2017 The Significance of Lifestyle Change in Diabetes Prevention

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A clear indication of the tremendous strides made in the healthcare field is the fact that researchers have come up with mechanisms for preventing, treating and eradicating most communicable diseases.However, a rather unfortunate shift has come to the forefront in the recent past; the fact that the occurrences of non-communicable illnesses such as obesity, cancer and diabetes has risen steadily. In the United States, for example, the incidences of diabetes have been steadily escalating, as it has been affecting both the youths and the senior citizens alike. However, studies reveal that close to about 10% of deaths that result due to diabetes are not often reported, the condition was the seventh leading cause of death in the year 2010. 2 In addition, diabetes is expensive, as the government and the families of the affected often spend a lot of their income in trying to provide high-quality healthcare services for their loved ones. The project provides more insight on some of the mechanisms that prevent full-blown diabetes as well as most of the complications that come about due to the health condition. The information is as highlighted in the Washington Post, on the 15th of December 2014.

Main Arguments of the Article

            The article, which titled Prediabetes? Get yourself moving but do not jump immediately to drugs as an answer, appeared under the health and science section of the Washington Post on December 15th last year. In as much as the commentary was put together by consumer reports, the message delivered throughout the editorial seems apparent. The major argument in the article is that the occurrence of diabetes in the United States is high notably because close to a third of the adult population that translates to around 86 million citizens suffer from prediabetes. Prediabetes is a condition where the blood sugar level of an entity is higher than the standard. 1 The extraordinary prevalence of diabetes routinely comes about, for over 90% of those who suffer from prediabetes are not aware. In addition, about 15-30% of prediabetics often

The authors share the ideology that as prediabetics routinely embrace medication, the Federal Drug Administration has not availed any prediabetes drug in the market. Implying that making such a call amounts to backing the wrong horse. 1Instead of embracing medication, the authors argue that changing an individual’s way of life and living healthy, comes in handy in reducing the risk of developing diabetes instead of resorting to medication. This is majorly because the body can become its doctor when subjected to the correct forms of exercises and maintained with a healthy diet. To support their perception, the authors of the report refer to a survey carried out among overweight and prediabetic patients. The report established that those who embraced change in lifestyle by engaging in physical exercises reduced the risk of diabetes by around 58%. 1On the other hand, those who deemed it fit to use various forms of medication such as placebo only reduced their risk by 31%. This implies that lifestyle change may be the ideal antidote for prediabetics. In the commentary, those who settled on change in lifestyle regained a little of the weight they had lost as time progressed, the fact that it significantly reduces the risk of diabetes makes it ideal. 1

Going through the commentary that featured on the Washington Post, the authors continually make it apparent that they arrived at their verdicts after going through inputs from the Centre for Disease Control. Given the expertise that the CDC has in terms of both personnel, equipment and other resources, it is apparent that the insights contained in the commentary portrays the situation on the ground.

Target Audience of the Article

A walk down history lane, one apparent fact is that previously the global population has over time found it challenging to deal with the communicable diseases. This is because over time, non-communicable illnesses such as diabetes had low incidences. Since it came into the glance of the public in the 1970’s, several hypotheses have been associated with diabetes. For example, some people believed that the condition only affects the senior citizens and people of certain races. 5 Some of these perceptions are true since people of some origins are highly susceptible to diabetes than those from other races. In addition, studies on genetics and diabetes have pointed towards the fact that some people are at higher chance of suffering from diabetes in comparison to others. 5

Although, the rate of occurrence of diabetes since it came into the limelight has been alarming. In the year 2000, for example, the World Health Organization claimed that 150 million people would be suffering from diabetes in 2010 and their prediction indeed happened. 3 In the year 2010, the same organization in conjunction with other stakeholders in the health sector claimed that the incidence of diabetes would escalate further to around 300 million by 2025. To this effect, it can be concluded that diabetes will no doubt grow into a global endemic. 3

Geneticists and molecular biologist have routinely reaffirmed the fact that the fifteen years within which the incidence of diabetes has escalated is so little such that mutations and alterations in genomic composition are its main causes. 5,6This confirms the fact that the escalation of diabetes can be attributed to change in lifestyle. To this effect, it is far-reaching to concede that the commentary does not only target a section of the world, but rather the entire global population. Adopting a healthy way of life, is the only mechanism for preventing diabetes and most of the complexities that come with it such as renal failure and cardiovascular related illnesses.

Accuracy of the Article

            The authors of the commentary that appeared in the Washington Post have used surveys carried out on various sets of participants as proof of their argument. Most of the surveys indeed reaffirmed the perception that living a healthy lifestyle comes in handy in preventing the development of diabetes from prediabetes. In like manner, such an approach is vital in preventing most of the diabetes-related complications. To prove further the accuracy of the article, it is of great significance to take into consideration the incidence of diabetes across the Mediterranean region and that of the Western nations.

The United States spends a considerable portion of its health budget in fighting diabetes, which is soon growing into a global endemic. In the year 2013, for example, the nation spent $245 billion on diagnosing and $176 billion on treating diabetes. Additionally, the country lost well over $70 billion in terms of reduced productivity because of the health condition. The significant amounts the United States spends on diabetes management as a whole is because most of its citizens fall victims of the disease. 2 On the other hand, nations across the Mediterranean region have notably been identified as areas within which the incidence of diabetes and other non-communicable illnesses such as cancer, obesity, and cardiovascular related diseases is considerable low. 5 The variance in the occurrence within the two regions can result from the fact that the occupants of the Mediterranean region often embrace a healthy way of life, as compared to many citizens of the Western regions. 4A Mediterranean diet reduces the chances of an individual suffering from diabetes. The natural spices and herbs used by citizens of the country also maintain their health. 5, 6, On the other hand, a considerable percentage of the Western citizens does not exercise, and prefer processed foods to the natural spices. An event that has led to the high incidence of diabetes within the region, and throughout the world. The fact that the impact of diabetes varies across various parts of the world based on lifestyle implies that indeed the commentary authored by consumer report is accurate.

Relevancy of the Article

            As highlighted in the section above, the World Health Organization has predicted that the occurrence of diabetes shall have doubled by 2025. 3 Implying that if the necessary mechanisms are not in place, then diabetes would grow into a global endemic. Apart from providing statistics on diabetes, the commentary has gone a long way to elucidate the approaches that can be employed to avert diabetes, together with their merits and demerits. As a result, it is apparent that the article is relevant to the current and future generations particularly because it provides the ways of preventing the occurrence of diabetes.

Regular exercise  rectifies hepatic and skeletal muscle insulin reactivity and escalates beta cell function without a remarkable repercussion on fat or body mass. The simultaneous diminution in the amount of fat in the body and increment in lean mass resulting from physical activity intervention ensue from an elevated resting metabolic rate, a more enhanced cardiovascular risk profile and increased insulin activity. If a person has preexisting musculoskeletal problems that would act as a hindrance to more action, he ought to seek the services of a physical therapist. Exercise at the prediabetic stage slows down the progression to diabetes, normalizes the glucose levels, and prevents microvascular complications. In addition, training improves functional building and capacity, aids in weight loss as well as weight preservation. It is also important to remember that a prediabetic patient should start their workout program slowly and build it up gradually.

 

Conclusion

Diabetes is one of the leading causes of death is proof enough that the condition is serious than earlier presumed. Prevention, as known over time, is much productive than cure. 4 Embracing a healthy lifestyle proves more advantageous as it does not only prevent diabetes, but other conditions as well. Frequent exercise should not only help in losing weight but also maximizing the benefits of it. In addition, living healthy will supplement peace, needed for the body’s immunity to be at its optimum as highlighted in the psychoneuroimmunology theory. Typically a physical therapist prescribes resistance exercises or aerobic exercises tailored to a patient’s needs. Essentially, the work of a physical therapist is to aide individuals restore flexibility, boost strength and stabilize their joints. Hence, the problems associated with prediabetes are easily curbed by consulting a physical therapist, a balanced diet, and medication.

 

References

  1. Consumer Reports. Prediabetes? Get yourself moving, but do not jump immediately to drugs as an answer. Washington Post December 15, 2014. Available at http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/prediabetes-get-yourself-moving-but-dont-jump-immediately-to-drugs-as-an-answer/2014/12/12/316a8782-50ba-11e4-8c24-487e92bc997b_story.html. Accessed on January 30, 2015
  2. American Diabetes Association: Statistics about Diabetes. Available at http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/statistics. Accessed on January 30, 2015.
  3. World Health Organization: Country and Regional Data on Diabetes. Available at http://www.who.int/diabetes/facts/world-figures/en./index3.html. Accessed on January 30, 2015
  4. New Insights into the epidemiology of type 1 diabetes in Mediterranean Countries. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/10362460. Accessed on January 30, 2015
  5. Brill, M. Diabetes. Minneapolis, MN: Twenty-First Century Books; 2012.
  6. Brown, R. M. Diabetes: Good food choices: more than 100 delicious, nutritious recipes suitable for people with diabetes–and everyone else!. Laguna Beach, CA: Basic Health Publications; 2008

 

 

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