Type 1 and 2 Diabetes Differences and Risk Factors in Poor Communities


Type1 and 2 Diabetes Differences and Risk Factors in Poor Communities

Diabetesis a health condition in which the body lacks the ability to produceenough insulin for the conversion of sugar and starches into energy(American Diabetes Association, 2005).Research Diabetes American Association indicates that currently,about 7% of the United States population suffers from this condition.However, almost half of the people with this health condition areunaware of their health status. Type 1 Diabetes is an abnormalitywith the body immune system, in which the body gets rid of thepancreatic beta cells in charge of insulin production(AmericanDiabetes Association, 2005). The body cannot produce insulin afterinsulin-producing cells are destroyed, giving rise to theaccumulation of glucose in the body, which destroys the whole organsystem.

Diabetestype 1 is common in children and people suffering from this conditionare forced to consume insulin to insulin explaining its namesinsulin-dependent or juvenile-onset diabetes. Diabetes is a disorderin which the body lacks the capacity to produce enough insulin, orthe cells do not use the produced insulin (American DiabetesAssociation, 2000). Similar to type 1, type 2 results in the build-upof glucose in the body damaging the organ system of the body.However, unlike type 1 diabetes, type 2 mainly occurs during adultage and hence referred to as adult-onset diabetes (American DiabetesAssociation, 2000).

Despitethe fact that types 1 and 2 have similar effects on body’s organsystem, they have several differences in their signs and symptoms.Symptoms of type 1 diabetes usually start at an early age, eitherduring childhood or young adulthood. When an individual is sufferingfrom type 1 diabetes, the symptoms of high blood pressure are sosevere, forcing the patients to seek early medical help. On the otherhand, type 2 diabetes may have few or no symptoms before diagnosis(American Diabetes Association, 2005). The symptoms become severewith age, and so the disease is in most cases diagnosed in adulthood.However, due to various social and genetic factors, currently, thedisorder can be diagnosed in children and young adults.

Repeatedepisode of low level of blood sugar is the primary symptom of type1diabetes since there are no beta cells to produce insulin. On theother hand, there are no instances of low blood sugar level in type 2diabetes. This is unless in cases where the patient is taking insulinor under treatment with certain diabetes medicines (American DiabetesAssociation, 2000). Currently, there is no prevention of type 1diabetes, type 2 prevention measures focus healthy lifestyle, whichincludes maintaining a healthy weight, observing a healthy diet andexercising frequently. Type 1diabetes is argued to be triggered bythe autoimmune damage to the beta cells, unlike type 2 diabetes, isrelated to aging, unhealthy lifestyles, hereditary factors, andobesity. According to Williams,etal.(2010), symptoms of type1 diabetes become more pronounced in coldweather. Research indicates that type 1 diabetes is prevalent amongpopulations living in areas with cold climates. On the other hand,there is no research that has suggested any relationship between type2 diabetes and cold weather.

Williams,etal(2010) explain that many studies have focused on weight and inactivelifestyle as the primary risk factors of diabetes type 2. However,the researchers argue that there is need for health workers to focuson the various socio-economic factors that to a larger extent, leadto the development of diabetes. In fact, recent research carried byWilliams and others suggest that health-care workers specializing indiabetes management should look out for socio-economic factors thatcan lead to this disorder. Studies show that children from low-incomefamilies experience living conditions that put them at high risk ofdeveloping not only diabetesbut several other myriad diseases. Poor people are mostly stressed,a factor which may adversely affect their health. The researchcarried out by William and others indicate that poverty and poorhousing conditions can trigger high levels of cortisol, a hormonereleased as a result of high-stress levels (2010). While this hormoneis produced to assist the body manage stress, frequent and constantlevels of the hormone have adverse side effects such as elevatedlevels of blood sugar or at extreme cases high blood pressure.

Populationsliving in low-income neighborhoods often lack access to fresh,healthy foods and leisure facilities aimed at encouraging physicalactivities such as swimming. Fresh healthy foods and physicalexercise are crucial in stress management, thus preventing diabetestype 2. Researchhave revealed evidence linking poverty to low birth weight, whichraises the risks of an infant being exposed to various healthconditions including diabetes. Young lactating mothers are forced tofeed their babies on cow’s milk wince they need to go back to workto meet their basic needs. According to Williams, etal.(2010), early exposure to cow`s milk and cereals before four monthsputs them at an elevated risk of developing type 1diabetes. Childrenliving in low-socio-economic conditions may get exposed tocontaminated drinking water especially with nitrates leading to highrisks of developing diabetes type 1.


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