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Type II Diabetes and Men’s Health, Research Paper Example

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Research Paper

Introduction

There are two types of diabetes: Type I, or juvenile diabetes, and Type II, or adult-onset diabetes. In Type I diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. In Type II diabetes, the pancreas does not make enough insulin. Insulin is a hormone that affects metabolism by causing bodily processes to take up glucose from the blood. In Type II, the muscle, fat, and liver cells do not respond normally to insulin. This is an important health issue. All men need information about this illness, because of its far-reaching impact on our society.

Risk Factors

A man with Type II diabetes will frequently find that his vision is blurry. He will also complain about increased hunger and thirst. Another symptom of the problem will be his need for frequent urination.

Males who are over 45 years old prompt screenings for diabetes. These screenings take the form of urinalysis or blood work-ups. Risks of obtaining a Type II diagnosis increase if the man has a family history of diabetes. One of the most significant warning signs for Type II is obesity. In addition, a man who has any of the previously mentioned conditions and fails to get enough exercise is also at risk. So, how a man lives his life and his genetic background combine to pose certain risk factors that require screening if he wants to take care of himself properly (Zieve, 2009).

Magnitude of Problem

More than 250 million people, worldwide, have diabetes. This number is growing at a rapid rate. Some predict that, at current trends, more than 380 million people will have acquired diabetes by 2025. This disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States (Watson, 2010). Last year, in 2009, there were 72,449 deaths in this country as a direct result of diabetes (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2010).

Because of these and other alarming facts, a myriad of research projects, aimed squarely at battling diabetes, go on as led by scientists and scientific teams. Unfortunately, our culture has much more understanding about what diabetes is and how to prevent it than we do about actually preventing it and causing its harmful effects to go away. The magnitude of this issue reaches most every household and family at some level.

The Problem in Women and Between Sexes

Problems associated with diabetes compound when the illness happens to women, for diabetes affects them as people and affects their unborn children. Difficulties during pregnancy occur when diabetes is present. When diabetes presents itself during pregnancy, it goes by the name of gestational diabetes. Most women who contract gestational diabetes during pregnancy see diabetic problems subside after the end of the pregnancy. Gestational diabetes happens in about 2-5% of all pregnancies. If a woman has gestational diabetes or has a gives birth to a baby who weighs more than nine pounds has increased odds of contracting Type II diabetes later in life.

Miscarriages and birth defects increase because of this. Women with diabetes are more prone to have heart attacks. They are more prone to have heart attacks at younger ages than women who do not have diabetes.

Across the globe, women are less likely to die than men are, but, when they get a diagnosis of diabetes, they lose this statistical edge. With diabetes in women comes an increase in heart disease and stroke. Social support for diabetes treatment tends to different between the sexes. Men appear to have more family support in dealing with the disease than do women. This seems to be because of the traditional roles of nutritional management of the sexes. At least one researcher has suggested that men view diabetes as a family issue, while women view it as a personal one (Gucciardi, 2008).

The Problem Among Races

African-American, Hispanic/Latina, Native American, and Asian/Pacific Islander women have anywhere from 200-400% more chance of developing diabetes than are White women. The risk for contracting Type II diabetes in women goes up higher as women grow older (American Diabetes Association, 2010). As disturbing as this is, data show that the number of women in the United States at high risk for Type II diabetes and its associate complications is increasing at alarming rates (Shaw, 2005).

Treatments and Their Costs

Since the number of patients with diabetes is on the rise, multiple medications to treat it have filled the marketplace. These medicines are produced as the result of extensive, expensive research; therefore, they are costly to make and costly to purchase. The cost Americans paid for diabetes-fighting drugs doubled from 2002-2008, going from over six billion to about 12 billion, according on one source (Easton, 2008).

A growing reliance on multiple medications is the reality for many diabetes patients. Diabetes now accounts for almost 10% of the healthcare costs in the United States. The question surfaces whether the increases costs have contribute to improvements in care. The problem is that Americans have gotten much better at treating diabetes than Americans have gotten preventing it. It is going to take a national campaign on the scale of that which has been waged against tobacco use to educate and to prevent a future generation from being susceptible to diabetes Type II.

Typical treatments include dietary therapy, where patients are conscious of what they eat, when they eat, and how much they eat. Exercise therapy involves regimens of walking, jogging, or the like to increase cardiovascular endurance. Oral gents are also administered to assist the body in breaking down food. Insulin injections are also prescribed in order to give the pancreas extra rest. Usually, each of these therapies is prescribed in concert with at least one other (Bell, 2002).

