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Type 1 Diabetes


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Diabetes is a condition in which the blood content is characterized by a larger percentage of sugar (glucose). It is normally evident when insulin, the substance which lowers the level of glucose in the blood, is not present or is produced in low quantities. At the same time, diabetes is always caused by the incapability of the body to utilize insulin. Diabetes is grouped into type 2 and 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is also known as juvenile onset while type 2 is referred to as adult onset diabetes. In diabetes type 1 patients, the body is not capable of producing insulin at all. Thus, those with type 1 diabetes need continuous injections of insulin without which they will die. On the other hand, bodies of diabetes type 2 patients produce insufficient insulin. Despite the high prevalence and incidence rates of diabetes in the Unites States, Florida, and Miami in particular, it cannot be treated, thus manifesting a lifetime condition. Nonetheless, the earlier it is diagnosed, the better it can be controlled through insulin medications. Consequently, it is significant to explore the signs and symptoms of diabetes, its incidence, prevalence, and prevention since it affects a large portion, 9.4%, practically every 10th citizen of the total population of the United States (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2017).

Background of Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease which is attributed to high levels of glucose in blood and is a result of low level of secretion of insulin, insulins inactivity, or both. It was initially known as an ailment associated with sweet urine since high levels of glucose spill into the urine. The level of glucose in the blood is usually managed by insulin, which is a hormone developed by pancreas (CDC, 2017). Pancreas starts producing insulin when the level of blood glucose escalates and facilitates the absorption of the latter by the body. Patients with diabetes exhibit various signs and symptoms ranging from frequented urination and to far more serious consequences. Long-term diabetes leads to dysfunction, failure, or damage of various body parts, including vessels of blood, heart, nerves, pancreas, and kidneys. It normally results from pancreas destruction, especially the harm of beta cells.

The widely known symptoms of diabetes include feeling thirsty, urinating more often compared to the regular frequency, constant feeling of hunger, exhaustion, abrupt loss or gain of weight, un-healing bruises, deadness or lack of sensitivity at the feet or hands, and blurred vision among others. Families with relatives with diabetes are more predisposed to developing diabetes (Forouhi & Wareham, 2014). Genetics is thought to be one of the determinants that may enhance the chances of developing diabetes. Diabetes is also more typical of people who live far away from the equator and the elderly, especially those above the age of 50 (Okwechime, Roberson, & Odoi, 2015). Diabetes requires constant treatment and exercises to reduce or suppress its symptoms.

The number of patients with diabetes globally is very high and projections indicate that the quantity of is expected to grow by more than a half within the next ten years. The elderly members of the communities, the trend of moving to urban areas, and the population growth are predicted to escalate the percentage of people with diabetes to 55% (Okwechime et al., 2015). CDC (2017) indicates that the prevalence of both undiagnosed and diagnosed diabetes sufferers in the United States was 9.4% of the entire population in 2015, which accounted for 30.3 million people. Of the 30 million people, 7.2 million did not know about their diabetes status. These are the adults aged from 18 years and above (CDC, 2017). The ratio of adults with diabetes becomes higher as their ages progress, with 25.2% of persons aged 65 years and above developing the condition (CDC, 2017). With regard to children and adolescents, the incidence of diabetes in this population (under 20 years old) during 2011-2012 was 17,900 (CDC, 2017). Florida also has high percentages of diabetes patients.

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The numbers of people with diabetes and prediabetes conditions has reached alarming rates in Florida. According to Florida Diabetes Advisory Council (2017), more than 2.4 million persons have diabetes and at least 5.8 million are diagnosed with prediabetes in Florida. Those with prediabetes are reported to be highly likely, 5 to 20 times, to develop diabetes. More than 10% of persons who had a prediabetes diagnosis were eventually diagnosed with diabetes in 2015. Adults aged 65 years and older had higher percentage of diabetes development in the state, 11.5% (Florida Diabetes Advisory Council, 2017; Zevallos, Wilcox, Jean, & Acuna, 2016). In 2015, the state of Florida exhibited a commonness rate of 9.3% (Florida Diabetes Advisory Council, 2017). The statistics also increased with age; persons over the age of 65 years rated at 22.1% (Florida Diabetes Advisory Council, 2017). In Miami-Dade County, the prevalence rate of adults with diabetes in 2015 was 7.9% (CDC, n.d.). Table 1 below shows recent data regarding the prevalence rate of diabetes in Miami-Dade County, Florida State, and the United States in 2015.

Table 1

Prevalence Rate of Diabetes at the National, State, and County Levels (CDC, 2017)

Region Prevalence Rate
United States 9.4%
Miami 7.9%
Florida 9.3%

Present Modes of Surveillance

Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is the monitoring system used to calculate occurrence and commonness intensities of diabetes in the United States and Florida. The national level estimates are obtained from databases and surveys done and monitored by the US Diabetes Surveillance System. This system does not distinguish between type 1 and type 2 diabetes since type 2 diabetes accounts for more than ninety percent of the diagnosed cases (Forouhi & Wareham, 2014); thus it takes into consideration all the data regarding the disease. Novel data is periodically added to the databases as CDC and US Census Bureau get more statistics. The approaches used to calculate national and state level diabetes estimates are called the Bayesian methods. They are modeled through the utilization of a statistical model that borrows strength in creating a sole country estimate from neighboring counties. The current data of the prevalent rate of diabetes is that of 2015 calculated by CDC and is, as aforementioned, 7.9, 9.3, and 9.4 percent for Miami-Dade, Florida, and the United States respectively (CDC, n.d.). National prevalence statistics is more than state and county statistics, meaning that other counties and states suffer from the malady even more.

