You are on page 1of 8

Running head: DIABETES CONTINUES TO CLIMB

Diabetes Continues to Climb

DIABETES CONTINUES TO CLIMB

Diabetes Continues to Climb


The purpose of this paper is address the increasing climb of diabetes and how it is
impacting individuals. This paper will also entail reasons why researchers believes diabetes is
becoming more prevalent in children and adults. Within this paper the reader will gain a basic
understanding of the research that has been done in the past and in the present pertaining to
diabetes and will provide some statistics as well. First this paper will entail a brief background of
diabetes.
Background in Diabetes
What is Diabetes
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention, n.d.), diabetes is a condition in which the body does not properly
process food for the use of energy. The pancreas which makes insulin that assists glucose get into
the cells, however someone has diabetes his or her body cannot make enough insulin or the
insulin is no good. The lack of insulin causes excess of sugar in the blood stream, which can
cause several health conditions.
Symptoms
There are several symptoms that can be experienced by all or some symptoms, such as
frequent urination, excessive thirst, unexplained weight loss or gain, extreme hunger, sudden
vision changes, tingling in hands or feet, dry skin, and feeling tired. Anyone that experiences any
of the above symptoms should without delay visit his or her physician.
Types of Diabetes

DIABETES CONTINUES TO CLIMB

There is two types of diabetes Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 was previously called insulindependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) or juvenile diabetes. The causes for this disease can be
contributed from autoimmune, genetics, or environmental factors.
Type 2 was previously called non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM), or
adult-onset diabetes. The majority of individuals are diagnosed with Type 2 unlike the Type 1.
Individuals increase his or her risk of developing Type 2 as they get older, family history, obesity,
poor physical activity, and race/ethnicity. Another risk factor is approximately 40 percent of
women who experience gestational diabetes during pregnancy develop Type 2 later. Certain races
are more prone to developing diabetes, such as African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans,
American Indians, and some Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
Prevalence
Diabetes is most prevalent in African Americans or Blacks. African Americans are 1.7
times as likely to develop diabetes than Caucasians (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
n.d.). Diabetes in African Americans has quadrupled during the 30 years. Approximately 2.3
million African Americans age 20 and older have diabetes. Another horrifying statistic is African
Americans are more likely to develop severe disabilities and complications from diabetes than
non-Hispanic whites. The last alarming statistic is the rate of death for African Americans with
diabetes is 27 percent higher than for Caucasians.
Research
Current research from the CDC (2014), states that diabetes is steadily climbing and
approximately 12 percent of the adult population here in the United States have the disease, and
more than a third of those 20 years and older have prediabetes. Also stated in this new research is
that this continuous rise is across all ages and ethnicities (Paddock, PhD, 2014). Type 1 diabetes

DIABETES CONTINUES TO CLIMB

that is diagnosed in children and young adults only accounts for about 5 percent of the adult
population, which is still high. Researchers and doctors are trying to push the need to examine
this epidemic and find appropriate treatments and find the cause for this alarming increasing of
this disease.
Adult
In a more recent study done by the American Diabetes Association (ADA), the figures are
just as alarming from the article that reported just a year from the article above (American
Diabetes Association, 2016). According to the ADA, the percentage of Americans age 65 and
older remains high, at 25.9%, or 11.8 million seniors (diagnosed and undiagnosed). From 2010 to
2012 Americans 20 years and older diagnosed with diabetes increased by almost 10 million
individuals. Although the above statistics are extremely alarming but it is nothing compared to
the deaths contributed to diabetes. Diabetes is such an epidemic that in 2010, diabetes was the 7th
leading cause of death, and attributed to over 69,000 deaths listed as the underlying cause of
death, and over 234,000 deaths were listed on the death certificate as diabetes was the underlying
or contributing cause of death.
Children
For our children and young adults, the numbers are just as alarming especially since some
individuals develop this disease because of genetics, or environmental factors (American
Diabetes Association, 2016). Approximately 208,000 Americans under the age of 20 are
estimated to have diabetes. This is an estimate which is terrifying because the number is so high
and is not clear because there are so many undiagnosed cases. A research done during 20082009, there was an estimated 18,500 diagnosed diabetes cases of Type 1, and an estimated 5,000
diagnosed diabetes cases of Type 2 of individuals age 20 years and younger.

