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Running head: TYPE II DIABETES

Type II Diabetes
Susan Honeycutt
Salt Lake community college

TYPE II DIABETES

Diabetes mellitus is a serious metabolic disease, affecting people of all geographic, ethnic
or racial origin. When food is consumed the body normally breaks it down and it is turned into a
sugar called glucose, which is used for energy within the body. To be able to use glucose
properly the body needs a hormone called insulin. Insulin helps take the sugar out of your blood
and into tissues. In the most common form of diabetes, called Type II, the body does not produce
enough insulin on its own. In some cases the body is not using that insulin properly. Instead of
using glucose for energy, sugar stays in the blood, which can lead to several health problems
including type II diabetes. Diabetes is a growing problem in the United States and around the
world. This paper will be discussing the side effects, and complications of diabetes. The
evolution of the disease and how it affects people of all geographic, ethnic, and racial origins.
Who is more susceptible to type II diabetes and why.
There are several different causes of diabetes, and for many people these causes can vary.
For some the cause can be genetic. People may be born with a genetic susceptibility to the
disease, but the development of type II diabetes is dependent on an environmental trigger. Some
of the triggers include sedentary lifestyle, aging, and abdominal obesity (Scott, 2014). There are
certain racial groups that share a common genetic factor that affect their insulin secretion and
insulin resistance. Some of these groups include African-Americans, Hispanic Americans, AsianAmericans, American Indians, and Pacific Islanders. These groups have a gene that makes them
more susceptible to developing type II diabetes. For other racial groups such as Hispanic
Americans obesity and physical inactivity are the main risk factors for type II diabetes. Between
60 and 70 percent of North Americans, Europeans, and Africans that have type II diabetes are
obese (Scott, 2014). No matter what causes the diabetes, there are numerous risks and
complications associated with disease.

TYPE II DIABETES

There are several complications associated with diabetes. Some of which include
cardiovascular disease which is typically caused by an excess buildup of plaque on the inner wall
of a blood vessel that restricts the flow of blood. Other complications associated with diabetes
are hypertension, dental disease, and eye disease or blindness. Two-thirds of people with diabetes
have mild to severe forms of diabetic nerve damage. Severe forms of this nerve disease is a
major contributing cause of lower-extremity amputations. There have been many studies done to
discover different risk factors that can contribute to type II diabetes and its complications.
Smoking has been found to be a major risk factor in the development of type II diabetes.
There was a study done focusing on the effects of early onset and pack-years of smoking on type
II diabetes risk (Sun Jung, 2014). The study used the nation health nutrition examination survey
set of South Korea and the United States. It concluded that early onset of smoking increased type
II diabetes risk among men in South Korea and the U.S. However there was no association found
in the women population. This study shows that diabetes is a disease that affects all different
people all around the world.
Diabetes is a growing problem, for people in both developing and developed countries.
Many different people are affected by diabetes, including Asian Indians who have a higher risk
of developing diabetes at younger ages, when compared to western populations. There is a great
need to create awareness of diabetes and its complications among the population. There are many
risk factors for type II diabetes among Asian Indians, including positive family history of
diabetes, age of 35 or older, being overweight, and presence of hypertension (Ramachandran,
2014). There are also many warning signs of diabetes to look for in everyone. These signs
include fatigue, repeated infections, numbness of feet, and dark patches on the neck, arm pit, or
groin which is a sign of insulin resistance. Asian Indians are not the only ones who are affected

TYPE II DIABETES

by this disease. Type II diabetes is also a growing health concern among black and minority
ethnic groups.
Type II diabetes has a high prevalence in black and minority ethnic groups
(MentHarrison, 2014). African-Americans are two times more likely to develop diabetes than
white Americans. There are a variety of different ways for people of different ethnic groups to
manage their diabetes. There are also many different attitudes and beliefs about diabetes among
black and other minority ethnic groups. People with type II diabetes from different ethnic groups
are aware of the need for regular physical activity. Some of these different groups report various
reasons as to why they do not follow the advice of health professionals, some reasoning consists
of lack of time and work ethic. In Asian culture, family is the first priority. To take time for
themselves to exercise could be seen as a selfish act, and culturally inappropriate. Thus creating a
concern for those who have type II diabetes in the population. Type II diabetes has also increased
in other populations such as American Indians.
American Indians are greatly affected by type II diabetes, the disease has increased
dramatically among the population. It is now the fourth leading cause of death among American
Indians (Patel, 2014). Westernization of diet and the adoption of more sedentary lifestyles are
partially responsible for this increase of type II diabetes among the population. American Indians
spent centuries living in a harsh environment where food was a scarce resource. Living in this
kind of environment caused the American Indians to carry a gene to help them store any excess
food they consumed as fat. In modern times food is plentiful, and their previously helpful gene
contributes to a high rate of obesity, a leading risk factor for type II diabetes. There are many
different ways for American Indians to perceive their diabetes. There was a study done that
proved that patients with more negative beliefs about their condition often have a worse

