Type 2 Diabetic
Diabetes can be described as a condition in which the body is unable to manufacture or use insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced or manufactured by a body organ known as the pancreas. Insulin assists the body to breakdown glucose, which is a form of simple sugar, into a form that can be absorbed by body cells easily. Type 2 diabetes is Australia’s fast, growing chronic disease and has affected many people in the country in the recent past. The prevention of diabetes can be achieved by eating the right diet and performing regular body exercises. Obesity and failure to practice physical exercise are the major causes of diabetes. Indeed, poor diet and lack of physical exercise are factors responsible for nearly 95% of diabetes cases in the United States. According to the CDC, individuals with type 2 diabetes can live a full and active life (Roper, 2006).
The presence of excessive glucose (blood sugar) in the blood leads to a condition referred to as hyperglycemia. Some of the symptoms associated with hyperglycemia include impaired or blurred vision and frequent need to urinate. In addition, a person feels hunger after a short while. Also, there is a general increase in the frequency of thirst feeling among the victims. Some people may experience irritability, numbness of hands and feet. In some cases, patients have extremely dry skin. The condition can also be exhibited by wounds that take long to heal. Individuals suffering from type 2 diabetes also experience frequent gum, skin and bladder infections (Fasanmade, 2008; Roper, 2006).
There are five types of diabetes that include pre-diabetes, type 1, type 2, gestational diabetes, latent autoimmune diabetes of adults (LADA) maturity –onset diabetes of the young (MODY). However, type 2 diabetes is the most common (Howard, 2011). For the purpose of this essay, the focus will be on type 2 diabetes.
Chronic condition defined and described
Type 2 diabetes is also referred to as diabetes mellitus. It was formerly referred to non insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) or adult onset diabetes. This condition is characterized by high blood sugar level with relative insulin deficiency. The body produces insulin but not to the required quantity that the body needs. This is in contrast to type 1 diabetes in which there is a total failure of the pancreas to produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that facilitates the breakdown of body sugars. It is also important to note that the human body has many cells. The body breaks complex food components into small units that can be absorbed by the body. Most of the food that a human being consumes is broken down into glucose. This is the simplest form of food, which is absorbed into the cells of the body. After absorption, glucose is transported through the bloodstream to the body cells. This is where the glucose is used to provide energy for the body (Kumar, et al, 2005).
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, and it affects 80%-90% of all cases of people reported with diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is commonly associated with the older population. However, in the recent past, there have been many cases reported where young people are affected by this condition. It is reported that diabetes attacks the pancreas of children or a healthy mature person (Diabetes Australia, 2011).
In the recent past, it was rare to come across children with type 2 diabetes. Nonetheless, there have been reported incidences where many young individuals have been diagnosed with both type 1 and type 2 diabetic conditions (WebMD, LLC, 2012). The causes of type 2 diabetes are classified into two: environmental aspects and genetic factors. Environmental factors can be controlled by the individual. Such factors include obesity, exercises, and eating a balanced diet among others. On the other hand, genetic factors cannot be easily controlled by the individual. Some of the lifestyle trends that encourage diabetes include lack of physical exercise, poor diet, stress and anxiety (Touma&Pannain, 2011). Genetic factors include genes that make up of the individual also known as DNA. This means that if the parents suffered from diabetes, then the children are at high risk of suffering from the same. In monozygotic twins, it is noted that if one suffers from diabetes then the other will develop the same complication at a later stage in his/her life (Gardner, Shoback& Greenspan, 2007).
There are various types of anti diabetes medication available in the market. This includes metformin, which is usually administered as a first line form of treatment. From research, it has been revealed that metformin has no adverse effect on the mortality of the patient. Incase the drug is not effective; a second drug may be administered. Precautions should be taken not to administer metformin to persons with kidney or liver failure. It has been noted that many people do not need insulin. However, when it is used, a long acting formulation is used at night (Waugh, et al, 2010).
In some cases, surgery has been used to control obesity through weight loss surgery. In practice, it has not been seen to have adverse effects on mortality of patients who undergo this procedure. Many patients have been noted to maintain low blood sugar levels without medication after going through surgery. However, it is recommended that only those individuals who are unable to control their body weight and blood sugar levels, should go through this operation (Dixon, le Roux, Rubino&Zimmet, 2012).