DIABETES CONTINUES TO CLIMB

In another article it discusses some important statistics but also some interesting evidence
that has been found on children who possibly will develop diabetes. As mentioned in this article
as well as others that there is a host of potential genetic and environmental risk factors for insulin
resistance the most significant is child obesity (Kaufman, MD, 2002). The majority of children
who develop Type 2 diabetes have a family member with Type 2 diabetes; 45-80 percent have a
parent with Type 2, and 74-90 percent report at least one affected by a first or second degree
relative. An interesting bit of information that is not well known is that up to 6090% of youth
who develop diabetes have acanthosis nigricans, a thickening and hyperpigmentation of the skin
at the neck and flexural areas that is due to insulin resistance. More children and young adults
with diabetes have this skin problem than do adults with diabetes. It is so common that it can be
used as a marker of youth at risk for type 2 diabetes. Some other factors include puberty,
intrauterine exposure to diabetes, sedentary lifestyle, and female sex.
Treatments
Before this paper provides information about treatments for individuals with diabetes or
prediabetes. There is one more startling statistic that was found in another article, which provides
information on a research study done to predict how many Americans will develop diabetes by
the year 2050 (Boyle, PhD, Honeycutt, PhD, Venkat Narayan, MD, Hoerger, PhD, Geiss, MA,
Chen, MS, & Thompson, MS, 2001). This research which was done back in 2001, and was based
off of both the prevalence rate and population projections from the National Health Interview
Survey and the Bureau of Census. It is stated in the research that by the year 2050 Americans
with diagnosed diabetes is projected to increase 165%, from 11 million in 2000 (prevalence of
4.0%) to 29 million in 2050 (prevalence of 7.2%). So what are we to do about this epidemic? For
starters each individual needs to take responsibility and start making some changes.

DIABETES CONTINUES TO CLIMB

Unfortunately, there are many individuals who genetically cannot change the probability that
they will develop this disease but can they can ensure they are proactive in making it easier to
work with. Below will address some treatments that can be used to assist in managing this
disease.
Nutrition
As mentioned above a large risk factor in developing this disease is obesity. As our
culture becomes busier and busier, individuals have less time to cook proper meals, and
everywhere we look there are advertisements for fast food or a quicker way to cook food and all
of this is enticing because it meets the needs for our fast paced lives. One of the easiest ways to
prevent or manage diabetes is eating a balanced meal and watching our intake of complex
carbohydrates. If individuals cooked more and ate out less or made better decisions on what they
ate while they were out they would be taken one step closer to fighting this epidemic. All the
food that was supplied to us on this earth with provided to us for a purpose and it each food
naturally produced has a specific guideline to meet our internal needs. All of this manufactured
food or processed food is full of chemicals that was not intended for consumption.
Exercise
Exercise is another very important part of managing or fighting this deadly disease. Again
society has become so changed by societal demands and changes in technology that we have
become such a lazy society. Society has lost focus on what is important in life they have replaced
vegetables with money. However, since more and more people are being diagnosed with life
threatening diseases there have been more and more people going back to eating right and
exercising but still a lot more people need to be educated and make the life changing decision to

DIABETES CONTINUES TO CLIMB

better care for self. Even if an individual was genetically predisposed for diabetes choosing to
exercise will help manage the disease.
Medications
Medications are there to assist in preventing any further damage from this disease but it
will not do any good if the other two treatments above are not followed. Medication is just
another tool that can be used to treat and manage diabetes but it does not cure this disease. Once
someone is diagnosed with this disease it does not go away permanently. The three tools above
can make it easier to live but does not cure this deadly disease, but can prolong ones life
expectancy and prevent further complications as well as death.
Conclusion
In conclusion, this paper addressed the increasing climb of diabetes and how it is
impacting individuals. This paper also entailed reasons why researchers believes diabetes is
becoming more prevalent in children and adults. The purpose of this paper was to provide the
reader a basic understanding of the research that has been done in the past and in the present
pertaining to diabetes and provided some alarming statistics pertaining to this deadly disease.
The last section touched on just some small changes that individuals can make to extend their life
with or without diabetes. It is time for each individual to be educated about this epidemic and
make a decision to make these changes.

DIABETES CONTINUES TO CLIMB

8
References

American Diabetes Association. (2016, April 1). Statistics About Diabetes. Retrieved from
http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/statistics/?
referrer=http://r.search.yahoo.com/_ylt=AwrTHRB9Z.dWHloAAMFXNyoA;_ylu=X3oD
MTEydHR0aTVzBGNvbG8DZ3ExBHBvcwMyBHZ0aWQDQjExNjBfMQRzZWMDc3
I-/RV=2/RE=1458034686/RO=10/RU=http%3a%2f%2fwww.diabetes.org%2fdiabetesbasics%2fstatistics%2f/RK=0/RS=Dk20U_CijOdU2xl3WFzSnu7ljPYBoyle, PhD, J., Honeycutt, PhD, A., Venkat Narayan, MD, K., Hoerger, PhD, T., Geiss, MA, L.,
Chen, MS, H., & Thompson, MS, T. (2001, Nov). Projection of Diabetes Burden Through
2050. Diabetes Care, 24(11), 1936-1940. doi:10.2337/diacare.24.11.1936
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). Diabetes. Retrieved from
http://www.cdc.gov/media/presskits/aahd/diabetes.pdf
Kaufman, MD, F. R. (2002, October). Type 2 Diabetes in Children and Young Adults: A "New
Epidemic". Clinical Diabetes, 20(4), 217-218. doi:10.2337/diaclin.20.4.217
Paddock, PhD, C. (2014, June 12). Diabetes rise in the US is 'alarming,' say CDC. Retrieved
from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/278140.php