Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in Adults

Type 2 diabetes is a current-day epidemic. Affecting more than 370 million adults worldwide (26 million people in the United States), it is one of the most critical health issues (Pratley, 2013). However, the growing number of those suffering from the disease, as well as people with a pre-diabetic condition, is even more challenging compared to modern trends, as the figure is forecasted to almost double by 2030 (Brunetti & Kalabalik, 2012; Pratley, 2013).

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For this reason, it is imperative to be aware of the disease process and vital signals in one’s health history in order to guarantee early diagnosis and efficient treatment of type 2 diabetes and cope with the troubling matter of concern.

In order to understand a patient’s current state health, it is paramount to focus on several aspects of their lifestyle and physical condition. To begin with, there are some vital physical signs that may point to the necessity of measuring one’s level of blood glucose. Regardless of the patient’s age, body weight and body mass are the two initial physical attributes to focus on, as obesity is directly associated with the increased risks of type 2 diabetes mellitus (Zitkus, 2012).

More than that, it is essential to keep in mind that obese or overweight elderly patients are more susceptible to this disease compared to younger adults with the same physical condition (Kirkman et al., 2012). One more aspect to assess is waist circumference. In this case, it is imperative to consider the fact that it is not connected to body weight or body mass index. Nevertheless, this measure can as well point to the potential health issue, as the increased abdominal fat mass that is a common sign of diabetes (Zitkus, 2012). The abovementioned cases are referred to as asymptomatic, as they are not necessarily connected to the health issue, although point to significant health risks (Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement, 2014).

Still, physical signs mentioned above are not the only details to consider. Even though an objective physical exam is critical, it is as well essential to collect the patient’s health history with a special focus on several important risk factors. First and foremost, it is imperative to find out whether the patient has first-degree relatives suffering from diabetes (Pratley, 2013). In addition, attention should be paid to episodes of hypertension, as cardiovascular conditions commonly point to the changes in the level of blood glucose (Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement, 2014; Pratley, 2013).

Furthermore, it is essential to collect information on any variances in one’s physical condition, such as changes in vision, appetite, sexual activities, metabolic and breath patterns, etc. (Zitkus, 2012). Even insignificant alterations may point to the increased risks of type 2 diabetes mellitus, especially when accompanied with obesity or being overweight (Pratley, 2013).

Except for physical health, the major aspects of lifestyle should be as well addressed. For instance, it is critical to pay special attention to nutrition and physical exercise patterns (Franz, Boucher, & Evert, 2014). A focus should be made on fat and sugar intake, energy balance, consumption of alcohol and sodium, and the overall healthiness of nutrition (Evert et al., 2014). At the same time, it is essential to find out whether physical activities are regular (Franz et al., 2014).

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Finally, it is critical to focus on one’s emotional health, including exposal to stressors at home or work and ability to cope with stress (Pratley, 2013). All in all, any divergence from health norms (increased weight and body mass index, cardiovascular risks, unhealthy dieting, irregular physical activities, living and working in a stressful environment, history of diabetes in family members, etc.) may point to the need to measure blood glucose level and, as a result, help diagnose type 2 diabetes at early stages and treat it effectively.

References

Brunetti, L., & Kalabalik, J. (2012). Management of type-2 diabetes mellitus in adults: Focus on individualizing non-insulin therapies. Pharmacy & Therapies, 37(12), 687-696.

Evert, A. B., Boucher, J. L., Cypress, M., Dunbar, S. A., Franz, M. J., Mayer-Davis, E. J., … Yancy, W. S. (2014). Nutrition therapy recommendations for the management of adults with diabetes. Diabetes Care, 37(S1), S120-S143. Web.

Franz, M. J., Boucher, L. J., & Evert, A. B. (2014). Evidence-based diabetes nutrition therapy recommendations are effective: The key is individualization. Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome, and Obesity: Targets and Therapy, 7(1), 65-74. Web.

Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement. (2014). Health care guideline: Diagnosis and management of type 2 diabetes mellitus in adults. Web.

Kirkman, M. S., Briscoe, V. J., Clark, N., Florez, H., Haas, L. B., Halter, H., … Swift, C. S. (2012). Diabetes in older adults. Diabetes Care, 35(12), 2650-2664. Web.

Pratley, R. E. (2013). The early treatment of type 2 diabetes. The American Journal of Medicine, 126(9), S2-S9. Web.

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Zitkus, B. S. (2012). Type 2 diabetes mellitus: An evidence-based update. The Nurse Practitioner, 37(7), 28-37. Web.

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