Type II diabetes is associated with abnormally high blood glucose levels. This results when the pancreas cannot cope with the high demand for insulin required to cater for the condition of insulin resistance. Research indicates that there are different explanations for type II diabetes and that various social determinants exist. In Canada, the effort for implementing interventions and strategies for the management of the disease is evident in policies. This paper provides a close examination of type II diabetes in terms of the social demands that shape its incidence, policies and social determinants that are associated with the disease.
Type II diabetes mellitus is a problem with the body where the blood glucose reaches high levels that are abnormal. This is also known as hyperglycemia and is the most common type of diabetes. Patients with type II diabetes have a condition known as insulin resistance. To begin with, the pancreas produces excess insulin to keep up with the demand caused by the insulin resistance. However, with time, the pancreas can no longer keep up with this demand necessary to keep glucose levels at a normal level. It is important for type II diabetes mellitus to be diagnosed early. Although diabetes cannot be cured, the aim of treatment is to maintain glucose levels at a normal level as much as possible to minimize the likelihood of complications developing later. This paper examines the causes, incidence, management and policies related to type II diabetes.
There are different explanations on type II diabetes mellitus provided in the research literature. According to Raphael et al. (2012), type II diabetes mellitus results from insulin resistance in skeletal muscle and the liver. Other causes include over-production of fatty acids, increased production of glucose and relative insulin deficiency. Secretion of insulin by the pancreas decreases with incremental beta cell failure. Reducing blood sugar levels may be achieved through changes in intake of food and physical activity patterns. Insulation and oral medications may also be required eventually.
There are various social determinants of health that shape the incidence of type II diabetes mellitus disease. According to Raphael et al. (2003), over nutrition/ dietary lifestyles and sedentary lifestyles, with resultant obesity and overweight are social determinants of health that are associated with the incidence of type II diabetes mellitus. Others include psychosocial stress and ethnicity. This is evidenced by the fact that interventions that improve or reverse these factors have been shown to have a positive effect on the management of glycemia in type II diabetes mellitus which is established. However, there are challenges associated with high weight regain rate, which limits the effect of lifestyle interventions. Cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption have also been associated with an increased risk of insulin resistance. Material deprivation, which is linked to poverty, is a major social determinant of type II diabetes mellitus incidence. Material deprivation adversely affects the management of type II diabetes mellitus. Degree of social exclusion is also a social determinant. This is because it is a psychological component which affects the manner in which patients react to management efforts.
Current Canadian health policies address social determinants of health such as early childhood development, housing, poverty and material deprivation, as well as education. They not only influence health but also the implementation and maintenance of healthy behaviors. Policies are aimed at shifting income inequalities; lessening housing affordability; growth of food banks, and reducing social assistance payments. Other policies in Canada affect factors which influence health. Examples of these include policies that raise federal taxes on tobacco and alcohol, municipal by-laws on smoking and prohibition of tobacco sales to minors. These policies are based on the lived experiences of patients of type II diabetes mellitus. These policies are meant to reduce the risk factors associated with type II diabetes mellitus. The lived experiences of type II diabetes patients affect their management of the type II diabetes mellitus adversely. For example patients living in poverty or low income are likely to be more stressed, lack adequate dietary fulfillment and to the environment of care. This results in poor outcomes for interventions.
Type II diabetes mellitus is associated with abnormally high blood glucose levels. This results when the pancreas cannot cope with the high demand for insulin required to cater for the condition of insulin resistance. Social determinants which affect the incidence of type II diabetes mellitus include dietary habits, frequency of physical activity, smoking alcohol consumption, psychosocial stress etc. Material deprivation associated with poverty affects the individual negatively by increasing the likelihood of stress, which may aggravate one’s condition or affect interventions. The effort to reduce social determinants and risk factors of type II diabetes mellitus are evident in Canadian policies and are are based on the lived experiences of patients of type II diabetes mellitus. Overall, type II diabetes mellitus management may take different approaches.
Raphael, D., Anstice, S., McGannon, K. R., Rizvi,. S., & Yu, V. (2003). The social determinants of the incidence and management of type 2 diabetes mellitus: are we prepared to rethink our questions and redirect our research activities. International Journal of Health, 16(3), 10-19.
Raphael, D., Daiski, I., Pilkington, B., Bryant, T., Dinca-Panaitescu, M., & Dinca-Panaitescu, S. (2012). A Toxic Combination Of Poor Social Policies And Programmes, Unfair Economic Arrangements And Bad Politics: The Experiences Of Poor Canadians With Type 2 Diabetes. Critical Public Health, 22(2), 1-19.