2018.7(4).3030-3033.
- Dansinger, M. (2021) Understanding diagnosis and treatment of Diabetes, WebMD. Available at: https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/understanding-diabetes-detection-treatment (Accessed: September 9, 2022).
- Khardori, R. (2022) Type 2 diabetes mellitus treatment & management, Medscape.com. Available at: https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/117853-treatment (Accessed: September 9, 2022).
- Koye, D. N. et al. (2018) “The global epidemiology of diabetes and kidney disease,” Advances in chronic kidney disease, 25(2), pp. 121–132. doi: 10.1053/j.ackd.2017.10.011.
- Otto-Buczkowska, E. and Jainta, N. (2017) “Pharmacological treatment in diabetes mellitus type 1 – insulin and what else?” International journal of endocrinology and metabolism, 16(1). doi: 10.5812/ijem.13008.
- Sami, W. et al. (2017). Effect of diet on type 2 diabetes mellitus: A review. International journal of health sciences, 11(2), 65–71.
- Wilding, J. P. H. (2018) “Medication use for the treatment of diabetes in obese individuals,” Diabetologia, 61(2), pp. 265–272. doi: 10.1007/s00125-017-4288-1.