TYPE II DIABETES

prognosis (Patel, 2014). The results of this study suggests that the level of perceived control one
has over his or her disease, as a strong correlation of overall illness perception. The World Health
Organization estimates that more than 300 million people worldwide have type II diabetes. This
being such a large number arises the awareness of the evolutionary stand point of the disease and
why it is still around today.
There are several different explanations and research as to why diabetes is a disease that
is so prominent today in the 21st century, and where it may have originated. One explanation,
called the carnivore connection, states that insulin resistance developed in hunter-gatherers and
herders because they had a low-carbohydrate and low glucose, protein-rich diet, resulting in the
need to save glucose in the blood to make it accessible for the brain. Another possible
explanation was found from a study published in the European Journal of Human Genetics.
In this study a genetic analysis was taken of two populations from central Asia, a group
of Kyrgyz herders and a group of Tajik farmers. The data showed that the genetic variations that
are associated with the risk of diabetes were not the ones being selected in humans. Instead it
was that the variants that were providing a protective effect in regard to type II diabetes that just
so happen to be favored by evolution. Evidence was also found of the selection for variants that
protected diabetes. These protective variants could have provided an advantage against the cold
temperatures in these regions long ago, or the variants could have protected people against
diseases caused by pathogens. This protection against type II diabetes was not necessarily
helping these early farmers survive, but something genetically related to it was. A study was
done to discover when these protective variants started to arise.
Segurel, a researcher, pinpointed the time when the protective variants began to rise in
prevalence. The time was between 5,500 and 12,000 years ago, this was at the beginning of the

TYPE II DIABETES

Neolithic period. This is also when humans began to live farming lifestyles rather than nomadic
and herding lifestyles. Diabetes has been around for several hundred years. Studies have been
done to investigate when diabetes was first diagnosed and how different care methods for the
disease were developed.
In 150 AD, the Greek physician Arateus described what we now call diabetes as "the
melting down of flesh and limbs into urine." From that point on, physicians began to gain a
better understanding about the disease (Sgurel, 2013). Then diabetes was being diagnosed by
the water tasters who would taste peoples urine. If the urine tasted sweet, then diabetes was
diagnosed. That is where the word mellitus, which means honey, was added in 1675 to the
name diabetes, which means siphon. In the 1800s scientists developed a chemical test to
detect the presence of sugar in the urine. In the 1700s and 1800s health professionals began to
connect that dietary changes could help manage diabetes. They began to advise patients to eat
only the fat and meat of animals and not consume large amounts of sugar. Different treatment
options began being explored to help people manage their diabetes.
The first big breakthrough for treatment options for diabetes happened in 1889, which
eventually led to the use of insulin to treat diabetes (Krisha, 2015). Oskar Minkowski and Joseph
von Mering, who were researchers at the University of Strasbourg in France, discovered that the
removal of a dogs pancreas could induce diabetes. Another breakthrough happened in the 1900s
when a German scientist, Georg Zuelzer, found that injecting pancreatic extract into diabetic
patients could help control the diabetes. Then in 1920 Frederick Banting, a physician in Ontario,
had the brilliant idea to use insulin to treat diabetes. The theory began being tested on animals. In
1922 Banting and his team were successful in treating a diabetic patient. Today, insulin is still the
primary source used to treat type I diabetes. Diabetes is a large health concern for many different

TYPE II DIABETES

people and populations, because of this people are constantly trying to find new ways of
detection and routine monitoring for the disease.
There is a new approach being explored for detection and routine monitoring of glucose
and other parameters of type II diabetes that are needed every hour. Saliva is being used as an
investigative tool for processes and disorders such as diabetes. The results of the study showed
that glucose and antioxidant level in saliva from diabetic patients show large differences
compared to control samples (Mussavira, 2015). This incredible discovery of saliva as a tool
could drastically change how those who have diabetes monitor their disease.
Diabetes is not only a concern among American Indians, and other ethnic groups, it is a
national health concern. The cause of the disease varies from person to person. Diabetes has
numerous risk factors and complications associated with it. Certain populations are more
susceptible to type II diabetes. There is very a logical evolutionary stand point as to why the
disease is still around today. New and different ways to manage and detect the disease are still
being investigated. Overall there is a great need for education of the disease among all
populations.

TYPE II DIABETES

References
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http://www.everydayhealth.com/diabetes/understanding/diabetes-mellitus-throughtime.aspx
MUSSAVIRA, S., DHARMALINGAM, M., & SUKUMARAN, B. O. (2015). Salivary glucose
and antioxidant defense markers in type II diabetes mellitus. Turkish Journal Of Medical
Sciences, 45(1), 141-147. doi:10.3906/sag-1306-116
Native MentHarrison, G. (2014). Health beliefs of black and minority ethnic groups and the
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Research: The Journal Of The National Center, 21(2), 28-42.
Patel, S., Davila, J., Patel, S., & Norman, D. (2014). HEALTH PERCEPTIONS AMONG
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Ramachandran, A. (2014). Know the signs and symptoms of diabetes. Indian Journal Of Medical
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TYPE II DIABETES

Sun Jung, K., Sun Ha, J., Jung Mo, N., Woo Hyun, C., Jae-Hyun, K., & Eun-Cheol, P. (2014).
Do early onset and pack-years of smoking increase risk of type II diabetes?. BMC Public
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Health Information - University of Utah Health Care - Salt Lake City, Utah. (n.d.). Retrieved
April 20, 2015, from http://healthcare.utah.edu/healthlibrary/centers/diabetes/doc.php?
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