High Blood Glucose Levels as a Global Health Issue

Subject: Health Care
Type: Expository Essay
Pages: 8
Word count: 2190
Topics: Diabetes, Disease, Health, Management, Public Health

Health issues that arise from high blood glucose levels have become a global epidemic in the last decade thereby calling for serious concerns. The impact of these health conditions on the mortality of the globe has for years been underestimated by health organizations. In the high-income countries, the effects caused by blood glucose levels and diabetes was ranked 8th in a report that was produced by The Global Burden for Disease Study (Avendano, & Mackenbach, 2006). On the other hand, the condition was not among the ten major causes of death in the middle and low income generating countries.  According to WHO, an estimated 8.5% of adults who were aged above 18 years old had experienced an increased blood glucose by 2014. In the same year, there was the minimal prevalence of increased blood sugar among WHO regions inclusive of the east of the Mediterranean region (Zhao et al., 2017). Due to these health issues caused by high blood sugar levels, this condition has become a major cause of concern globally.

Background Information

High blood sugar, also known as hyperglycemia, is becoming a serious global issue that affects individuals diagnosed with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.  There are two types of hyperglycemia; fasting hyperglycemia that occurs when the blood sugar rises above 130mg/dL and when one does not have a meal for at least eight hours and secondly postprandial hyperglycemia, which occurs when the blood sugar rises higher than 180mg/dL and if the infected individual has just taken a meal (Avendano,& Mackenbach, 2006).  Regular high blood sugar levels damage the nerves, body organs, and cause other serious health conditions. 

Wilkinson, Whitehead & Ritchie state that if one is affected by type 1 diabetes, then the individual may be affected by a rapid buildup of acids in the body. On the other hand, if an individual is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, then high blood sugar may result in a fatal condition that arises when the body can no longer process any sugar in the body (2014). Therefore, it is very significant for an individual to go through a proper management process to avoid complications, which may arise in the future (Colagiuri, Dickinson, Girgis,& Colagiuri, 2017).

Causes of High Blood Sugar

High blood sugar has several causes. First, it is important to note that during digestion, the body breaks down foods in the form of carbohydrates into sugar molecules. Amongst these sugar molecules is glucose, which is the main source of body energy (WebMD). When an individual has eaten, the glucose is absorbed directly into the bloodstream, but is unable to enter in tissue cells without the aid of body insulin. If the glucose level in the body rises, the pancreas is signaled to produce insulin that unlocks the cells for glucose to embed the cells to act as fuel for cell functionality (Wilkinson, Whitehead & Ritchie, 2014). Extra glucose that does not enter the cells and is stored in the liver and the muscles in glycogen form. The frequent repetition of this process tends to lower the level of glucose in the body bloodstream and hinders it from rising to dangerous levels that tend to be poisonous to the body. 

On the other note, it is significant to note that diabetes is responsible for diminishing the impacts of insulin found in the body. Sato, Morita, Mori,& Miura, illustrate that this process takes place either when the insulin is not produced by the body or the body becomes resistant to insulin effects.  Due to this reason, the levels of glucose increases in the body bloodstream, which may result in very dangerous levels if not attended to medically (2016).  Some of the factors that may lead to high levels of blood glucose include having surgery, suffering from an infection, use of unwanted medication such as steroids, under usage of enough insulin, inactivity by an individual, emotional stress, not adhering to diabetes eating plan and improper injection of insulin (Goddard, Hill, & Claydon, 2017). 

It is important to note that the level of blood sugar in the body is hormones, which are produced by beta cells of the endocrine glands in the pancreas. After one consumes a meal enriched with carbohydrates, the blood sugar increases that has to be taken under control in the soonest time possible (Loh, Mulrooney, MacIsaac,& Steele, 2017). The receptors detect the high concentration of blood making the beta cells to produce insulin. The insulin converts glucose into glucagon, which is then stored in the liver thereby eliminating glucose from the bloodstream. 

Symptoms of High Blood Sugar

High blood sugar is common in individuals who are diagnosed with diabetes that is not being monitored. The symptoms associated with this condition can either by moderate, mild or server. If an individual’s blood sugar levels are constantly high, the individual may show mild symptoms of this condition. Some of the symptoms of high blood sugar are normally noticed when the sugar levels in the blood rise above 200mg/dL and tend to worsen when they are not attended to (Zhao et al., 2017). Some of the common symptoms of high glucose levels in the blood include; fatigue, blurred vision, frequent urination, headache and increased thirst.

