Public Awareness and Human Diseases
Modernization and change in lifestyle have led to an increase of lifestyle related diseases in
America. The disease trends include diseases such as obesity, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes,
strokes and other age-related conditions. With modernization and urban life, peoples’ diet
changed with increase in consumption of meat, vegetables oils, starchy staple food. Other aspects
of life such as great reduction in physical activities have as well changed. One of the diseases
that have reported a great increase is Diabetes. The increase in diabetes calls for community
organization and corporate to provide public education and awareness of the disease.
Almost everyone knows someone who has diabetes. An estimated 23.6 million people in the
United States—7.8 percent of the population—have diabetes, a serious, lifelong condition. Of
those, 17.9 million have been diagnosed, and 5.7 million have not yet been diagnosed. In 2007,
about 1.6 million people ages 20 or older were diagnosed with diabetes.
Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism— the way the body uses digested food for growth and
energy. Most of the food people eat is broken down into glucose, the form of sugar in the blood.
Glucose is the main source of fuel for the body.
After digestion, glucose passes into the bloodstream, where it is used by cells for growth and
energy. For glucose to get into cells, insulin must be present. Insulin is a hormone produced by
the pancreas, a large gland behind the stomach.
When people eat, the pancreas automatically produces the right amount of insulin to move
glucose from blood into the cells. In people with diabetes, however, the pancreas either produces
little or no insulin, or the cells do not respond appropriately to the insulin that is produced.
Glucose builds up in the blood, overflows into the urine, and passes out of the body in the urine.
Thus, the body loses its main source of fuel even though the blood contains large amounts of
There are three main types of diabetes, type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational
diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease results when the
body’s system for fi ghting infection—the immune system—turns against a part of the body. In
diabetes, the immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells in the
pancreas. The pancreas then produces little or no insulin. A person who has type 1 diabetes must
take insulin daily to live.
At present, scientists do not know exactly what causes the body’s immune system to attack
the beta cells, but they believe that autoimmune, genetic, and environmental factors, possibly
viruses, are involved. Type 1 diabetes accounts for about 5 to 10 percent of diagnosed diabetes in
the United States. It develops most often in children and young adults but can appear at any age.
Symptoms of type 1 diabetes usually develop over a short period, although beta cell