In Australia, Type 2 Diabetes is the most common form of diabetes affecting approximately 90% of all patients with this disease. In the previous period of time, Type 2 Diabetes was a disease of elderly people. Nowadays, it is affecting more and more people of middle age, youngsters, and even children. This assignment is focused on exploring the state of affairs with Type 2 Diabetes in Australia. Overall, evaluating the situation, it appears that Type 2 Diabetes is acquiring an epidemiologic character in Australia affecting all the social groups and layers in the country; to cope with this sad occurrence, it is both necessary to bring in measures on a state level, and on individual one. People should know how their unhealthy lifestyle affects their condition, and what can be done to improve the situation.
Analysis of the Health Issue
Type 2 Diabetes is a long-term disease of chronic character. During the course of its development, the level of sugar in blood of an affected person becomes high. Although pancreases is still able to develop insulin being affected by Type 2 Diabetes, the risk is high that its condition may become worse, and then the patient will develop Type 1 Diabetes marked by the pancreases’ inability to produce insulin.
The major symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes are feeling thirst on a constant basis, always feeling hungry, passing bigger amounts of urine, feeling exhausted, having headaches, having cuts that heal slowly, having skin infections or itching, having leg cramps, worsening of eyesight, putting on weight, and frequent cases of unexpected mood swings (“Divergent Trends”, 2006; Morrison et al., 2010).
Type 2 Diabetes is connected to a variety of complicated health conditions. The most dangerous of them are heart failures such as cardiovascular disease and myocardial infarction, high blood pressure, circulation problems, nerve damage, kidney problems, loss of eyesight, and lower limbs amputation. Hundreds of patients in Australia die each day as a result of heart attack caused by Type 2 Diabetes (Colagiuri & Walker, 2008).
By 2030, it is expected that 3.2 million Australians will have Type 2 Diabetes (Morrison, Lowe & Collins, 2010). This picture is a sad reality for people who have to cope with this disease on a daily basis, and for the country as well. Each year, more than $ 10 million are spent in Australia in order to overcome the consequences of Type 2 Diabetes (Colagiuri & Walker, 2008). In this situation, the fact that more than 60% of Type 2 Diabetes can be prevented appears to be even more upsetting.
Of course, the first person who should be concerned about one’s well-being is the individual him- or herself. People should be attentive to their health condition, notice all the changes, timely visit a doctor, and have a healthy lifestyle. However, because Type 2 Diabetes presents a number of economical problems for the development of the country itself, the government should also develop and implement effective strategies to help fighting with this disease. Physicians should target high risk groups of patients in order to indicate any possible problems, and offer the person effective treatment. In addition, national programs should be developed to inform the population concerning the risks of Type 2 Diabetes, and the importance of active way of living along with proper nutrition.
The Population Affected by Type 2 Diabetes
Firstly, Type 2 Diabetes is a great problem among aboriginal Australians. Type 2 Diabetes is three times more common in Indigenous Australian communities than in non-aboriginal Australian communities (Diabetes is more common, 2012; Social determinants, 2007). Also, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), for the period of 2003-2007, Indigenous Australians were seven times as likely to have diabetes mark at their death certificate than non-Indigenous Australians (Diabetes is more common, 2012). The situation with Type 2 Diabetes among Indigenous Australians appears to be complicated as even United Nations committees and Australian government admit that it can be qualified as a human rights issue (Social determinants, 2007). This is explained by the poor living conditions that Indigenous Australians must suffer. According to Social determinants (2007, para. 8),
Indigenous peoples do not have an equal opportunity to be as healthy as non-Indigenous Australians. ‘The relative socioeconomic disadvantage experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people compared to non-Indigenous people places them at greater risk of exposure to behavioural and environmental health risk factors’ as does the higher proportion of Indigenous households that ‘live in conditions that do not support good health’. Indigenous peoples also do not enjoy equal access to primary health care and health infrastructure (including safe drinking water, effective sewerage systems, rubbish collection services and healthy housing).
Thus, low social-economic status which can be observed among the aboriginal population of Australia, results into many health issues including Type 2 Diabetes (Colagiuri, & Walker, 2008).
Secondly, the inhabitants of urban areas are more subjected to the danger of Type 2 Diabetes which is supported by the fact that according to the ABS data of 2008, 62% of all diabetes patients lived in Australian major cities at the coast, 26% lived in regional cities in the central area, and only 12% of diabetes patients lived in rural territories (Diabetes is more common, 2012; How common, 2012).
