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Brandon Cervantes

Health 1020-Foundations of Human Nutrition


Professor Jean M. Widdison
Research Paper
Diabetes

A disease that has been affecting my family for years has been
diabetes, also known as Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is a metabolic disorder in
which the body cannot store or use the energy found in foods.(www.medicalnewstoday.com). Not everyone in my family has it but it has
reached a majority of it. My grandparents both had type 2 diabetes for a
good portion of their lives and it ended up being a big reason as to why they
passed away. My father and many of my uncles also inherited the disease.
There are many ways to prevent type 2 diabetes as well, since it is passed
genetically I know that my siblings and I are at a high risk but if we make
sure we stay healthy and make the right decisions we have a chance to not
get it at all. We have to make sure we follow ways to prevent the disease
since we are at a higher risk of getting it than those whose parents do not
carry the disease. Diabetes can affect our lives in a negative way which is
why we must act upon prevention of the disease. If we end up developing
the disease then we will have to take numerous medications and have
numerous doctor visits as well as have to use certain instruments to check
on blood glucose levels and our blood pressure on a regular basis. If we eat

healthy foods and actually pay attention to what is in the foods we eat we
have a chance to prevent it. Exercise is also a great way to help prevent us
from developing the disease. If we educate ourselves on the early symptoms
of the disease then we will be able to stop it before it even starts.
Diabetes is a disease that causes blood glucose (sugar) levels to rise
higher than a normal state (also called hyperglycemia).-(Type 2 diabetes,
www.diabetes.org). Type 2 diabetes is also the most common form of
diabetes. It has many effects on your body, which can carry many
consequences if you do not take care of yourself. One effect it has is that it
causes your body to not absorb enough insulin from foods you consume
which causes your blood glucose levels to be abnormal. Glucose tends to
build up in the blood instead of being absorbed by cells which can cause your
cells to be starved of energy. High blood glucose levels can cause damage to
your heart, kidneys, or nerves and can also cause you to lose an unhealthy
amount of weight which can cause your bones to become weak and may
cause them to become more susceptible to breaking.
In some cases the pancreas still secretes insulin which can cause the
body to develop a resistance to it. The cause of insulin resistance itself is not
well understood, but its effects are, and doctors can help manage these
conditions.-(www.ehealthiq.com). When this occurs it can affect the entire
metabolic process in a very negative way. This causes the body to not use
insulin effectively which causes your cells to not absorb glucose in proper
amounts. Insulin is key in allowing the cells to absorb and use glucose that

we get from the foods we consume, insulin helps move the glucose from the
blood stream into the cells which provides us with energy. Many people think
they arent at risk to develop the disease, but it is a serious disease and if
they do not take care of themselves they may be at risk.
Diabetes type 2 can be developed by an unhealthy diet and lack of
physical activity or passed down through family generations. Many people
enjoy eating what they please regularly, without thinking of the
consequences they may face of eating unhealthy. 4 in 10 at-risk adults
believe they are not at risk. (Virginia. Alexandria, www.diabetes.org). There
are many ways to avoid the disease, physical activities such as exercising,
running, lifting weights, playing sports, even just walking can help a lot.
Watching your weight is also a great way to help avoid this disease, since
obesity and high body weight is linked to this disease, maintaining a healthy
weight is a great way to help prevent this disease from occurring. Keeping a
healthy diet would help maintain a healthy weight and also making sure that
the foods you consume do not contain much sugar or fats. Smoking is also a
major contributor to developing the disease, since it can damage your
immune system very quickly if you are an average smoker. There are also
some risks that people cannot avoid like age, gender, race, and your family
history.
The older you get, the higher chance it is for you develop diabetes
which is why people must start at a young age taking better care of
themselves physically and internally. As you age some of your internal

organs may become weaker and not work as well as before, also as people
get older their activity level tends to drop which results in loss of muscle and
weight gain. Men tend to have a higher risk of developing it than females.
Since men develop fat more in their abdomen, women tend to develop it
more in the hips and thighs. Therefore, women may need to accumulate
more fat before they begin to develop harmful deposits in the abdominal
are. (Sattar. Naveed, MD, PhD, www.diabetesselfmanagement.com).
Ethnicity may also be a major factor in development of the disease. Latinos,
American Indians, Asian Americans, and non-Hispanic blacks are twice as
likely to have type 2 diabetes as non-Hispanic whites. (American Diabetes
Association, conditions.about.com).
If your family has a history of developing the disease, then you are at
an even higher risk, especially if one or both of your parents have it. If this is
the case then you should live a healthy life filled with physical activity to
prevent it from effecting you, as well as having your doctor perform a
screening for the disease and see what they would recommend is the best
course of action. This is the case with my family, my grandparents both had
the disease and therefore, passed it to my father and many of my aunts and
uncles. My mother does not have the disease but I am still at a high risk for
developing it since my father has it. My risk of obtaining it is higher than that
of my sisters since I am a male. Seeing how it affects my fathers life
significantly, makes me want to do whatever I can to help him as well as
make sure I do what I can to help prevent myself from developing it. I do so