Just how effective is treatment for Type II diabetes in men? Many diabetes complications are treatable when blood glucose levels and blood pressure levels get under control. Research reports reductions in diabetic kidney, eye, nervous system, heart, and vascular issues when blood sugar and cholesterol are checked and controlled (Wexler, 2009). The high costs of drugs lead to patients skipping their medications (Beaverson, 2000).

Wellness Behaviors

The role of exercise and counting carbohydrate intake is important to note. There exists an enormous amount of information about living the diabetic lifestyle. For example, many recipes for delicious, healthy dishes are accessible in the marketplace (Schroeder, 2010). With support and proper monitoring, a Type II diabetic man will live a full and active life. There are even times when, after a significant amount of weight loss, that the ill effects of Type II go away completely, and the patient, in moderation, can discontinue medications, controlling the diabetic condition with diet and exercise alone.

Conclusions

Diabetes affects different men differently. Men, who are more likely to contract diabetes than are women, are more likely to postpone a diagnosis of diabetes. Kidney failure, damaged nerves, amputations, and impotence are all things that can happen to men who delay treatment or ignore prescribed treatment. Men have to watch their alcohol intake when they have diabetes. When a diabetic male consumes alcohol, the liver ceases to produce glucose, and this can cause a sharp drop in blood sugar levels. Smoking is another thing that diabetic men need to stop doing. Smoking has been proven to cause blood vessel problems and this kind of issue increase the risk of toe or foot amputations in men (Hanf, 2010). Most of the time, a diabetic’s foot becomes infected. He does not feel the pain. It gets worse. It will not heal. It leads to amputation. Some men even go blind as a result of this disease when it goes untreated (Diabetes Health Center, 2010).

Most men with diabetes are reluctant to do everything that their doctors tell them about treating their diabetes. Men need to come to their own conclusions about making important lifestyle changes in order to live productive lives, free from diabetic issues and side issues that impair their ability to live as they wish.

References

American Diabetes Association (2010). Women: Living with diabetes. Retrieved 20 Mar 2010 from http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/women/

Beaverson, G. (2000). What lies behind the high cost of diabetes? Diabetes Health: Investigate. Inform. Inspire. Retrieved 20 Mar 2010 from http:///www.diabeteshealth.com/read/2000/08/01/1975/what-lies-behind-the-high-cost-of-diabetes-/?section=2000

Bell, D. (2002). Current status of diabetes treatment. Southern Medical Journal, 95(1).

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2010). Deaths and Mortality. Retrieved 20 Mar 2010 from http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/deaths.htm

Diabetes Health Center (2010). Better information. Better health. WebMD. Retrieved 20 Mar 2010 from http://diabetes.webmd.com/default.htm

Easton, J. (2008). Cost of diabetes treatment nearly doubled since 2001. University of Chicago Medical Center, public release 27 Oct. Retrieved 20 Mar 2010 from http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-10/uocm-cod102208.php

Gucciardi, A. (2008). Characteristics of man and women with diabetes: Observations during patients’ initial visits to a diabetes education centre. Canadian Family Physician, 54(2), 219-227.

Hanf, J. (2010). How diabetes affects men. StatSheets. Retrieved 20 Mar 2010 from http://www.statssheet.com/articles/article75409.html

Schroeder, D. (2010). Explanation of recipes. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Retrieved 20 Mar 2010 from http://webvideo.unl.edu/Home?p_p_id=EXT_WEBVIDEO&p_p_action=1&p_p_state=normal&p_p_mode=view&p_p_col_id=column-1&p_p_col_pos=1&p_p_col_count=2&_EXT_WEBVIDEO_what=eventGroupD&_EXT_WEBVIDEO_eventGroupId=fc490ca45c00b1249bbe3554a4fdf6fb

Shaw, G. (2005). Black men and diabetes: Preventing it: Managing it. MedicineNet. Retrieved 20 Mar 2010 from http://www.medicinenet.com/scrpit/main/art.asp?articlekey=52361

Watson, J. (2010). Diabetes: Problem of Americans. Diabetes Mellitus Care. Retrieved 20 Mar 2010 from http://diabetesmellituscare.com/diabetes-problem-of-americans.php

Wexler, D. (2009). Diabetes. Healthline: Connect to Better Health. Retrieved 20 Mar 2010 from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001214.htm#Treatment

Zieve, D. (2009). Diabetes. Healthline: Connect to Better Health. Retrieved 20 Mar 2010 from http://www.healthline.com/adamcontent/type-2-diabetes#incidenceandriskfactors

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