Diabetes: Disease Analysis

Prominent Aspects of Diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disease. There are three types of diabetes, such as type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes (“Diabetes,” 2018). Type 1 diabetes is a result of an autoimmune reaction when the body stops producing insulin. Therefore, patients with this type of disease need to take insulin on the daily basis. Type 2 diabetes is the most prevalent. It is characterized by improper use of insulin by the body and the resulting increase of blood sugar level. Finally, gestational diabetes develops in pregnant women who have not had diabetes and can lead to the health problems of a baby. On the whole, diabetes is considered to be the seventh cause of death in the United States. Diabetes has some complications. For example, it causes vision loss among adults, can lead to kidney failure, nervous system disorders, digestive disorders, or increase the risk of heart problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.

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Current Data and Statistics

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that 30.3 million American adults, which is about 10% of the whole population, have diabetes and three-quarters are aware of their diagnosis (“About diabetes,” 2018). The majority of people (90-95%) diagnosed with diabetes have type 1 (Weatherspoon, 2018). Consequently, type 1 makes up about 5% of all diagnosed cases. As for gestational diabetes, from 2 to 10% of women develop it during pregnancy (Weatherspoon, 2018). Another dangerous condition highly prevalent among the American population is prediabetes, which is found in 84 million adult US citizens. The disease is more typical of older adults and elderly people. Thus, only 4% of Americans aged 18-44 have diabetes while in the age groups of 45-64 and 65 and older 17% and 25% correspondingly develop this disease (Weatherspoon, 2018).

Health Disparities

Health disparities about diabetes are as follows. Thus, type 1 diabetes is more frequently diagnosed in children, adolescents, and younger adults (“About diabetes,” 2018). Type 2 is more prevalent among adults, but in recent years it is also diagnosed in children and teenagers. Also, children whose mothers had gestational diabetes are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. There are some ethnically-related disparities. Thus, African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders, and Asian Americans are more likely to have diabetes than other ethnicities (“Diabetes,” 2018).

Prevention Strategies

Prevention strategies depend on the type of diabetes. In fact, contemporary medical science does not provide preventive interventions effective against type 1 diabetes (“About diabetes,” 2018). Still, patients can preserve the quality of life by regular injections of insulin. At the same time, type 2 diabetes can be successfully prevented or at least delayed. Thus, such alternative strategies as the adoption of healthy lifestyles, healthy diet, weight control, and regular physical activities prove to be effective strategies for preventing diabetes. Another preventive strategy is to control blood sugar, which is particularly important for individuals with a family history of diabetes and those who are overweight. In case increased blood glucose is detected, medication can be prescribed in addition to lifestyle changes.

Contemporary Research and Clinical Studies

Contemporary research about diabetes focuses on the application of advanced diabetes technologies. Miller et al. (2015) examine the utilization of diabetes technologies and come to the conclusion that an insulin pump is the most prevalent technology used by 60% of children and young adults with type 1 diabetes. Multiple studies prove that an insulin pump is the most effective for pediatric patients and allows controlling blood glucose thus decreasing the risk of hypoglycemia. Other age groups apply continuous glucose monitoring to trace changes in glucose level (Miller et al., 2015). The effectiveness of insulin pump therapy is also proved in the study by Steineck et al. (2015). This observational study that involves more than 18 thousand patients revealed that insulin pump therapy decreases cardiovascular mortality compared to the use of multiple daily insulin injections. Lindström et al. (2013) investigate the impact of improved lifestyle on diabetes risk. They revealed the sustainable lifestyle change and long-term prevention of type 2 diabetes development among individuals at high risk of type 2 diabetes as a result of lifestyle intervention.

An Analysis of Pathophysiologic Effects of Stress

While stress is dangerous for every individual, people with diabetes are particularly affected because stress can change the blood glucose level (Polin, 2017). First of all, people experiencing stress frequently are not able to provide self-care, which is important for patients with diabetes on the whole and crucial for those having type 1 diabetes. Also, stresses people tend to eat more or do not eat at all, which negatively influences blood glucose. Secondly, stress can have a direct impact on blood glucose levels (Polin, 2017). Thus, glucose level elevates in individuals under mental or physical stress.

Evidence-Based Stress Management Interventions

The Stanford University Chronic Disease Self-Management Program for Diabetes suggests some strategies to control stress (Cronk, 2018). First of all, exercise is useful for decreasing stress hormones as well as blood glucose. Secondly, journaling can be applied, because putting thoughts and feelings that cause stress leads to stress decrease (Cronk, 2018). Also, in case a friend or a counselor is available, sharing thoughts with them can be helpful. For religious people, meditation or prayer can be an effective stress-reducing intervention. On the whole, the choice of a stress-managing intervention depends on a person and should be selected individually.

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About diabetes. (2018). Web.

Cronk, L. (2018). It is important to manage stress when you have diabetes. [Blog post]. Web.

Diabetes. (2018). Web.

Lindström, J., Peltonen, M., Eriksson, J., Ilanne-Parikka, P., Aunola, S., & Keinänen-Kiukaanniemi, S., … Tuomielito, J. (2013). Improved lifestyle and decreased diabetes risk over 13 years: Long-term follow-up of the randomised Finnish Diabetes Prevention Study (DPS). Diabetologia, 56(2), 284-293. Web.

Miller, K., Foster, N., Beck, R., Bergenstal, R., DuBose, S., DiMeglio, L., … Tamborlane, W V. (2015). Current state of type 1 diabetes treatment in the U.S.: Updated data from the T1D exchange clinic registry. Diabetes Care, 38(6), 971-978. Web.

Polin, B. S. (2017). Reduce stress to help your diabetes. Web.

Steineck, I., Cederholm, J., Eliasson, B., Rawshani, A., Eeg-Olofsson, K., & Svensson, A., … Gudbjörnsdóttir, S. (2015). Insulin pump therapy, multiple daily injections, and cardiovascular mortality in 18 168 people with type 1 diabetes: Observational study. BMJ, 350(jun22 1), h3234-h3234. Web.

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Weatherspoon, D. (2018). Diabetes: Facts, statistics, and you. Healthline. Web.

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