Educational Handout on Diabetes
This handout is about diabetes – a medical condition that alters the level of body glucose by raising it. The condition is serious because it leads to both short-term and long-term health complications. However, with proper care, the health complications can be minimized. The health issue was selected because it is serious and it has no cure (Diabetes Australia, 2015).
The intended audience are members of the public that may not be knowledgeable about diabetes, but they may be at risk of suffering from it. The intention is to provide them with general knowledge about diabetes so that they can take the necessary precautionary measures (Huff, 2011). Although the target audience may not go for testing after obtaining the information, it is presumed that some will go for testing after reading the handout. Therefore, it is highly likely that the handout will achieve its objective, which is to educate and influence members of the public to taking action.
Do you know what pre-diabetes is?
Pre-diabetes is a condition where the blood glucose level is higher than normal, but it has not yet reached the level of being diabetic. If you have this condition and you do not change your lifestyle, you could develop diabetes (Hess-Fischl, 2017). In fact, if you experience the following symptoms, you need to see a medical doctor.
- Get hungrier and thirstier than normal
- Get abnormally tired
- Lose weight even after eating a lot of food
- Pass urine frequently
- Have anyone in your family who is diabetic (Hess-Fischl, 2017).
This does not mean that you are diabetic, but it is a good precautionary measure.
What is diabetes then?
Diabetes is a medical condition that results in high blood glucose in your body either because your body cells do not respond to insulin in the right way or because the insulin in your body is not enough. People with this condition tend to pass urine frequently, and often feel thirsty and hungry. However, these signs do not mean that you are diabetic (Ford-Martin, & Baker, 2013). It only means that it would be important for you to go for a medical examination.
The three most common types of diabetes are gestational, type 2 and type 1. For type 1, the body does not produce insulin at all whereas for type 2, the body loses its capacity to produce insulin. The causes of type 2 are unknown, but if you come from a family with a diabetic person, you are at a higher risk for diabetes (Barnett, 2012).
(Rhea Medical Center, 2017)
Symptoms of diabetes
For type 1 diabetes, the symptoms can have a sudden onset and can be life-threatening. However, these symptoms can be diagnosed quickly. Conversely, the symptoms for type 2 diabetes may not be diagnosed quickly and they may even be confused with aging. This notwithstanding, the most common symptoms of diabetes include:
- Mood swings
- Unexplained weight loss for type 1
- Unexplained weight gain for type 2
- Unexplained hunger
- Passing urine frequently
- Skin infection
- Leg cramps
- Dizziness (Diabetes Australia, 2015)
If you have the above symptoms, you need to see a doctor.
How does diabetes affect your body?
If you are diabetic or at the risk of suffering from diabetes, you might lose your sight, experience kidney failure or increase your risk of heart attack (Hanas, 2007). You may also be at the risk of losing a limb through amputation or suffer from mental conditions such as anxiety, distress and depression (Diabetes Australia, 2015). However, if you go for testing today, you might be on the safe side because once you know your condition you can manage it. Being diabetic does not mean that you will die soon. It does not even mean that you will not live long. You can live long and healthy if after knowing your condition, you will engage in physical exercises and eat healthy foods to manage your condition (Ford-Martin, & Baker, 2013).
(Top 10 Home Remedies, 2016)
Facts about diabetes
- The condition is long-term
- It causes high levels of blood sugar in the body
- Type 1 can be managed through physical exercise
- Gestational diabetes is on the rise (Diabetes Australia, 2015)
If you are in Australia and you would like more information on diabetes, you can reach Diabetes Australia via their helpline or read more from their website (https://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/what-is-diabetes). For more fast facts, you can visit (http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/info/diabetes). You can visit the national institute of diabetes and digestive and kidney diseases’ website (https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-communication-programs/ndep/pages/index.aspx) to learn more about diabetes, know whether you are at the risk of diabetes or even join their partner programs. If you are diabetic, you can visit Diabetes Health Sense’s website (https://ndep.nih.gov/resources/diabetes-healthsense/index.aspx) to learn a few tips on living well, how to cope with emotions and stress, and learn how to prevent health problems related to diabetes. These websites provide valuable information on diabetes.
Barnett, A. (2012). Type 2 diabetes. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Diabetes Australia. (2015). About diabetes. Retrieved from https://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/what-is-diabetes
Ford-Martin, P., & Baker, J. (2013). The everything guide to managing type 2 diabetes: From diagnosis to diet, all you need to live a healthy, active life with type 2 diabetes. Avon, Mass: Adams Media.
Hanas, R. (2007). Type 1 diabetes in children, adolescents and young adults. London: Class Pub. (London) Ltd.
Hess-Fischl, A. (2017). Pre-diabetes. Retrieved from https://www.endocrineweb.com/conditions/pre-diabetes/pre-diabetes
Huff, C. (2011). Does your patient really understand? H&HN, 85(10), 34-38.
NIH. (2017). Control your diabetes for life. Campaign information. Retrieved from https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-communication-programs/ndep/partnership-community-outreach/campaigns/control-diabetes-life/Pages/controlyourdiabetesforlife.aspx
Rhea Medical Center. (2017). Diabetes. Retrieved from http://www.rheamedical.org/www/docs/138
Segal, M. (2013). Why should we care about diabetes? Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-segal/type-2-diabetes_b_2573821.html
Top 10 Home Remedies. (2016). How uncontrolled diabetes damages your heart, eyes, kidney, nerves, teeth and more. Retrieved from http://www.top10homeremedies.com/news-facts/uncontrolled-diabetes-damages-heart-eyes-kidneys-nerves.html