Public Awareness and Human Diseases


Modernization and change in lifestyle have led to increase of life style related diseases in America. The disease trends include disease 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, vegetable 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 great increase is Diabetes. The increase in diabetes calls for community organization and corporate to provide public education and awareness of the disease.

Overview of Diabetes

Diabetes is a disorder in the amount of sugar in the body. It is a state where the body does not produce or properly utilize insulin. Insulin help the body to convert food into energy and when it fails the amount of sugar in the body would not be regulated (American Diabetes Association, 2009). Insulin is produced by the pancreas. A healthy pancreas produced the insulin depending on the amount of sugar (glucose) in the body. Failure of pancreas to regulate the amount of insulin in the body then consequently affects the amount of glucose in the body. The glucose accumulated in the blood overflows into urine and passes out of the body in the urine. The consequence is that the body is depleted of the needed energy even though the body may contain large amount of glucose. Thus a diabetic would suffer from high or low blood sugars in the body.

There are two types of diabetes: Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetic patients are those patients whose body is not able to produce insulin. Type 2 diabetic patients’ body produce insulin but their body cells do not respond to it (American Diabetes Association, 2009). Despite this full blown diabetes there is pre-diabetes stage. This stage where the diabetes has

Public Awareness and Human Disease Control

not fully developed but there are signs of diabetes in the patient. At this stage the blood sugar level are higher than normal but not as high as those of a diabetic.

Type 1 diabetes constitutes 5-10% of the diagnosed diabetes (The New York time, 2009). It is caused when the immune system attacks and destroys the insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas. Thus the production of insulin by the pancreas is either reduced or stopped. This type of diabetes is prevalent mostly in children and young adults but it can appear at any age. The symptoms of type 1 diabetes develop over a short time. The symptoms include constant hunger, loss of weight, extreme fatigue, increase urination and thirst and blurred vision. The exact cause of the immune system to attack the beta cell is not known (The New York time, 2009).

Type 2 diabetes constitutes the majority of the diabetes patients. In type 2 diabetic the pancreas produce enough insulin but the body cell does not respond to it. This type of diabetes is associated with old age, life style and family history of diabetes. In America about 80% of type 2 diabetes patients are overweight. Currently there is increase in prevalence of type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents (The New York time, 2009). The symptom of this type 2 diabetes is similar to that of type 1. Unlike type 1 the symptoms in type 2 diabetes develops gradually and in some patient the symptom does not appear completely.

There is another minor type of diabetes known as Gestational Diabetes. This type appears in some mothers in their late pregnancy. This diabetes however disappears after the pregnancy but the woman who had gestational diabetes has higher chance of developing diabetes later in life. Gestation diabetes is believed to be caused by pregnancy hormones or shortage of insulin. However it is prevalent in some ethnic groups and women from families with diabetes history. Symptoms in this type of diabetes are minimal and sometimes they are not experienced.

As the cause of Type 1 diabetes is not known nothing can be done to prevent it. How ever there is research going on to establish the cause and possible remedies. Type 2 diabetes constitutes the majority of diabetes patients. Type 2 diabetes is highly associated with life style and old age. Modernization have come with urban life, high income, increase in processed good and

Public Awareness and Human Disease Control

technology. This has resulted in high consumption of high calories foods and reduced physical activity. Overweight persons have, as a result, increased. It is noted that eighty percent of type 2 patients in America are overweight. As type 2 diabetes is associated with lifestyle, it can be controlled by responsible eating habits and physical exercises (The New York time, 2009). Before people develop type 2 diabetes, most of them show pre-diabetes. With observance and management of the pre-diabetes development of Type 2 diabetes can be delayed. Regular diabetes testing is very important in prevention of Type 2 diabetes. By monitoring diabetes symptoms, risk test help one to take relevant step to avoid the disease. Since Gestational diabetes may not show any symptoms diabetes test during pregnancy is recommended. Pregnant women thus receive oral glucose test between 24th and 28th week of their pregnancy (American Diabetes Association, 2009). With early recognition the health of the mother and the child is managed (The New York time, 2009).

