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Diabetes mellitus type 2 is a chronic metabolic disorder that is mainly characterized by hyperglycemia, insulin resistance, and insulin deficiency. The first case of metabolic disorder was discovered in 1988. Since then it has been a serious issue, especially in developing countries. People living with this type of diabetes are vulnerable to various short term and long-term complications that mostly lead to death. In addition, diabetes is responsible for various heart diseases, since high blood sugar causes significant damage to cardiovascular vessels. As explained by Kao, at al (2001), genetic makeup and other behavioral factors such as an individual’s lifestyle are among the many predisposing factors of type 2 diabetes. Therefore, it is within this context that the paper will explore the various life changes that predispose an individual to type 2 diabetes.
A sedentary lifestyle mostly comprises of limited physical activity and prolonged sitting hours. Change in occupation can result in a sedentary lifestyle especially white-collar jobs that involve minimal physical activity. Human was made to be energetic and active therefore sedentary lifestyles are contrary to human nature. Examples of activity that promote inactiveness include watching television for long hours and video games. Such inactiveness coupled with unhealthy eating habits lead to obesity. Obesity is another major concern that increases the risk of contracting diabetes mellitus type 2. Through eating, the body is produce energy to maintain various bodily functions. However, unhealthy eating coupled by inactiveness leads to accumulation of body fat. According to recent study conducted by CDC, obesity is reported as one of the major causes of diabetes among children and adults. Based on the study, obesity is responsible for approximately 55% of all type 2 diabetes cases. Therefore, people are advised to avoid sedentary lifestyles and engage in physical activities to avoid such diseases.
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Alcohol and cigarette smoking
Alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking are some life changes that predispose one to diabetes mellitus type 2. This is because continued alcohol intake causes the body to be less sensitive to insulin. The reduction of sensitivity of insulin ultimately leads to high blood sugar. In addition, prolonged alcohol consumption is responsible for certain lifestyle diseases that inhibit the production of insulin. Such diseases include chronic pancreatitis that affects the normal function of the pancreas and this in turn lowers the production of insulin in the body. As explained by Alan (2006), Insulin is a major hormone released by the pancreas to control sugar levels in the blood.
In addition, the high amount of calories contained in most alcoholic beverages such as beer can lead to weight gain and ultimately cause diabetes type 2. Both women and men are prone to contracting diabetes mellitus 2 through prolonged alcohol consumption. Therefore, individuals should avoid taking large amounts of alcohol to prevent such lifestyle diseases. Smoking is also influential in causing complications that lead to high blood sugar levels. Research has indicated that the possibility of a smoker contracting type 2 diabetes is approximate at 30%-40% more compared to a non-smoker (Freiberg, 2004).
Overuse of certain prescribed drugs
According to Abdulfatai (2012), prolonged use of drugs such as corticosteroids also increase the chances of an individual contracting diabetes. Such drugs are mostly used to reduce harmful inflammation brought about by the body’s immune system. in addition, the drugs also considered to alter the normal functioning of body hormones mostly lead to an increase in insulin resistance, therefore leading to high blood sugar level that remains high as long as the patient continues to use these steroids. Another drug that has the same effect is thiazide diuretic that is commonly used in the treatment of hypertension. Based on a recent study on these drugs, patients prescribes such drugs are more susceptible to the onset of diabetes type 2.
As explained by Freiberg et al (2004), antiretroviral drugs have been very helpful in the fight against HIV virus. However, prolonged use of antiretroviral drugs has been reported to affect the metabolic processes in the body that lead to the increase in blood sugar levels. As such, it is clear that though some drugs used currently are effective in treating particular diseases, prolonged use of such drugs is detrimental to one’s health since they predispose one to diabetes type 2. Therefore, there is need for more research to be conducted to help minimize the side effects of these drugs
Stress is also responsible for various lifestyle diseases such as diabetes type 2. It usually occurs when an individual is unable to react responsibly to emotional or physical threats whether imagined or real (Pouwer, 2010). Stress results to the production of hormones in the body that lead to disruption of metabolic activity. The hormone cortisol that is produced when one is stressed also affects the production of insulin. This in turn results in the elevation of blood sugar levels to great amounts if not regulated. Unmanaged stress may lead to depression that is a major cause of diabetes and heart complications and this may even lead to death in extreme cases (Pouwer, 2010). Therefore as a way of preventing diabetes type 2 people should adopt a lifestyle that help minimize the level of stress. A life full of stress and depression over a long period will eventually lead to diabetes. People are advised to adopt a more joyful life with a lot of physical activity.
Unhealthy eating habits
Eating habits are an essential factor contributing to the metabolic activity in the body. People should have a regular eating pattern and always make sure they take a balanced diet. Most people do not take meals regularly. This increases the likelihood of the individual taking junk food instead, when hungry. Frequent intake of Junk food is not healthy since such foods contain a lot of calories and cholesterol that results to an increase in blood sugar levels in the body. The world has become a meat-eating community with most meals containing meat products. This should not be the case, rather people should ensure that they take a balanced diet always to maintain a healthy lifestyle and prevent certain diseases such as diabetes type 2.
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The various life changes result in an increase in blood sugar in the body or affect the functioning and production of insulin. These are the main causes of diabetes type 2 and thus to prevent such diseases it is important to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Individuals should also be careful with the drugs they take to ensure they stay informed of the reactions of the drugs. This will help prevent diseases caused by prescribed drugs reactions. Conversely, physical exercise should also be a priority since it helps prevent the accumulation of body fat.
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