Descriptive Epidemiological Points for Diabetes

Descriptive epidemiology has indicated that the incidence of type 1 diabetes varies among nations. It ranges from 0.1 in every 100,000 citizens annually in specific places in China and Venezuela to 40.9 for every 100,000 people annually in Finland (Forouhi & Wareham, 2014). Overall, nations in North America and Europe have high incidences of diabetes while those in Africa have intermediate predisposition to it (Forouhi & Wareham, 2014). Asian nations have the lowest rates of diabetes development. While children and adolescents of any age can have diabetes type 1, those from birth to 14 years are more prone to it. In the majority of cases, male youngsters have diabetes type 1 incidence more often than female ones. However, in some nations, young girls have type 1 diabetes more frequently than boys (Forouhi & Wareham, 2014). The peak incidence of diabetes type 1 in both genders is at puberty. While genetic factors may cause diabetes type 1, the most notable factor that enhances its development is still environmental.

Type 2 diabetes normally has no visual signs and symptoms during its onset stage thus may be tough to notice. Prevalence of type 2 diabetes is not high in rural areas of developing nations, and highest in persons that adopt the western way of life. The immigrants moving to high prevalence urban areas of the West are more likely to be diabetic in the future (Forouhi & Wareham, 2014). Globally, slightly above 14 million more men have diabetes compared to women, and the prevalence progresses as people become old in both genders. The global projection of incidence of diabetes is expected to move from 382 million in 2013 to 592 million in 2035 (Forouhi & Wareham, 2014). With regard to etiology, type 2 diabetes incidence is specifically led by becoming insensitive to insulin or bodys incapability to secrete insulin on its own (Forouhi & Wareham, 2014). Etiological risk factors are inactivity, the reluctance of doing exercises, family history, obesity predisposition and unhealthy lifestyle, as well as aging. Eating a lot of red meat and food with a lot of sugar also increases the chances of developing diabetes.

Diabetes costs a lot of money to treat and manage. In addition, it is killing many people worldwide as a result of promoting the cardiovascular disease. According to CDC (2017), diabetes conditions cause about 5 million deaths globally, which is more than the deaths caused by tuberculosis and HIV/AID taken together. The cost of treating diabetes globally is $673 billion (CDC, 2017). Its social costs include a persons inability to interact effectively with others due to the constant need to check and measure the level of insulin in the body and take action to improve it. Nonetheless, since risk of contracting type 2 diabetes is largely attributed to the sedentary lifestyle, the cost can be greatly lowered by adopting recommended behaviors such as exercising.

Diagnosis of Diabetes

Various kinds of blood tests measure the level of glucose in the blood and are primarily used to diagnose diabetes. A1C test enables identifying the level of blood sugar for the past ninety days. Doctors normally take into consideration the age and anemic condition of a person prior to A1C testing as it is not very accurate in people with anemia (Forouhi & Wareham, 2014). In case the symptoms of diabetes are evident and doctors do not want to wait until a patient goes hungry for a blood test, random plasma glucose test is used. Glucose challenge tests are used for testing pregnant women for gestation diabetes. Oral glucose tolerance test is also meant to diagnose diabetes in expectant mothers. In this test, the doctor draws blood, provides a patient with a liquid containing glucose, and draws the blood after every 2 hours to determine if there is an increase of blood glucose. Fasting glucose tests are used to measure blood glucose after 8 hours of a patients abstaining from food.

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Fasting plasma glucose test is a very sensitive identification tool and is employed to measure the glucose level after fasting. When the glucose level after 8 hours of fasting is 100 to 125 mg/dL, doctors diagnose patients for prediabetes, indicating a high likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes. The tests specificity is thus on diagnosing type 2 diabetes (Forouhi & Wareham, 2014). The level of glucose going above 126 mg/dL and confirmed by testing for two consecutive days indicates the presence of diabetes. Overweight or obese patients and those with two or more diabetes risk factors should conduct the test obligatory.

Brief Plan to Address Diabetes

Diabetes is a global problem that causes many deaths and makes nations spend a lot of money on treatment. The first approach to address diabetes is to develop a program that would encourage people to live active lifestyles with them do a lot of exercises targeted at preventing them from becoming overweight. The outcomes of the exercising effectiveness will be evaluated by counting the number of people who enroll in the program and measuring their weights to determine if they have maintained or reduced them. The second approach is to advocate for quitting smoking by joining antismoking campaigns (Forouhi & Wareham, 2014). These will aim at lowering the incidence of diabetes attributed to this negative addiction. The outcome of the programs will be measured by noting the number of persons who quit smoking or those who join the programs and help other people quit the habit. The third and last step to help address the problem of diabetes is to diagnose patients and help them improve and maintain their levels of glucose in order to prevent or delay complications of the disease. I would measure the outcome of the last step by counting the number of patients who have come to the clinic to be diagnosed, learned about their health condition, made the decision and were able to take the necessary steps to prevent, manage, and maintain their blood glucose levels.


Diabetes is a condition that is not curable but can be managed by maintaining the level of blood sugar through insulin medication interventions. It negatively affects people economically and socially as the costs of treatment and the need to change diet are very expensive, especially when the patient has no insurance coverage. Diabetes makes people unproductive as it requires constant medical check-ups and forces people to fail to report to work for many days. The United States, Florida, and Miami-Dade should encourage the implementation of diabetic prevention methods to lower the diseases incidence and prevalence rates that are currently evident and alarming in the country. Some of the ways of averting diabetes in the society involve smoking cessation stimulation as well as encouraging people to be more active and exercise. The effective management of blood glucose enables the prevention or deferring of the adverse health conditions that are associated with diabetes, such as cardiovascular diseases. By and large, diabetes requires global collective action to prevent and manage.

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