RISE OF DIABETES
Diabetes is a disease that affects millions of Americans around the country. With all the advancements made to decrease the health disparities, diabetes still seems to be a major problem in the 21st century. Why are there still high levels and what can do done to prevent the spread of this disease?
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease caused by high glucose in the bloodstream. The body does not create enough insulin which results in high levels of glucose. Glucose is absorbed by insulin to create energy. When there is too much glucose in the bloodstream, this creates hyperglycemia. Hyperglycemia can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and much more. Type 1 diabetes is non-preventable and caused by an autoimmune disease which causes the body to stop producing insulin. Type 2 diabetes is preventable but results from lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed at a younger age while Type 2 is usually diagnosed at a later in adults. The rise of Type 2 Diabetes in the country affects millions of people, even with the current advancements made toward the disease. It is important to target the major issues and disparities to help save our future generations.
Although there are other causes, obesity is a major issue that results in Type 2 diabetes. According to Obesity.com, 90% of people living with Type 2 diabetes are either overweight or obese. Type 2 diabetes is preventable if the right precautions are taken. Diet and exercise have a huge role in preventing Type 2 diabetes. Your family history can determine your potential risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Knowing your history helps prepare for the future. If your family has a history of Type 2 diabetes, it is imperative to always be alert and visit your primary care doctor regularly. This way, a set diet can be placed and you’ll be able to monitor your glucose uptake, insulin level, and weight. This step is very crucial for younger children as well. Scheduling exercise into your daily routine is important for both of yourself and family’s lifestyle to help keep the body active and healthy. This helps to reduce the chance of developing Type 2 diabetes in the future.
Now, we all know that some things that are easier said than done. Some people don’t have access to the same healthcare as others. This creates health disparities around the country. People are in different socioeconomic classes which usually displays the type of healthcare they receive. Families who come from a lower socioeconomic class may not have the access to a primary care doctor and may only go to the hospital when the problem is too late. By the time they go to the clinic for a checkup, they may already have pre-diabetes or diabetes.
Families within lower socioeconomic classes lack the education and knowledge about Type 2 diabetes. They might not be aware that the primary cause is diet or how exercise can prevent themselves and their children from getting this disease. Also, many families do not have the source of income to afford a healthy diet. They are just merely trying to provide food for their children to eat at night and are not concerned about the high cholesterol or sodium in the meal.
What Needs to Be Done:
Education is one of the primary ways to help prevent health disparities facing Type 2 diabetes. Families that come from lower socioeconomic classes should be educated on these issues to help prepare future generations. A way to do this is to have local health fairs in these areas and have stations set up that will provide families with the right tools needed to fight this disease! Also, there are many programs already in place for people who cannot afford treatment! Many are unaware of these programs because they lack knowledge in this area. Information on how to sign up for federal or state assistance should be provided to all families!
It is also essential to start education at a young age. Children need to be given the proper tools and knowledge to help prevent the later offset of this disease. School lunches need to continue to be held at a high health standard and provide the proper nutrients needed for students. Physical Education should continue to meet state health requirements to ensure that students are being active and involved. There also needs to be more after school programs implemented for children that will provide nutritional meals and exercise.
The epidemic of Type 2 diabetes is on the rise but there’s so much that can be done to help future generations. The longer we wait to start, the more people it will affect. Through correct education, diet, and exercise, diabetes can and will be defeated.