In chapter two of Culture and Health by Michael Winkelman, it is mentioned that a combination of sociocultural factors and psychophysiological agents contribute towards the predisposition of genetic maladies in populations. This means that individuals originating from particular ethnicities from some areas in the world are predisposed towards developing specific illnesses. The relevance of this data can be seen in the study of Saeed, Asghar, Sahak, & Ansari (2015) which examined the vulnerability of populations in the Middle East towards genetically inherited health issues. Saeed et al. (2015) discovered that people originating from Afghanistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates had disproportionate levels of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes in the population when compared to other nearby regions (ex: Europe) (Saeed, Asghar, Sahak, & Ansari, 2015). The Islam (2014) study shed some light on this issue by explaining that sociocultural factors are to blame due to the limited populations of natural born natives in these areas. Historically, the Middle East has not been extensively developed due to a combination of its harsh climate and initial lack of valuable resources. It was due to the discovery of oil in the region that it experienced an influx of immigrants resulting in a population boom. However, before this situation, there was a high level of consanguinity which helped to perpetuate the emergence of specific genetic illnesses (Islam, 2014). The high occurrence rate of diabetes mellitus is merely one manifestation of the impact of blood affinity in the region. The relevance of this information is due to the interviewee (a 25-year old man) being born in Afghanistan yet being raised in America. His parents noted early on that their child experienced similar symptoms to what they saw among other people in their community in Afghanistan and, as such, changed his diet to contain more salads, vegetables, beans and other types of food that were meant to lower his glycemic load (a terminology they were unaware of, they were simply doing what they noted worked in their previous community). They even placed him on a special diet that eschewed simple sugars and focused on ensuring he had high fiber foods. Initially, this diet worked, and everything seemed to be fine; however, when the man moved out of his home and started a new diet regimen that did not follow what he had at his parents home, he slowly began to experience the various symptoms of diabetes (extreme fatigue, high thirst, and even weight loss). The following was his experience when he was diagnosed and resulting issues that he encountered over the course of several months. By the end of the interview, the importance of information on sociocultural factors and psychophysiological agents that contribute towards the predisposition of genetic maladies in populations will be revealed and how it contributes towards giving a proper diagnosis. < Click Essay Writer to order your essay >
The decision to choose specific questions was based on the need to determine what the patient experienced when they were ill and the resulting analysis that was done by a doctor to address it.
Initial Illness Narrative
In this section, the questions that were chosen (one and six) were when the patient felt ill and their experience when they visited the doctor’s office. The goal of this question was to see if there was a correlation between the symptoms the patient felt and an accurate diagnosis given by the doctor.
For this section, questions nine and ten for chosen since they helped to connect the current situation of the interviewee with direct relations or people within their community they knew had a similar illness. The goal, in this case, was to determine if the disease they had any direct connection to something that is communicable or something that is unique to a particular region or community.
Explanatory Model Narrative
In this section of the interview, questions 18 and 28 were chosen since they directly relate to changes that occurred to the interviewee’s life. It was noted that the respondent recently moved out of his home so that he could study and work in a different city. This may be a good indicator of environmental factors impact his body which could have caused the illness to manifest.
Services and Response to Treatment
Questions 30 and 31 were chosen for this section since they focus on the diagnosis given by the doctor and the resulting treatment options that were offered. Overall, the focus of this section is to determine the accuracy of the diagnosis provided by the physician based on the symptoms given by the patient and the testing method that was done.
Impact on Life
This section chose questions 39 and 44 to determine the effect that the illness has had on the interviewee’s life and the response of their family to it. [Need an essay writing service? Find help here.]
The interview was conducted at a stone table in one of the local parks.
||Diagnosis by Patient
||Diagnosis by Doctor
|Excessively tired and always feel thirsty.
||I moved out of my parent’s home and started studing and working part-time in the city. This new environment may be the reason.
||The added amount of work, schooling and a part-time job is likely the reason for your increased hunger, tiredness, and thirst. It is recommended that you get more rest or take fewer classes or hours at work
|I seem to be eating more than I normally do but do not seem to be gaining weight
||I have started buying takeout food, this could be the cause behind my current symptoms
||A change in diet is also a contributing factor since you are likely eating fast food and not home cooked meals
|I seem to be urinating a lot more recently compared to before.
||It might be due to the sodas I am currently drinking since I was not allowed to drink soda or juice when I was at home
||An abrupt shift in the type of liquids you drink could have a negative impact on your body, try cutting back on the soda
Interpretation and Analysis
As explained in Chapter 2, Biomedicine often assumes that biological factors alone may be the cause of particular illnesses or diseases cropping up; however, as mentioned in the introduction section of this paper, there are also sociocultural issues to take into consideration. What the interview showed was that both the interviewee and the doctor they went to misdiagnosed the problem and attributed it to a simple change in environment and the new diet. While it is true that the new diet is a contributing factor, the problem stems from the interviewee having Type 2 diabetes. What the doctor failed to do was a more comprehensive examination asking when the problems started occurring, whether there was a history of a similar fatigue happening in the family and what were the specific differences in the diet of the interviewee at home and what they are consuming now. If the doctor had done so, they would have immediately determined that the problem could have been diabetes. Combined with the information provided early involving a higher propensity for people in the Middle East to have diabetes, this shows the importance of conducting an examination beyond biomedicine and instead look at potential sociocultural factors that could be contributing to a particular illness.[“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]
Based on everything that has been presented so far, it can be stated that when giving a diagnosis it is important also to take into consideration possible sociocultural factors that could be influencing how particular diseases choose to manifest. Aside from consanguinity, there is also the potential for diseases to manifest due to economic hardship such as malnutrition, osteoporosis and other similar issues. Doctors should not immediately consider a diagnosis by simply looking at the symptoms shown before them.
Islam, S. M. (2014). Prevalence and Predictors of Diabetes Mellitus in Jalalabad City, Afghanistan-2013. Iranian Journal Of Diabetes & Obesity (IJDO), 6(1), 1-8.
Saeed, K., Asghar, R., Sahak, M., & Ansari, J. (2015). Prevalence and risk factors associated with diabetes mellitus among Kabul citizens-Afghanistan, 2012. International Journal Of Diabetes In Developing Countries, 35(3), 297.