Patient Handout: Diabetes


Diabetes defines a condition wherebythe body does not produce enough insulin or cannot utilize its insulin as well as it should. It results to sugar building up in the body, and that’s why it’s majorly referred as “sugar disease”. Diabetes if not checked well can cause severe health complications including

  • kidney failure,
  • lower extremity amputations,
  • Blindness and heart disease among many others.

Diabetes ranks very high among the illness that causes death in the United States hence the need to educate public about this disease (Huff, 2011).

Audience to be addressed

The audiences to be addressed in this scenario areadult medicine clinic patients. Among the adult patient include the diverse Population-African American, SpanishAmerican Indians Americans as well as Asian Americans.

Health issue

Among adults, numerous health issues affect their risk acquiring this disease, heart disease, and stroke. Some of them are things you have control over like:

  • weight and how much you can exercise

Others you totally don’t have control over like

  • family history,
  • Age,but simply being aware of them it can aide to take necessary control measures to lower the risk (Huff, 2011).

As one’s ages, the risks of type 2 diabetes, stroke and heart disease increases. It can only be controlled by;

  • Eating healthy; doing lots of exercise as there nothing you can do about getting old.
  • Visit your doctor regularly on issues about cholesterol, blood pressure and glucose levels checkup.

Also, people of different races and ethnic groups are likely to develop type 2diabetes,heart disease and stroke (McGonigle & mastrian, 2015). Mexicans Americans, African Americans, American Indians, Asian Americans have high risks for this particular illness. It’s because; partly this population is more likely to be overweight.

Gender slightly plays a role on likelihood to get diabetes; men are at high risk of getting heart disease as compared to female while when female gets to menopause, their risk of heart disease goes up (McGonigle & mastrian, 2015).

Types of diabetes

Type 1 diabetesit’salso known as insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) or juvenile-onset diabetes (Huff, 2011). This account for 5 percent to 10percent of all cases diagnosed with diabetes. Environmental factors and genetic are well involved in the development of this type. It results from pancreas failure to produce required insulin.

Type 2 diabetes it’s also known as non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) or adult-onset diabetes(Huff, 2011).  It starts with insulin resistance where cells fail to respond to insulin the right way. Risk factors for this type include

  • obesity,
  • The family history of the disease,
  • older age,
  • Prior history of gestational diabetes,
  • Physical inactivity,as the disease progress, lack of insulin is developed.

Among expectant mothers, gestational diabetes develops in 2 to 5 percent of all pregnancies, but it usually disappears after giving birth. Gestational diabetes also occurs more frequently in African Americans and people from a family with the diabetic history. A female who suffered gestational diabetes before is at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes at a later date.

Symptoms of diabetes

Diabetes is detected through observing various symptoms, among them, are;

  • Frequent urination i.e. your bladder is not able to hold urine for long.
  • Increased thirst and hunger and
  • Unexplained weight loss may follow which significantly interferes with the health of the person.
  • Sudden vision changes which interfere with sight,
  • Numbness of hands and feet,
  • Scorched skin,
  • Sores that are slow to heal and more infections than usual.
  • Stomach pains, vomiting or nausea, may accompany some of these symptoms in the abrupt onset of insulin of insulin-dependent diabetes.

Among major body organs affected by diabetes

  • Major organs in the body can be severely be damaged by type 1 diabetes, for example, Heart and blood vessel diseases are at high risk of developing cardiovascular problems including narrowing of arteries and coronary artery with a disease with chest pain (McGonigle & mastrian, 2015). Excessive sugar can injure the walls of capillaries that nourish your nerves, especially in the legs a condition called neuropathy or nerve damage. This result to tingling of feet, numbness or pain that begins at the toe tips and gradually spreads upward.
  • Kidney; Diabetes can also cause damage in kidney filtering system resulting in its failure.
  • Eye; Diabetes can injure blood vessels in the retina, potentially leading to eye injury or eye blindness.

High blood sugars can also endanger the life of mother and baby during pregnancy increasing the risk of miscarriage, birth defects, and stillbirth (Huff, 2011).

In type 2 diabetic scenarios, people with this condition make insulin, but their cells do not utilize it well as they should (McGonigle & mastrian, 2015). Initially, the pancreas produces more insulin to try to get glucose into the cells, but eventually, it cannot keep up and the sugar levels builds up in the body system instead. Some of the cause of this is bad communication between cells I.e., at times, cells send wrong signals or simply don’t pick up information correctly(Taylor, 2011). Others include obesity and too much glucose from the liver.

Prevention and treatment

Diabetes can typically be prevented and also treated. Treatment includes

  • diet control and doing lots of exercises,
  • regular blood glucose testing, and
  • Oral medication.
  • People with type 2 diabetes require insulin injection.

Physical activity can significantly lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes as it’smajorly associated with obesity, (Herman, 2015). The diabetes community has three choices in response to increasing health burden of diabetes: prevent, cure diabetes and take better care of people living with diabetes to avoid its devastating complications.

How to Identify Websites and Resources with Credible Information On the Issue

The following websites are links that upon taping would give information on diabetes s as the issue on discussion. They include

Taylor, R. (2011). Reversing type 2 diabetes. Practical Diabetes, 28(9), 377-378a.

Herman, W. (2015). The cost-effectiveness of diabetes prevention: results from the Diabetes Prevention Program and the Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study. Clin Diabetes Endocrinol, 1(1).

AHRQ,. (2015). Diabetes Disparities Among Racial and Ethnic Minorities | AHRQ Retrieved 8 April 2015, from

Virginia, A. (2014). Diabetes Among Hispanics: All Are Not EqualAmerican Diabetes Association. Retrieved 24 July 2014, from



Huff, C. (2011). Does your patient really understand? H&HN, 85(10), 34. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Taylor, R. (2011). Reversing type 2 diabetes. Practical Diabetes, 28(9), 377-378a.

McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. G. (2015). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge (3rd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett