Diabetes Prevention and Control for Minorities

Diabetes Prevention and Control for Minorities

 
 

The THREE (3) Types of Diabetes

Diabetes is a condition in which a person’s blood glucose, which is also called blood sugar, is too high. Although the blood normally has some glucose in it to supply energy, when the blood glucose gets too high, it’s not good for the person’s health. The blood glucose gets too high when one of two things happens:

Type 1 Diabetes – The body doesn’t make enough insulin to metabolize glucose, which makes energy (Metabolism is a chemical process).
 

Type 2 Diabetes – The body doesn’t use insulin properly although the body makes enough insulin.
 

Gestational Diabetes – This third major type of diabetes occurs during pregnancy, or gestation, which is how it got its name.

Following is a further description of these three types of diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes used to be called juvenile diabetes, and insulin-dependent diabetes for two reasons:

  1. It usually starts in childhood, adolescence or young adulthood, and
  2. People with Type 1 diabetes have to take insulin every day since their bodies don’t make enough. Insulin is a hormone or chemical that’s made by an organ in the body called the pancreas. The pancreas then releases insulin in the blood as needed in order to help the glucose get into the body’s cells to produce energy.

The focus of treatment for Type 1 Diabetes:

  • taking insulin daily
  • weight control by eating wisely and staying physically active
  • blood pressure control (Many people with diabetes have hypertension or high blood pressure)
  • blood cholesterol control (It’s important not to let the bad cholesterol level get too high)
  • following the prescribed treatment plan
  • keeping medical appointments (diabetes is a chronic disease that requires ongoing care)
  • for some, daily aspirin

 


Type 2 Diabetes, used to be called non-insulin dependent diabetes, and also adult onset diabetes  

 
Type 2 diabetes is the most common type. It occurs in about 9 out of every 10 persons with diabetes, or 90%. Although people with Type 2 diabetes make insulin, they have trouble using it. Most people with Type 2 diabetes are more than 40 years of age and overweight or obese. The term adult onset diabetes is not accurate because while most people develop Type 2 diabetes in adulthood, it can also develop in children. In fact, with the recent increase in childhood and teen obesity, there has also been an increase in the number of children and teenagers with Type 2 diabetes.

 

The focus of treatment for Type 2 Diabetes:

  • medications for diabetes, which often involve taking oral medication. Insulin is often not required.
  • weight control by eating wisely and staying physically active
  • blood pressure control Many people with diabetes have hypertension or high blood pressure)
  • blood cholesterol control (It’s important not to let the bad cholesterol level get too high)
  • following the prescribed treatment plan
  • keeping medical appointments (diabetes is a chronic disease that requires ongoing care)
  • daily aspirin, for most  

Gestational Diabetes 

Gestational Occurs during pregnancy, or gestation, and disappears after the pregnancy. However, women who have had gestational diabetes have an increased risk of developing diabetes in the future. Therefore, they should give special attention to preventing and/or controlling diabetes risk factors, such as overweight and obesity, and hypertension. Type 2 diabetes, which we will be referring to in the rest of this discussion when we say diabetes is the most common type.
 

Diabetes in Minorities, or Multicultural Populations

Diabetes occurs more often in multicultural populations than in others, especially in African-Americans, Hispanics and American Indians. It also affects more Asian Pacific Islanders, and affects more women than men.