Diabetes: An Interdisciplinary Perspective

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Diabetes is a condition which can be affected by a variety of factors. Hence, it is crucial to know such health determinants to know where the focus of care or approach should be endeavored.

Diabetes: An Interdisciplinary Perspective

The medical name for diabetes is diabetes mellitus; this name was given by doctors in ancient Greece and Rome (Peacock, 2000). Diabetes means “passing through” in Greek while Mellitus means “sweet or honeyed” in Latin (Peacock, 2000).

Diabetes transpires when the body is unable to utilize sugar efficiently; hence, this disease is characterized by high glucose levels (Brill, 2012). Glucose is the one responsible in providing the energy necessary to carry out activities of daily living (Brill, 2012). Since glucose passes quickly, it easily enters into the bloodstream and is apparent in the urine of people having the said condition (Brill, 2012; Peacock, 2000). This condition is influenced by a variety of factors that could have a positive or negative impact, which will be tackled in this paper.

Genetics is said to play a role in the development of diabetes. Scientists continue to explore whether a defect in one or more genes contributes to the disease (Brill, 2012). It has been discovered that if a family member like a parent has the said condition; it is more likely that the child will also have this disease (Brill, 2012). Hence, when people know about this risk factor, they could either feel helpless about their situation thinking that they will not be able to modify it anyway or they could be more cautious about what they eat; in simple terms, their perception of genetics could influence an individual’s behavioral patterns.

Behavioral patterns also affect perception of the disease; it depends on whether a person is optimistic or pessimistic. Typically, when faced with this dilemma, optimistic people will do their best to overcome this disease; conversely, people who are pessimistic will just be depressed and will not do anything to surpass their condition especially if they think and are actually confronted with other factors such as health disparities.

Living in the context of inequality has an impact on health, and ethnic identity may influence the relationship between systems of inequality and health (Freudenberg, Klitzman & Saegert, 2009). This is where the factors: socio-cultural circumstances and health disparities, healthcare and environmental exposure are explored. The individuals’ way of life as molded by their culture and beliefs will certainly have an impact on how they face the condition. For example, with the case of African Americans possessing the disease, structural inequalities encompass exposure to environmental toxins, poor quality housing and community services, as well as lack of access to healthy, affordable foods, green space and quality healthcare with providers are apparent (Freudenberg et al., 2009). First, it will be difficult to modify what one has been accustomed to; nevertheless, social support systems like the family could be very beneficial in surpassing this condition. Second, it is evident that some groups of people are more favored compared to other ethnic groups like with African Americans, health disparities are obvious in the sense that they are provided with limited healthcare services for other races are given more prior attention. Lastly, since they are the ones least favored, it will be more likely that they experience a substandard living making them more prone to environmental toxin exposure and unhealthy foods that could further aggravate the aforementioned illness.

In dealing with diabetes, a variety of factors are needed to be given high regard so as to know where the line of attack in terms of treatment and prevention will be geared and focused to be able to overcome the negative consequences brought about by the disease.


Brill, M.T. (2012). Diabetes. United States of America: Twenty-First Century Books. Freudenberg, N., Klitzman, S., & Saegert, S. (2009). Urban Health and Society: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Research and Practice. United States of America: John Wiley & Sons.

Peacock, J. (2000). Diabetes. United States of America: Capstone Press.