It is believed that many people do not understand diabetes; its nature causes and how they can prevent themselves from developing it (The New York time, 2009). The prevalence of diabetes can be highly controlled by public awareness and education. Out of the increase in diabetes prevalence in the country and the world many organizations have started campaigns to create awareness on the disease. Such organization is Defeat Diabetes foundation through its Defeat Diabetes public awareness program.

Defeat Diabetes Public Awareness Program

Defeat Diabetes public awareness program is founded from awareness that many of the patient die of diabetes out of their ignorance on the symptoms of diabetes (Defeat Diabetes foundation, 2009). Its objective, thus, is to defeat diabetes by creating awareness of the warning sign of the disease. The structure of the program is aimed at informing the public on the symptoms of the diabetes and hopes that with information the public would take the necessary step to control the disease. The activities under the program include screening test, call to action, Kidd project school program, monthly newsletter e-alerts, and Wake up and walk tour (Defeat Diabetes foundation, 2009).

Screening test is an online program that assists a person to know their risk of diabetes. The

Public Awareness and Human Disease Control

screening test assists the person taking it to observe the symptoms of pre-diabetes and make conclusion whether the he or she is likely to be having diabetes. The screening test is structure in for of a questionnaire that asks for objective information from the person taking that help in making the conclusion.

Call to action program invites the public to participate actively on the debate on diabetes. This program provides debates through which the public contributes and shares their experience ands opinions over the fight over the diabetes (Defeat Diabetes foundation, 2009). The opinions received are forwarded to the relevant authorities. It also make available legal documents that address diabetes to the public so as they can debate it. Through the program the people are invited to participate in stopping diabetes not only by their opinions but also by giving donation.

There in increase of prevalence of diabetes to children and adolescent in the country. Kidd project school program aims at taking the public awareness information and screening test to the school student. The program has allowed the Defeat Diabetes foundation has been able to take awareness of diabetes to virtually all elementary and private school in the country. By making the young persons aware of the risk of diabetes they can change their lifestyle to the better and seek treatment early if they are found to have the symptoms.

Monthly newsletter e-lerts program in a web based program that provide news and alerts to the subscriber. A person subscribed to this program receives monthly newsletter that informs on diabetes related news. E-lert program provide regular alert on issues related on diabetes. Through this program awareness on diabetes is done.

Wake up and walk is a public awareness that aim at promoting health and fitness as a preventive measure to diabetes. The founder of the program known as Mr. Diabetes, despite being diabetic dedicated himself to walk across America to create awareness on diabetes. Through this program the participant participate in street walk through which call is made to better lifestyle (Defeat Diabetes foundation, 2009).

Public Awareness and Human Disease Control

Defeat Diabetes foundation in addition provide assistance to individual or group diabetes campaign. On of the program they have provided assistance to is Diabetes Awareness Now (DAN) program. By so doing it aim to eradicate diabetes through all means.

Improved public awareness program

The Defeat Diabetes foundation public awareness program activities are mostly based on web. Although it has been successful in creating public awareness on diabetes, improvements could be made to make the campaign more accessible to the public. I propose a campaign program that will focus on lifestyle improvement in preventing diabetes.

To achieve more on prevention of diabetes the program should aim at bringing changes to people’s way of living. Changes on the way of life include adoption of activity based leisure (Center for Disease control, 2009). For example instead of watching television one would make a walk or participate in a ball game. Since there is increase of prevalence of diabetes in children and adolescence the program would focus at this group and instill healthy living early in their life.

The program will call people to change their way of life by inviting them to participate in various campaigns within the program. One such campaign will invite people to walk or cycle to work instead of driving. Game competition campaign will invite young people in the schools and in living are to participate in competition in various games. During the campaign information and education on the risk of diabetes and the advantage of better living would be disbursed. To be able to get participants the campaign will request public figure to participate. The public figure could be famous artist, presenter or political figures.