Finally, aged people under 40 are traditionally in risk category for Type 2 Diabetes (Diabetes, 2012; How common, 2012). However, according to ABS, the new tendency is seen in the spreading of Type 2 Diabetes among young people and children (How common, 2012). This is explained by the change in the concepts of their behaviour. Before, children and youngsters used to live an energetic life full of physical activities, sports, walks, and active entertainment. Today, children in Australia are less active. They spend their time watching TV, playing computer games, chatting on the Internet, and so on. In addition, children and adolescences got used to unhealthy food with high level of fats and sugar.
The Scope of Type 2 Diabetes and Implications for the Affected Population
An estimated 250 Australians develop Type 2 Diabetes every day (How common, 2012). The 2010 study of diabetes in Australia has identified that 1.8 million Australians have Type 2 Diabetes, and about half of cases are undiagnosed yet (Fulcher, Colagiuri, Phillips, Prins, Sinha, Twigg & Dalton, 2010). Yet, according to Colagiuri and Walker, by means of early treatment the complications of diabetes patients can be “avoided or delayed; and with identification of the “high-risk” population (for example, people with impaired glucose tolerance, or IGT), the development of the disease itself can be avoided or delayed by lifestyle changes” (2008, p. 257).
The scope of Type 2 Diabetes is going to enlarge due to sociological changes within the nation. It is estimated, that the general age of Australians will become higher in the next few decades which is caused by the lower birth rates. The following comment explains the situation:
As a result of ageing, the number of people with type 2 diabetes will double
between 2000 and 2051 with a 2.5-fold increase in diabetesattributable health-care costs. If obesity and inactivity prevalence rates continue to rise, prevalence rates of type 2 diabetes will further increase. The number of people with type 2 diabetes in 2051 may be 3.5 times higher than in 2000 with a 3.7-fold cost increase (Davis, Knuiman, Hendrie & Davis, 2006, p. 157).
Facts such as these prove that the situation with Type 2 Diabetes is very sad, and it can be already qualified as epidemiologic.
The Social Determinants of Health which Influence Type 2 Diabetes
Many Australians are in the risk category of developing Type 2 Diabetes because of poor nutrition and inactive lifestyle; the risks to develop this disease are also high on the reason of the pandemic of obesity (Ruhayel, James, Ehtisham, Cameron, Werther &Sabin, 2010). Obesity and poor nutrition are connected because obesity is a result of consuming food with high fat and sugar levels. In addition, poor nutrition with a lack of vitamins and minerals leads to the weakening of immune system which is also a reason of bad developments in the organism resulting into Type 2 Diabetes.
Among social risk factors is also abundance of stress. In case, an individual is subjected to serious stresses at school, at work, in the family or elsewhere, the probability is rather high to develop pancreases and thyroid problems resulting into Type 2 Diabetes condition.
The other important risk factor is a family history of diabetes and inherited genetic problems with pancreases and thyroid.
Besides, smoking is marked as a serious risk factor of Type 2 Diabetes because it causes pancreases pathologies. Alcohol can also become a causative factor for Type 2 Diabetes because it affects liver which is responsible for the production of glucose. People who are subjected to alcohol abuse may develop a dangerous condition called hypoglycaemia which is a sure way to Type 2 Diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes is a serious chronicle disease with a number of painful symptoms and complications. Being affected by Type 2 Diabetes, a pancreas looses its ability to manage insulin in a proper way. The symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes are constantly feeling hunger and thirst, feeling exhausted, passing bigger amounts of urine, having leg cramps, having headaches, having cuts that heal slowly, having skin infections and itching, worsening of eyesight, putting on weight, and frequent cases of unexpected mood swings. Type 2 Diabetes may result into serous complications such as heart failures, high blood pressure, circulation problem, nerve damage, kidney problems, loss of eyesight, and amputation. In Australia, more than 1.8 million people have Type 2 Diabetes. This statistics is not even full because around 50% of affected people are not yet diagnosed. Numerous research studies indicate that the main causatives of Type 2 Diabetes result from an unhealthy way of living. Thus, the improvement of the state of affairs with Type 2 Diabetes is directly connected with the improvement of people’s lifestyles.
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