Diabetes is a disease that afflicts millions of people worldwide each and every year. For many, diabetes has been with them for their entire lives, others however develop diabetes as they grow older. According to the World Health Organization, (WHO, 2011) 346 million people worldwide have diabetes. Approximately 3.4 million people died from consequences of high blood sugar in 2004 of which more than 80% of diabetes occur in low- and middle-income countries. It was also projected that the number of deaths as a result of diabetes will double between 2005 and 2030. Currently, diabetes imposes a large economic burden on the national healthcare system. Healthcare expenditures on diabetes account for 11.6% of the total healthcare expenditure in the world in 2010. Diabetes Mellitus Deaths in Antigua and Barbuda reached 11.68% of total deaths. This ranks Antigua and Barbuda at #20 in the world (WHO, 2011). Diabetes Mellitus is the second highest cause of death in the country with 7.08% of the population with this disease. Given the increasing prevalence of sedentary lifestyle and obesity and their correlation with diabetes, it is likely that the number of individuals with diabetes mellitus will continue to increase, and that this will be place a significant burden on the nation. With both the use of electronic sources, this paper will attempt to substantiate the claim that lifestyle changes such as healthy diet, regular physical activity, maintaining a normal body weight and avoiding tobacco use can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. It is not intended to outline treatment diabetes but preventative measures of type 2 diabetes.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, lifestyle is the typical way of life of an individual, group, or culture. Diabetes is a chronic disease that arises by the high level of sugar (glucose) in the blood. Glucose is a source of fuel for the body. Diabetes can result when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that enables cells to take in glucose from the blood and use it for energy. This is associated with long-term damage to the body and failure of various organs and tissues. Three main types of diabetes that occur in human beings are Type 1- which is childhood diabetes, Type 2- which is adult onset diabetes, and Type 3 -which is Gestational diabetes which occurs during pregnancies. Type 1 diabetes is sometimes called insulin-dependent or juvenile diabetes. It is caused from the body’s failure to produce insulin, thus, allowing glucose to enter and fuel them. Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes and accounts for approximately 90% of all cases of diabetes. It occurs when either the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin. Gestational diabetes (GDM) is a state of hyperglycemia which develops during pregnancy and is associated with complications in the period immediately before and after birth.
Symptoms of Diabetes
Many of the signs of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are similar. The symptoms associated with type 1 diabetes are usually sudden and dramatic while that of type 2 diabetes are often mild or absent making it hard to detect. Individuals can experience different warning signs, and sometimes there may be no obvious warning. Some of the signs of diabetes commonly experienced are: ■ Polydipsia- Unquenchable thirst:High blood sugar levels overload the kidney's ability to reabsorb the sugar as the blood is filtered to make urine. Excessive urine is made as the kidney spills the excess sugar. The body tries to counteract this by sending a signal to the brain to dilute the blood, which translates into thirst. The body encourages more water consumption to dilute the high blood sugar back to normal levels and to compensate for the water lost by excessive urination.
■ Polyuria- Frequent...