The topic of the paper will be the REAL pandemic of type 2 diabetes. However, a pandemic can be seen in diseases and famine, not just in viruses. Take starvation for example, which claims 15 individuals every minute. Twenty million starving in Somalia South Sudan, one million in Kenya, four Billion in the Horn of Africa, Nigeria, and Yemen. That’s a REAL pandemic. Cancer is another pandemic. Our world is full of global issues that claim lives.
Type 2 diabetes is defined by non-insulin-dependent or insulin resistance meaning that the body cannot use insulin well. Not only from a biological standpoint, but it contains comorbidity (other illnesses) such as depression, anxiety, and mental. The biomedical model established causes of this illness as being middle age, over-weight, and sedentary (lack of exercise). Type 2 is being seen increasingly with younger people. Type 1 diabetes requires insulin by injection and is thought to be caused by beta cells in the pancreas attacked or destroyed early in life. Alzheimer’s disease is being considered as diabetes 3.
This pandemic reaches roughly 29.1 million people with another 8.1 million un-diagnosed in the US. There is also another 78 million people that are considered obese. Globally, type 2 affects 347 million people according to the CDC. The WHO in 2014 stated 422 million people are inflicted. The current world population is 7.8 billion and estimated to reach 8 billion in 2023. The pandemic of this disease is projected to reach 642 million by the year 2040. The major risk factors are obesity, smoking, and physical inactivity, which can be prevented by changing behaviors.
Having type 2 diabetes can lead to heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure, blindness, kidney disease, neuropathy, and amputation. Type 2 diabetes costs $245 billion in health care in the US. Individual lifetime cost with type 2 diabetes is figured at $85,200 and a half that is treating complications. Global government agencies should be focused on type 2 diabetes and its risk factors.
Tracking this illness over the years, the leading causes point to obesity, age (45 or older), lack of exercise, family genes, and ethnic nationality. Glucose metabolism has been viewed as a possibility such as genetic mutations, hormone imbalances, and pancreatitis. More younger people are developing type 2 diabetes and researchers are now pointing to early depletion of B cells in the pancreas that makes insulin. In addition, not only does type 2 create complications but other conditions exist such as depression, strokes, high blood pressure, and high triglycerides. Stress in type 2 has been researched to show a connection with depression leading to fluctuating metabolic changes. Besides the basic genetic code, here is a review of other causes.
Obesity affects 42.4% of the population (CDC). Just by itself, obesity is a pandemic. Risk factors for obesity are heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers. Obesity and type 2 diabetes are both metabolic disorders stemming from stress and socio-economical position. Poverty, obesity, and inactivity are seen together. It is no surprise to see that poverty and diabetes rates are highest in poor countries. The same is true in the starvation pandemic.
Chronic stressors or continuously imposed pressures that affect physiological functioning. Examples of chronic stressors are low-income status, severe mental health conditions (depression, alcohol dependency, and post-traumatic stress disorder), aggressive behaviors, stressful working environments, traumatic events, personality characteristics, and racial/ethnic conditions. Chronic stress imposed on the mind/body activates the immune system response creating inflammation. Therefore, inflammation is also seen in mental health conditions, social isolation, social rejection, and relationship stress. Chronic stress is linked to obesity. What happens in the mind/body? In a stressful minute, the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) increases cortisol levels. This stress response affects other systems and the result is stored belly fat. Stress will be inscribed in the HPA axis and in visceral fat. Stress does more, it facilitates calorie intake (an urge to eat), and being overweight creates low-grade inflammation. This mind/body trifecta of stress, overweight, and inflammation forms physical and mental illness. An imbalance in body systems from the stress response is called allostatic load. Allostatic load in research has been studied for its effect on the gray matter in the brain. The trifecta of stress, overweight, and inflammation sets the stage for type 2 diabetes and other conditions.
Stressful psychosocial factors are defined by the online psychology dictionary are “social, cultural, and environmental influences that affect an individual’s or group’s mental health and behavior”. Psychosocial factors are depression, diabetes distress, family/friend relationships, stress, coping, and social support. Psychosocial stress is seen in the workplace, life situations, and finances. Furthermore, psychosocial factors are responsible for sleep problems that are connected to depression and obesity. Stressful psychosocial factors make self-care with type 2 diabetes difficult. Therefore, it leads to not following medical advice and not taking medication properly. Stressful psychosocial factors elevate blood sugar levels and make type 2 hard to control. High stress and blood sugar levels lead to complications. In the mind, perceived psychosocial stress will promote poor eating habits and inactivity.
The benefits of good coping strategies are paramount in controlling type 2 diabetes and having a better quality of life. Coping skills should include a form of meditation or relaxation. One suggestion is foot reflexology for managing type 2 diabetes. Foot reflexology is a touch therapy that applies pressure to the bottom of the feet by a licensed reflexologist. Points on the feet are connected through energy lines and the nervous system to the organs and glands. The digit pressure will stimulate and bring a balance of function to that organ. Foot reflexology studies have shown significant improvements in stress reduction, depression, distress, anxiety, fatigue, sleep, diabetic neuropathy pain and some showed glycemic control. Try this touch therapy to bring balance back into the mind/body through relaxation and peace. Most foot reflexologists use essential oils with their treatments as well as massage therapists.
What else can be done about the type 2 diabetes pandemic? Sugar and fat items should be looked at as death to the human race, like a virus. Sugar is in everything from alcohol to ketchup.
Therefore, you may like reading my other blog https://www.immune8.com/blog/sugar-one-thing-leads-to-another/
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To Your Health & Happiness,