Diabetes in Older African Americans
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a disease that affects the quality of life of millions of people worldwide. This condition is characterized by the inability of the body to metabolize glucose that leads to such health problems as frequent urination, fatigue, increased hunger, and blurred vision. There are several specific patient populations that are at high risks for having diabetes, and African Americans are more likely to develop this diseases compared to white patients (Utumatwishima, Chung, Bentley, Udahogora, & Sumner, 2018). In this paper, aging African Americans (older than 50 years of age) with T2DM will be chosen as a focus group to investigate the latest diagnostic tools and interventions that can be offered to the population to improve the quality of life, avoid misunderstanding or wrong results, and develop effective treatment.
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Diabetes is a serious health problem for different ethnic groups with various effects and outcomes. The two peculiar features of diabetes among African Americans include the possibility to diagnose this disease at its early stage and the inability to avoid the development of such complications as kidney problems and retinopathy (Bockwoldt, Staffileno, Coke, & Quinn, 2016). The risk for diabetes may be contributed by such factors as genetics, obesity, and age. When a person gets older, there is a chance to have insulin resistance problems due to the lack of physical exercises, additional weight, and the necessity to control muscle mass. Regarding such risks and epistemology of diabetes, aging African Americas are exposed to the chosen disease and have to take multiple precautionary steps to be diagnosed in time, receive the required portion of treatment, and be aware of the available interventions and programs.
As a rule, the main treatment method that can be offered to the patients with diabetes is regular insulin injections. However, to avoid heart problems, skin damage, and Alzheimer’s disease, African Americans have to consider new treatment methods and improvements that can reduce the level of harm caused by diabetes on a regular basis. Several clinical findings may be used to explain the available options.
Treatment interventions that can be used by aging African American diabetes patients may be divided into the three categories, including routine activities, pharmacological approaches, and non-pharmacological ideas. Bockwoldt et al. (2016) support the idea of a new health behavior in terms of which people have to get used to live with diabetes and follow their daily activities. The recent clinical investigations show that, in comparison to other racial groups, African Americans want to reduce the usage of prescribed medications and demonstrate low rates of insulin adherence (Bockwoldt et al., 2016). They like to rely on self-concepts, role functions, and the possibility to develop friendly and educative relationships with other people in order to discuss their problems, choose options, and enjoy every moment of life.
Diabetes may be diagnosed with the help of several methods. Still, the use of blood test in terms of which it is possible to measure the level of blood sugar remains one of the most preferable among patients and the most reliable among the medical staff. However, the investigations by Harris (2017) show that African Americans are under threat of being misdiagnosed due to the lack of pinpoint accuracy and the impact of race and other factors. A1C tests may indicate the average level of glucose with the time frame of about three months. Combining tests are also possible for patients at high risk for having diabetes (Utumatwishima et al., 2018). Random or fasting plasma glucose tests may help to measure glucose. Appropriate diagnosis is not the only one solution that may be introduced to African American patients with T2DM. People have to learn how to live with this disease and follow certain rules and obligations.
The clinical findings of Chard et al. (2017) prove that generative action plays an important role in diabetes treatment. Successful aging among African Americans is possible when certain socioeconomic and cultural aspects are taken into consideration to remove or, at least, reduce suffering and overestimate health. Intensive lifestyle interventions have to be promoted among those who do not want to rely on medical treatment only (Utumatwishima et al., 2018). Even regarding current medical and technological progress, it is wrong to expect one magic pill that can remove diabetes from the lives of African Americans. A combination of steps, not only pharmacological, is required all the time.
Impact of Diabetes Intervention
The impact of current interventions and diagnostic tools remain crucial for African Americans and the experts who have to work with them. Doctors, as well as nurses and counselors, have to understand how to educate their patients and explain the peculiar features of a new life with diabetes. Sometimes, people are ready to accept changes and follow new rules. Sometimes, additional support, education, and explanations are required. Anyway, diabetes is a serious health problem with a number of complications, and the chosen studies prove that there is no definite solution to this challenge.
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In general, type 2 diabetes mellitus is a frequent disease among aging African Americans. Though it may be diagnosed at its early stage, its complications are dangerous for people. Many organizations are involved in the discussion of available diagnostic tools and treatment interventions for African Americans with diabetes.
Intervention Presentation on Diabetes
General Facts about Diabetes
- Diabetes is a health problem of millions of patients
- Aging African Americans are at high risk for having diabetes
- Diabetes has multiple complications, including heart and kidney problems
- Race, genetics, age, and obesity contribute to the T2DM development
- Pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment is possible
Bockwoldt et al. (2016) Share Their Results in Research on Diabetes
- Diagnosis at its early stage is possible for African Americans
- Regular insulin injections are required
- Complications including kidney problems hypertension, and amputation
- A new health behavior is suggested
- Health-related activities may vary among African Americans
Harris (2017) Prevents against Snap Diagnoses
- Blood-sugar tests are used to diagnose diabetes
- A1C test depends on race and other factors
- Glucose levels may rise and fall anytime
- Doctors inform about wrong results of A1C tests
- African Americans should use different tests
Utumatwishima et al. (2018) Investigate New Aspects of Diabetes
- Type 2 diabetes is a common disease among African descent populations
- Early detection promote the reduction of complications
- Combing diagnostic tools help aging African Americans
- Diet improvements and physical exercises are suggested
- A lack of literacy and poor control create certain risks
Chard et al. (2017) Promote Successful Aging among African Americans with Diabetes
- Well-being among African Americans should be supported
- Economic and social disadvantages may challenge the population
- Political aspects play a role in diabetes treatment among African Americans
- Generative action is a solution for diabetes treatment
- Lifestyle changes cannot be neglected while treating diabetes
Combined Treatment Is the Main New Intervention for Diabetes Patients
- Diabetes is hard for African Americans to prevent or avoid
- Effective and timely diagnosis and treatment have to be developed
- Combination of pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment is required
- Lifestyle changes and intensive physical experiences can help
- Education and communication is a part of combined treatment
Bockwoldt, D., Staffileno, B.A., Coke, L., & Quinn, L. (2016). Perceptions of insulin treatment among African Americans with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 27(2), 172-180.
Chard, S., Harris-Wallace, B., Roth, E.G., Girling, L.M., Rubinstein, R., Reese, A.M., … Eckert, J.K. (2017). Successful aging among African American older adults with type 2 diabetes. Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 72(2), 319-327.
Harris, R. (2017). The A1C blood sugar test may be less accurate in African-Americans. National Public Radio. Web.
Utumatwishima, J.N., Chung, S.T., Bentley, A.R., Udahogora, M., & Sumner, A.E. (2018). Reversing the tide – Diagnosis and prevention of T2DM in populations of African descent. Nature Reviews Endocrinology 14, 45-56. Web.