About Diabetes Mellitis, The Pancreas And Endocrine System In Kids

Part 3 Of a Specifically Designed Education Course

Please find best information about diabetes mellitus. Part of my completing a City and Guilds in Further Education, I had to design and teach a specific subject. As my son has been insulin dependent diabetic since he was 18 months old, I felt empowered to design a course on this. I truly understand the difficulties that diabetes can have on the child and family around him, This is the result. This is being published in various parts as each has its own issues to contend with. This is part 3, parts 1 and 2 can be viewed separately. I hope you might get something out of it. I know that I did!

The Pancreas - Its Role in Digestion & Absorption

The pancreas is a cream coloured gland situated below the stomach. It produces an alkaline juice, together with bile from the liver, which pours into the duodenum, aiding the digestion and absorption process.

This pancreatic juice contains water, sodium hydrogencarbonate and three principal enzymes – an amylase, a lipase and typsinogen. These enzymes act on starch, fats and proteins. Sodium hydrogencarbonate helps to neutralise the acid from the stomach to create a suitable pH environment for pancreatic and intestinal enzymes. The enzyme typsinogen (trypsin) is activated by the chemical ‘enterokinase’ secreted by the intestinal mucosa.

Pancreatic secretion takes place when the acid contents of the stomach reach the duodenum. This sets off the production of two hormones – secretin and pancreozymin. Secretin stimulates the production of the pancreatic fluid.

The Pancreas and the Endocrine System

Endocrine glands (i.e. pituitary, thyroid, adrenal, pancreas, ovary/testis) produce hormones. These chemicals enter the blood stream and are circulated through out the body. Their effects help to control body changes like rate of growth, rate of activity and sexual maturity. Once passed through the liver, the hormones are converted into inactive compounds and then are excreted by the kidneys.

The pancreas contains endocrine cells, which control the use of sugar in the body. These are beta cells situated in the ‘islet of langerhan’ (see fig 1.1). These beta cells secrete the hormone insulin into the blood stream. There are only about a dozen of islets contained within the pancreas. When these die or do not function adequately, diabetes results.

.

The Pancreas and the Endocrine System

Endocrine glands (i.e. pituitary, thyroid, adrenal, pancreas, ovary/testis) produce hormones. These chemicals enter the blood stream and are circulated throughout the body. Their effects help to control body changes like rate of growth, rate of activity and sexual maturity. Once passed through the liver, the hormones are converted into inactive compounds and then are excreted by the kidneys.

The pancreas contains endocrine cells, which control the use of sugar in the body. These are beta cells situated in the ‘islet of langerhan’ (see fig 1.1). These beta cells secrete the hormone insulin into the blood stream. There are only about a dozen of islets contained within the pancreas. When these die or do not function adequately, diabetes results.

The Pancreas

In people with diabetes, the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or the insulin produced does not work properly
In people with diabetes, the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or the insulin produced does not work properly

Pancreatic Cells

Islet of Langerhan with beta cells secreting insulin into the bloodstream.
Islet of Langerhan with beta cells secreting insulin into the bloodstream.

Complications of Long Term Diabetes

  • Diabetic Retinopathy – Damage to the retina (perceived structural tissue to the eye) resulting in decreased vision and possibly blindness.  The retina, a thin walled structure that lines the back of the eye, contain the special light and colour sensing cells which allow us the ability to see. The retina is composed of tiny blood vessels, arteries and veins. The vessel walls can be weakened and can leak fluid and blood into the retina, which result in the destruction of certain portions of the retina. This can also lead to retinal detachment.

Note – After 15 years, approximately two thirds of diabetic patients will have retinal changes secondary to their disease. After 30 years the statistics rise to 90 percent.

  • Kidney Disease – The long-term effects of diabetes can result in a steady decline in kidney function, or overt kidney failure.
  • Stroke – Diabetics have an increased risk of stroke.
  • Heart Disease – Increased risk of myocardial infarction (heart attack).
  • Peripheral Vascular Disease – This is the progressive narrowing of the arteries, mostly of the lower extremities, which at worst can result in gangrene. This is due to a progressive lack of oxygenated rich blood to tissues and cells.
  • Poor Wound Healing and Skin Ulcers – (foot problems are common).
  • Decreased Immunity to Infection – Effects the auto immune system.
  • Peripheral Neuropathy – Damage to the peripheral nerves and altered sensation. Patients may complain of numbness, tingling, and/or burning pain to the extremities, hands and feet.
  • High Risk Pregnancy in Female Diabetics
  • Impotency in Male Diabetics.

Much of the long term effects of diabetes is due to

POOR BLOOD CIRCULATION

A cure? Yes. These islet cells have been transplanted in 14 patients with type one diabetes recently. Although they have to take strong anti rejection drugs, they are essentially cured. There is now hope that one-day diabetes will be a thing of the past.

It is time for questions and answers….please complete the enclosed questionnaire…..

Questionnaire

The Pancreas and the Endocrine System

  • Name the endocrine glands.
  • _____________________
  • _____________________
  • _____________________
  • _____________________
  • ___________/__________
  • The effects of the hormones these glands produce help to control body changes. What are these body changes?
  • __________________________
  • __________________________
  • __________________________
  • What happens to these hormones once passed through the liver?
  • ______________________________________________
  • What organ excretes these ‘changed’ hormones?
  • ______________________________________________
  • The pancreas contains endocrine cells. These help to control the use of sugar in the body. What is the name of these cells?
  • _______ _______
  • Where are they situated?
  • _____ __ _______
  • What is the hormone secreted into the blood stream?
  • ___________
  • What is the resulting condition people suffer with when the above hormone production diminishes?
  • ___________

Long Term Complications

  • Why do you think male diabetics suffer impotency?

a. poor blood circulation

b. lack of glucose to the brain

c. depression

  • Long term use of insulin, other than that manufactured by your own pancreas, can damage nerves giving patients feelings of what to their extremities (particularly hands and feet)?

_________________, __________, _________________

  • What is the medical condition described as?

_____________ _____________

  • Over a long term, diabetics may suffer a decline in kidney function and may suffer kidney failure. What is the general term for this condition?

___________ __________

  • Retinal detachment, blurred, decreased vision and possible blindness is common with those who suffer the effects of long term diabetes. What is the term for this condition?

___________ ___________

  • Due to problems with blood circulation and the progressive narrowing of the blood vessels, in relation to the brain, what condition are diabetics at risk with when such vessels weaken and burst?

_____________

  • Diabetics have to look after themselves, particularly their lower extremities. They may suffer with ulcers, spots and gangrene as a result of a lack of oxygenated rich blood to tissues and cells. What is the term for this disease?

__________ _________ _________

  • As a further result of the above, diabetics suffer poor wound healing and skin ulcers. Where on their body do you think they are most vulnerable to these?

___________

  • Myocardial infarction is a product of heart disease. What is the general term for myocardial infarction?

___________

  • When diabetics get ill or are infected with germs and bugs, why do they take longer to recover?

______________________________________________

  • What are female diabetics at high risk of during their fertile period of life?

_______________

Thank you for completing this questionnaire.

This work is covered under Creative Commons License

Diabetes Awareness in Children and Young People - Part 1 – 3 Type 1 Insulin Dependent, Diabetes Mellitus

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Part 1 – 3 Of a Specifically Designed Education Course

Part of my completing a City and Guilds in Further Education, I had to design and teach a specific subject. As my son has been insulin dependent diabetic since he was 18 months old, I felt empowered to design a course on this. I truly understand the difficulties that diabetes can have on the child and family around him. This is the result. This is being published in various parts as each has its own issues to contend with. I hope you might get something out of it. I know that I did!

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