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Diabetes mellitus (DM) is one of the prevailing diseases that acquires epidemic features in many countries. At that, diabetes mellitus type 2 is regarded as the major threat since it accounts for around 90% of all cases. Thus, it has been estimated that 336 million people suffer from this disorder worldwide (Ofori and Unachukwu 159). It is expected that the number of people diagnosed with DM will increase significantly. For instance, it is predicted that one-third of US adults will suffer from the disorder by 2050 (Shubrook and Johnson 531). The disease is a considerable concern as according to statistics, people having diabetes tend to develop blindness, kidney disorders, cardiovascular diseases and are “30-40 times more likely to undergo amputation” (Kutty and Raju 606). Researchers and healthcare professionals have come up with numerous methods and strategies to treat the disease as well as prevent it. Nonetheless, it is clear that the effort is not sufficient (Wilkinson, Randhawa and Singh 2). It has been acknowledged that a holistic approach is necessary to effectively prevent DM, and particular steps have been undertaken in this direction.
It has been acknowledged that the management and prevention strategies should lead to multidisciplinary care. Clearly, it is crucial to focus on the primary risk factors including obesity, high blood pressure, smoking, dyslipidemia and so on (Ofori and Unachukwu 160). The prevention effort involves such two basic spheres as lifestyle-related methods and medical management. The holistic approach implies the use of a set of strategies to prevent the development of the disorder. The cornerstone of this approach is the patient-centered care. Training is central to the efficiency of prevention strategies. Self-management is the major outcome of DM management as well as prevention strategies.
As far as the lifestyle-related strategies are concerned, it is necessary to note that one of the most important facets of the prevention effort is nutrition. It is essential to develop proper diets for people of different ages that would decrease the risk of developing diabetes. Clearly, specific attention should be paid to adults and the elderly who are at a higher risk of developing DM. The diets have to be in a form of recommendations. The existing research shows that the development of nutrition guidelines is an efficient strategy. It can be a good idea to develop particular recommendations for people with certain diseasing including specific guidelines concerning effective fasting (Dyson et al. 1282). Dyson et al. also stress that nutrition guidelines should put “an emphasis on carbohydrate management and a more flexible approach to weight loss” (1282).
Furthermore, lifelong changes to lifestyle are vital for DM prevention. This calls for the counselling in many cases. Motivational interviews are often effective methods to increase people’s commitment to change their lifestyles. It has been found that effective counselling enabled people to adjust their lifestyles and improve their health conditions (Ofori and Unachukwu 161). Numerous studies have been implemented to check the effectiveness of such training and counselling. It is reported that the lifestyle strategies are cost-effective although they often require significant funds. Importantly, unlike the pharmacotherapy that addresses one risk factor, the lifestyle approach addresses numerous risk factors, which leads to considerable improvements in people’s health conditions (Ofori and Unachukwu 163).
As for medical management, it often involves the focus on the use of glucose-lowering medication. It is necessary to note that this part of the holistic approach is especially important with certain groups of people (elderly, obese people and so on). At that, the prevention of hyperglycemia, hypertension as well as hyperlipidemia is crucial (Ofori and Unachukwu 165). Obviously, the treatment should be developed in accordance with age, health conditions and other meaningful peculiarities.
It is necessary to note that the strategies mentioned above are becoming more common worldwide. In such countries as the USA and the UK, there is extensive research on the matter and an ongoing effort to incorporate the holistic approach in DM prevention. The cost-effectiveness of the method has been acknowledged. The healthcare of the 21st century aims at prevention rather than effective treatment. Hence, it is clear that DM prevention will receive the necessary attention. The holistic approach is also seen as a potential solution to the problem of the epidemic threat of DM. Multidisciplinary teams should be created in every healthcare facility (Dyson et al. 1282). The educational sphere is the next step in the implementation of the holistic approach as young generations should also be aware of the hazards associated with certain lifestyles and some health conditions.
In conclusion, it is possible to note that the holistic approach to diabetes mellitus prevention is becoming more popular worldwide. The lifestyle-related changes and medical management are two components of this strategy that has already proved to be efficient. Clearly, the adoption of this approach will require significant funds, but the US healthcare aims at prevention rather than treatment of diseases. Therefore, the holistic image of DM prevention is the near future of the US healthcare system.
Dyson, Pamela A., T. Kelly, T. Deakin, A. Duncan, G. Frost, Z. Harrison, D. Khatri, D. Kunka, P. McArdle, D. Mellor, L. Oliver and J. Worth. “Diabetes UK Position Statements and Care Recommendations: Diabetes UK evidence-based nutrition guidelines for the prevention and management of diabetes.” Diabetic Medicine 28.11 (2011): 1282-1288. Print.
Kutty, Bindu M. and T.R. Raju. “New Vistas in Treating Diabetes – Insight into a Holistic Approach.” Indian Journal of Medical Research 131.1 (2010): 606-607. Print.
Ofori, Sandra N. and Unachukwu, Chioma N. “Holistic approach to prevention and management of type 2 diabetes mellitus in a family setting.” Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy 7.1 (2014): 159-168. Print.
Sanders, Lee J., Jeffrey M. Robbins, Michael E. Edmonds. “History of the team approach to amputation prevention: Pioneers and milestones.” Journal of Vascular Surgery 52.3 (2010): 3S-16S. Print.
Shubrook, Jay H. and Amy W. Johnson. “An Osteopathic Approach to Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.” Evidence-Based Clinical Review 111.9 (2011): 531-537. Print.
Wilkinson, Emma, Gurch Randhawa and Maninder Singh. “Quality Improvements in diabetes Care, How Holistic Have They Been? A Case-Study from the United Kingdom.” International Journal for Equity in Health 13.1 (2014): 1-9. Print.