Common experiences of those living with the condition discussed
There are several symptoms associated with this form of diabetes. The individuals suffering from type 2 diabetes are faced with a constant feeling of hunger and acute thirst. In this case, an individual cannot get enough of water and food. There is also increased urination whereby a patient urinates frequently after short periods (Vijan, 2010). It is common for people with diabetes to feel weakness and fatigue in their limbs and body. This is due to lack of glucose in the cells to produce energy (Campbell & Rubin, 2012). Cases of mood swings have also been reported. There is gradual gaining of weight, coupled with feeling dizzy and frequent headaches (Diabetes Australia, 2011).
Discrimination and stigma has also been reported among individuals suffering from type 2 diabetes. This is due to the symptoms of diabetes that make individuals feel weak due to lack of energy. There is also dizziness due to lack of glucose in the brain cells hence low metabolic rate. People with diabetes also suffer from impaired eyesight and tend to be mocked by their colleagues when they cannot have a clear vision of distant objects (Vijan, 2010).
Beneficial self management activities detailed
Patients living with diabetes encounter a lot of challenges in managing their blood sugar levels. For one to manage his/her blood sugar levels, he/she must have undergone a complete medical diagnosis from a qualified medical officer so as to understand their condition. Management of type 2 diabetes involves controlling the eating habits, maintaining blood sugar levels in the required range, and lowering of other cardiovascular factors (Vijan, 2010).
Patients are encouraged to monitor their blood sugar levels especially those on multi-dose insulin (American Diabetes Association, 1997). Management of other cardiovascular factors including high cholesterol and hypertension is said to increase a patient’s life expectancy by a sizeable margin. It is also argued that intensive sugar lowering as opposed to standard sugar lowering procedures does not seem to have any adverse effect on mortality (Ripsin, Kang & Urban, 2009).
The most fundamental factors of diabetes management include getting a proper diet and enough body exercise. It is argued that a lot of exercise brings out better results good examples are resistance training and aerobics. A combination of these two brings out the most effective result. Patients are encouraged to follow diets that promote weight loss although there in no unique diet proposed (Zanuso, Jimenez, Pugliese, Corigliano and Balducci, 2010; Soneral, 2000).
Community support organizations
Researchers have found out that patients who belong to community of support groups are more confident, less depressed and less stressed. This is because they are properly equipped by their groups with knowledge of how to control their blood sugar levels. The groups also provide moral support and provides for diabetic patients to share their experiences. There are various community based organizations that currently offer various services and help patients with type 2 diabetes. Some of the community support groups for individuals with type 2 diabetes include: Ararat Diabetes Support Group; Bairnsdale Diabetes Support Group; Ballarat Eureka Diabetes Support Group; Banyule Diabetes Support Group; Beaufort Diabetes Support Group; Benalla Diabetes Support Group; Bendigo Diabetes Support Group; Birchip Diabetes Support Group; Brimbank Diabetes Support Group; Broadmeadows Diabetes Support Group and Cardinia Awareness Group. Other groups include: Casterton Diabetes Support Group; Charlton Diabetes Support Group; Chelsea Diabetes Support Group; Cobden Diabetes Support Group; Cohuna Diabetes Support Group; Colac Branch; Corryong Diabetes Support Group; Craigieburn and District Diabetes Support Group; Croydon Diabetes Support Group – Sugarbeats; Dandenong& District Diabetes Support Group; Darebin Diabetes Support Group; Diamond Valley Diabetes Support Group, BenallaBendigo Diabetes Support Group ; Birchip Diabetes Support Group; Brimbank Diabetes Support Group and GlenroyCardinia Awareness Group (Diabetes Australia-Vic, 2008).
Type 2 diabetes has emerged to be one of the biggest pandemics to hit mankind in the recent past. Many people suffer from diabetes. However, most people do not realize that they suffer from this condition due to ignorance and failure to undergo medical screening. Diabetes can be controlled and managed if it is detected and diagnosed early enough. This is a great challenge in third world countries where healthcare provision is still below international standards. This is coupled by lack of enough medical personnel who have specialized in this field. Parents are advised to take constant note of the development of their children so as to detect diabetes early enough in young children.