Report by Lauren Carruthers
A report to discuss the link between ethnicity and obesity rates in relation to Type 2 Diabetes primarily in South Auckland. In this report I will find out whether the diverse ethnicities of South Auckland residents have any affect on Diabetes rates. I chose this question because I am interested in whether someone’s race can determine his or her risk of chronic disease. I also think this issue is important because South Auckland is so ethnically diverse that we need to know if race plays a part in obesity and diabetes risks. My report will focus on 3 main areas of research, which are what is Type 2 Diabetes, what causes insulin resistance and what impact does ethnicity have on your likelihood of developing obesity/diabetes.
Blood Glucose Levels
Your blood Glucose Level is the amount of sugar present in your bloodstream and these levels are naturally regulated by a metabolic homeostasis. A healthy person’s blood levels should be around 5.5 mmol/L however it does vary depending on when you eat. Glucose is one of the main sources of energy for the body so it is quite important that it remains at a healthy level. High blood sugar is referred to as Hyperglycemia and low is Hypoglycemia. Hyperglycemia can lead to diabetes
Biology of Diabetes
Diabetes Mellitus or Diabetes is a group of metabolic diseases when a person has too much glucose in their bloodstream either because the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin or the cells do not respond to the insulin that is released, which is referred to as Insulin Resistance. There are 3 types of Diabetes: Type 1 is the body failing to produce insulin therefore people with it have to inject insulin. This type is inherited and is not brought on by lifestyle. It was originally called Juvenile Diabetes because a majority of cases were children. Type 2 is the most common and is when your cells are resistant to the insulin that is produced. This is caused by bad lifestyles choices and genetics. Unlike Type 1 which appears quite suddenly, Type 2 is gradual and usually is a result of being obese. Gestational Diabetes is the 3rd type and occurs when a pregnant woman has high levels of glucose in her blood and not enough insulin. This is a result of certain hormones making it hard for insulin to do its job or because the growth demands of the fetus increases the need for insulin. In normal people the carbohydrates they consume are broken down by the digestive system into the molecule ‘glucose.’ The glucose enters the bloody stream and is either used by tissues or stored for later use. When it’s stored it is then called glycogen. When glucose levels rise, the pancreas releases insulin into the blood and enables the glucose to enter the cell and thus be converted into energy. This process is what happens in people with normal blood sugar but because diabetics have unusually high blood glucose levels there is not enough insulin (either because the pancreas doesn’t produce it or because they are insulin resistant) which means that process of insulin helping glucose become energy won’t function properly. This al relates to diabetes because this is what occurs in the body that causes this disease. Diabetes is very serious because, according to Diabetes NZ, there are approximately 225,731 people diagnosed just in New Zealand.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 is by far the most common form with 90% of people with Diabetes having this kind. It is usually caused by the body’s resistance to insulin and is strongly associated with being overweight. It normally takes a while to develop which is why Type 2 sufferers are on average older than people with Type 1. The symptoms of Type 2 are: -Excessive thirst
-Numbness in feet
Even though Diabetes is a very serious disease a prevention method is weight loss. Losing only 4.5kgs can improve insulin sensitivity by 20%,...
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