Diabetes Education and Self-Management for Ongoing and Newly Diagnosed

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In the last century life expectancy in the United Kingdom (UK) has increased intensely. According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) twenty percent of the current population are regarded as older people (seventy-five or older), causing a major demand on all aspects of the health service.

This essay will focus Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) within the community setting. Diabetes is ever growing worldwide. A study by Peirce (1999) stated that by 2052 people living with diabetes will have rose to over 300 million from 16 million in 1994. Another study completed by McPherson (2010) showed that by 2050 a ninety-eight percent rise in obesity related diabetes within the UK (Guardian online 2010). The Department of Health (DOH) has stated that Diabetes is more predominant with age, with one in twenty people at the age of sixty-five suffering from this disease. The risk of becoming diabetic increases more to one in five at the age of eight-five. It is widely understood that diabetes is becoming a subject of great importance within the world of medicine.

T2DM is an irrepressible, longstanding condition that is increasing at a fast rate because more people are becoming overweight or obese. There is also Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (T1DM). Research shows that T1DM accounts for ten to fifteen percent of all diabetes diagnosed, therefore leaving eighty-five to ninety percent of diabetes diagnosed as T2DM (ONS 2006).

Diabetes mellitus can be classified as a group of diseases which are characterised by impaired glucose homeostasis resulting from a relative or absolute insufficiency of insulin (Underwood and Cross 2009). Insulin deficiency causes high blood sugars (hyperglycaemia) and the production glycosuria (Levene 2003). Insulin is produce by the pancreas which is fundamental to regulating carbohydrate and fat metabolism in the body (Sudesh and O’Rahilly 2005). More specifically it is produced from Beta cells (β cells) which are located on The Islets of Langerhans. The main metabolic function of the β cells is regulation and reduction of raised blood glucose levels (Waugh and Grant 2006).

As mentioned there are two different types of Diabetes T1DM and T2DM. The difference between the two is that in T1DM the pancreas fails to produce insulin due to the body’s immune system destroying their own supply β cells (Knipp et al 2005). Whereas T2DM have the β cells that produce an amount of insulin but an insufficient amount for the body’s basic requirements (Marieb 2009).

There have been many studies throughout the years to see if weight has an effect on diabetes. The ONS released statistics in 2008 that showed the more people that were overweight suffered from a type of diabetes. It is suggested that obesity promotes insulin resistance through the inappropriate inactivation of a process called gluconeogenesis (Montminy 2009). This process is the main mechanism humans use to keep blood glucose levels from dropping too low and causing hypoglycaemia. It is also stated that people who are obese are at a higher risk of getting diabetes as their β cells are slower to react to an increase in glucose levels than those who are of a ‘healthy’ weight (Waugh and Grant 2006).

As the glucose levels elevate there are many different symptoms that may develop such as; increased thirst, tiredness, weight loss, neuropathy in the hands and feet, frequent urination and retinopathy (NHS Choices 2010). As well as these symptoms the patient may also have frequent infection of the body and wounds that have a delayed healing process. However with T2DM these symptoms may not all be present and therefore could be mistaken for another medical condition.

There are many healthcare based interventions involving Diabetes, these include preventative strategies such as assessment strategies, such as regular blood glucose monitoring and urinalysis. Diet and exercise management plays a major part in the prevention of diabetes. There are also...
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