by eating healthy more often than not and by living a physically active
lifestyle. Most of the food my family consumes is healthy because we know
we have a high risk for the disease and we have noticed the affects it
presents to our lives from seeing how it affects our father and our uncles as
well. They have to repeatedly take medications and regularly check their
blood glucose levels as well as their blood pressure using certain equipment.
The ones who are affected by this disease in my family must have
regular checkups so that the doctor can educate them on what to do to help
them prevent the disease from escalating. Also they must provide them with
medications, some of which have unpleasant side effects like drowsiness,
dizziness, and as well as having an un-easy stomach, some medications
actually may have severe side effects that may lead to even death. Along
with medications, they also have to use devices that test their blood sugar
and blood pressure levels. Many people do not know they have high blood
pressure, to test it they must place a cuff on the arm which then tightens
around the arm and if you are educated on it you may use a stethoscope to
listen for your blood pressure or let a professional do it, like a nurse or a
doctor. The doctors usually give good advice on how to prevent and treat the
disease. Once you know how to prevent it then you can take the necessary
adjustments to your life.
There are many way to prevent the disease, even if it does run in your
family, if you know what you can do then you can begin taking care of your
body more properly before developing any signs of the disease. Your diet is a

big contributor to prevention of type 2 diabetes. Getting plenty of fiber


helps you feel full so you dont end up over eating which would cause you to
gain weight. Foods high in fiber include fruits, vegetables, beans, whole
grains and nuts. (Healthcare and Health Info, www.mayoclinic.org). Making
half of your grains whole grains is also a great way to maintain a healthy
blood glucose level. These foods are usually labeled whole and include a
variety of pastas, breads, and cereals. In addition to eating these healthy
foods, you also have to avoid certain foods. Foods to avoid would be those
that contain large amounts of sugar or fat. Fast food would also be a major
contributor to attracting the disease since these types of food usually cause
obesity. Once you gain weight you tend to become lazier which tends to lead
to a lack of exercise and may speed up the development of diabetes.
Exercise is very important as well since exercise helps you lose weight, this
can help cut down your chances of getting the disease tremendously.
Since gaining weight raises your chances of developing the disease,
losing weight actually helps reduce the risk. Exercise is a great way to lose
weight and maintaining a healthy body. If you feel you are too lazy to
exercise then you can join a gym where they offer personal trainer sessions
as well as group exercising classes. A personal trainer can help keep you
motivated and also help you prepare your meals. Also they can provide you
with a workout routine which can help you meet your goals and if you allow
them to push you to your limits then results are inevitable. In a group
exercising class you can feel more comfortable since there are others around

you and it may motivate you to want to keep up with them. Also it is a great
atmosphere where you can meet new people and make new friends and you
can begin to help each other reach your goals. A gym is a great and fun way
to help treat and prevent diabetes, since you can do a variety of activities
and actually have fun doing them while making yourself healthy at the same
time.
Diabetes is a serious disease that can cause a lot of harm to a person
diagnosed with it and if not treated it can lead to death. Taking the
precautions and necessary steps to prevent the disease at a young age is the
best course of action. If you are already diagnosed with it there still are many
ways to treat it; eating healthy, exercising, having checkups every now and
then are great ways to avoid the disease all together. There are also many
vitamins and medications that your doctors can prescribe to you if you
already have type 2 diabetes. If the disease runs in your family you are at a
higher risk but it doesnt mean that you will get it for sure, as long as you
take care of your body and keep yourself living a physically active life.
Staying away from smoking is also a great way to prevent it since smoking
can weaken your digestive system and cause many other problems within
your body. Keeping yourself educated on what causes the disease as well as
the symptoms of the disease can give you a head start on it and you will
have a great chance of not coming across the disease at all.

References

https://ehealthiq.com/type-ii-diabetes/?cid=147

http://www.diabetes.org/

http://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com

http://conditions.about.com

www.trulicity.com

http://www.mayoclinic.org

www.acefitness.org

www.niddk.nih.gov

http://alothealth.com

www.drfuhrman.com