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Diabetes in African American Women, Essay Example

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Essay

One of the possible dissertation topics I would like to conduct research on deals with the effect birth control pills has in African American women living with type 1 diabetes.  It is mentioned that the longer a woman takes birth control pills while having diabetes, the more susceptible she is for further complications (American Diabetes Association, 2013).  Also, if she develops high blood pressure while on the pill, her chances of complications would greatly increase, especially pertaining to the eyes and kidneys.  Medical research has indicated how birth control pills can increase blood pressure levels for some women who have experiences with mild kidney diseases, obesity, and a family history of high blood pressure (American Heart Association, 2013). Although there has been evidence that birth control pills can cause high blood pressure for women in general, I would want to conduct research on the risk factors associated with this problem in African American women living with type 1 diabetes.

There is empirical scientific research that points to the idea that oral contraceptive use does in fact alter the body’s glucose levels–possibly resulting in either hyper- or hypoglycemia. This was proven clearly in the article “Oral contraception enhances growth hormone responsiveness to hyper- and hypoglycemia” by the study done on both white and African American women. The knowledge that oral contraceptive can even effect the body’s ability to regulate its own sugar actually goes way beyond implications of their effect on women with diabetes–it has been established that the African American population is more susceptible to the disease–and therefore it is not a stretch to develop the hypothesis that longer-term use of oral contraception may actually be a contributing factor to the actual onset of the disease itself (Oral contraception, 2011).

Studies have also proven a link between high blood pressure and use of oral contraceptives. In general, African American women are also more predisposed to developing high blood pressure than other populations, and therefore adding the use of contraceptives can further add to natural risk factors, making a particular result of long term untreated high blood pressure, diabetes, manifest itself more prevalently. In the article “Contraception in Women with DM”, it is discussed that contraceptive use in women with type 1 diabetes greatly affected their Lipid profiles for a period of six to twelve months. This can catalyze severe cardiac problems–especially in women predisposed, or living with high blood pressure. This change in Lipid profile can be life-threatening.

In the article “Oral Contraceptive Use and Association With Glucose, Insulin, and Diabetes in Young Adult Women”, the contrary to the thesis must be considered in some sense. The researchers did not find what they had expected to when researching oral contraceptives and their link to diabetes–especially considering the African American community. This article cites a study that actually found a stabilization in insulin levels with the use of an oral contraceptive. These results have not been repeated–and perhaps for good reason. Although what this study found was seemingly positive, it also points to the main idea–that oral contraceptives do indeed change the body’s glucose delivery system. This will invariably not cause positive results in the future (Oral contraceptive use, 2013).

Looking at all of the information presented, one thing that can absolutely be asserted is that oral contraceptives do in fact have some kind of effect on the body’s ability to regulate insulin and glucose. As diabetes is an infrequent disease amongst younger people, but the use of contraceptives can be just as high as adults, many of these studies must be considered together, using all the information possible. This allows for a reasonable conclusion to be made–it is very possible, if not more than likely, that use of oral contraceptives–especially in the long term–can help catalyze the onset of diabetes, especially in African American women.

References

American Diabetes Association. (2013). Living With Diabetes. Retrieved from http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/women/women-and-diabetes-frequently-asked-questions-faq.html

American Heart Association. (2013). High Blood Pressure and Women. Retrieved from http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/UnderstandYourRiskforHighBloodPressure/High-Blood-Pressure-and-Women_UCM_301867_Article.jsp

Friedrich, A. “Oral Contraception Enhances Growth Hormone Responsiveness to Hyper- and Hypoglycaemia.” N.p., 19 Aug. 2011. Web.

GRIGORYAN, Olga. “Contraception in Perimenopausal Women with Diabetes Mellitus.” N.p., 23 Feb. 2006. Web.

Kim, Catherine. Oral Contraceptive Use and Association with Glucose, Insulin and Diabetes in Adult Women. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.

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