Public Awareness and Human Disease Control

Diagnosis of Diabetes

Diabetes can be diagnosed fro the symptoms that are associate with it with addition of the medical diabetes tests. The awareness of the symptoms would help the patient to seek medical attention earlier (, 2009). Various tests would help in the diagnosis. Fasting blood glucose test tests the level of blood glucose after eight hours fast. Blood glucose level of 126 mg/dl or higher implies diabetic condition. Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) tests the level of glucose in the blood after taking 75 grams of glucose dissolved in water. 200 milligram per deciliter of glucose would imply diabetic condition. A random test on the blood glucose with prevalence of 200 mg/dl or higher complemented with presence of diabetes symptom would also be used. Type 2 and Type 1 Diabetes is tested by using all of the above tests while Gestation diabetes is tested using oral glucose tolerance test during late pregnancy (, 2009).

Diabetes treatment

Diabetes condition is associated with the failure of the pancreas to produce insulin or the failure of the body cells to respond to the insulin produced by the pancreas. Treatments of diabetes are usually complicated as diabetes affects other part of the body and way of life. For management of diabetes healthy lifestyle that includes proper meal, exercise and regular glucose test is advocated. Thus the treatment is inclusive nutrition, oral medications, insulin and sometimes dialysis or kidney transplant (The New York time, 2009).

Proper nutrients are an integral part of treatment of diabetes. The patient is advised on what to eat and what not to eat, when to eat and how much. This is aimed to physically regulate the blood levels in the body. For Type 2 diabetes exercise and nutrition play a major role in the treatment program. The patients are shown on how to monitor the level of sugar in the body. They are shown on how to recognize and treat low and high blood sugar and how to handle sick days. There are oral medications that are used in management of type 2 diabetes. Some of these drugs are: thiazolidinediones, alpha-glycosidase inhibitors, sulfonylurea and biguanides (, 2009).

Public Awareness and Human Disease Control

For Type 1 diabetes insulin is needed. Type 1 patients, thus, inject insulin into their body so as to regulate the amount of sugar in their body. However insulin is also use in Type 2 diabetes when the oral medication does not succeed in controlling the blood glucose.

Diabetes is usually a major cause of Kidney problems. When there is kidney problem of failure then the treatment of diabetes will also include treatment of kidney related problems. With the kidney failure kidney transplant or dialysis is used.

Research on treatment of diabetes

There are various institutions that are taking research on diabetes and the treatment option in the management of diabetes (American Diabetes Association, 2009). National diabetes information clearinghouse (NDIC) carries research in their laboratories and collects and analysis statistics in diabetes. Other organizations also sponsor research on diabetes. The research in diabetes has led to better ways of managing diabetes. Major achievement through research include development of quick-acting and long-acting insulin, better method for checking and monitoring glucose levels in the blood, external insulin pumps that replace daily injection, and new and better drug for treating and managing diabetes (American Diabetes Association, 2009).

Effectiveness of public awareness and education programs

The public awareness and education programs have achieved significantly in creating awareness of diabetes. However these programs have failed to bring lifestyle changes that would prevent the disease. Although people are aware of the presence and consequence of the disease there is very little changes in their lifestyle (Center for Disease control, 2009). This

Public Awareness and Human Disease Control

could be the medical approach used in the programs. Most of the programs aim at making people aware of the symptom and taking regular diabetes tests with assumptions that with awareness they would voluntarily take the necessary step. Most people however opt for lifestyle change when it is too late and after they have developed diabetes.


Increase in diabetes in the country is a calling alarm to review of the lifestyles. Without healthy living this and other diseases will continue to be a challenge. Public awareness and education has achieved a lot in informing people of the presence, symptoms and healthy solutions to diabetes but however more energy would be needed in effecting lifestyle change to the better.

Reference (2009) Type 2 Diabetes: Retrieved from on 2

Defeat Diabetes foundation (2009) Defeat Diabetes Public Awareness Program;-Retrieved from

on 2


October 2009

The New York time (2009) Health guide, Diabetes Retrieved from alth/guides/disease/diabetes/overview.html#Treatment

on 2


October 2009

Public Awareness and Human Disease Control

American Diabetes Association (2009) Retrieved from: on 2nd October 2009

Center for Disease control (2009) Retrieved from on 2nd October 2009