High Blood Sugar in the Australian Context

In Australia, about 280 people living in the country develop diabetes each day with an estimation of 5% of the citizens who are aged above 40 years infected by type 2 diabetes in the last two years (Klinkner, 2016). The condition is also said to be the leading cause of vision loss, stroke, heart attack, limb amputation and kidney damage. Australia launched a serious awareness in the health risks of type 2 diabetes and initiated a campaign to make sure that at least a half a million citizens of Australia went through a medical checkup. According to the International Diabetes Foundation, diabetes is the leading cause of vision blindness in Australia where 72,000 people are affected by this sight condition (Wilkinson, Whitehead, Ritchie, 2014). Some of the risk factors that make people living in Australia develop type 2 diabetes include; having a family with a diabetic history, being obese or overweight, history of gestation diabetes, inactivity in lifestyle and having a polycystic ovarian syndrome. With regards to these risk factors, the Australian government outlined some of the ways in which the risk of acquiring type 2 diabetes, these include; reduction of the intake of alcohol, working on weight reduction, regular exercising, and healthy eating habits (Boström et al 2014).

Role of Nurses in Blood Sugar Management

Nurses are some important personnel in the care and management of blood sugar and diabetes care.  The control of glycemic and the increase in the quality of life for those affected by diabetes demands the incorporation of quality nursing care education. This trickles down to the education of diabetics on methods through which they could use to manage diabetes in their daily lives (Gomes et al., 2016). The providers of quality health in this regard have a significant role to play in the well-being, and increase the quality of life for the diabetics. Therefore, nurses play a critical role in providing diabetics with the essential psychological and social support in efforts to manage the condition. In a more detailed view, their primary role is explained as the provision of primary, tertiary and secondary care with regards to diabetes management (Wu et al., 2017). This care aims at modifying their way of lifestyle by preventing future complication related to the diagnosis of diabetes. 

On the other hand, nurses also play a critical role in educating diabetic patients, and thus, promote healthy living in the society. The basic education provided by these nurses could be a determining factor in efforts to reduce the risk of high blood sugar among the population.  Gomes et al., 2016 state that the positivity in the role of nurses in the management of diabetes can also be achieved by monitoring the adhesion of recommendations to be used in the therapy of the patients. This process reduces the hospitalization rates among the affected and the cost of health care used by diabetics in the management of the condition. Boström et al. suggest that diabetic management is not limited to the hospital infrastructure since nurses are expected to play a key role in the treatment and prevention of diabetes in the health care sector from the lowest level of treatment to the highest level (2014). 

Well trained nurses who work in a strict supervision of a professional dialectologist improve the quality of health of diabetics and the overall outcomes of patients.  A committed work force of nurses works towards reducing the health risks of diabetes and its associated conditions to the diabetics (Wilkinson, Whitehead & Ritchie, 2014). By acknowledging the fact that quality health care can be delivered outside the settings of a hospital, this aspect would reduce the number of visits diabetics make to a health facility in addition to reducing the costs and expenditures incurred by these patients during the process of diabetes management. 

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High blood sugar is a deadly condition with a non-curable treatment that remains to be unknown. However, the complications associated with the condition can be managed through timely treatments and proper awareness around the globe. It is, therefore, mandatory for individuals to keep the levels of blood glucose of diabetics to avoid complications associated with the condition (Klinkner, 2016). One of the most challenging aspects faced during the control glucose levels is the risk of hypoglycemia, which would lead to more severe complications in the aftermath. Attempts have been made by the World Health organization and the International Diabetes Organization to enforce a campaign to the public around the globe for people to keep their blood sugar levels in check (Sato, Morita, Mori,& Miura, 2016). In the recent times, people are being advised to improve their quality of life by being active, feed healthy, and most importantly, carry out regular check-ups so that life-threatening conditions can be put under control. 

Lastly, there is also a global campaign for every individual to be well acknowledged with the symptoms of hyperglycemia. Drinking water after a meal and regular exercising are some of the mechanisms that can be adopted by individuals to lower the levels of sugar in the blood stream. An insulin injection within the supervision and recommendations of a doctor can also be used to lower sugar levels in case one suspects a rise. If high blood sugar levels are unattended to for too long, glucose builds in an individual’s bloodstream thereby starving cells off the fuel they are supposed to use to boost their body performance. When the cells become short of fuel to help them perform their activities, they begin to use fats which become toxic to them leading to produce ketones. The production of ketones results in a dangerous condition referred to as ketoacidosis which results to diabetic coma or even death. Due to the above reasons, frequent sugar level checks is one of the key strategies to a healthy lifestyle to avoid conditions related to high blood sugar, diabetes, and ketoacidosis.

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