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

Updated on August 29, 2011

Part 1 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!

Hand Out to Part One

This hand out consists of the information needed to complete this part of the course. At the end you should be able to:

· State what diabetes is.

· Identify the signs and symptoms of hyperglycaemia

· Identify why people get diabetes

· Start to become aware of what happens to the body on the onset of diabetes

It maybe useful to remind yourself of the course aim:

‘To have an awareness of type one diabetes mellitus, in children and young people, its effects on the sufferer and treatment, thereof. Furthermore, the wider implications of their diabetes on others.’

What is diabetes?

There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes mellitus and Type 2, later onset diabetes. This course concentrates on type 1 diabetes mellitus or insulin dependant diabetes. Another name for this is juvenile diabetes. This condition means that in order to sustain life the sufferer has to inject insulin. Type 1 diabetes Mellitus is a chronic disease, which means it is a disease of long duration. In this case as there is no working cure presently, this means that the sufferer has this condition for life.

The hormone insulin is produced from the Pancreas’s islet cells. This hormone unlocks the door to cells in order to help store energy in the cells of the body. You might think of it as insulin is the key, the body’s cells are the doors and the glucose, which has been generated from food eaten, the fuel. When insulin is not there, therefore, those doors cannot be opened so the sugar that has been processed by the body’s digestive system swims around the blood, essentially poisoning the body. This poisoning is called ketones. The medical condition is known as ketoneacidosis. Some of these acids spill out into the urine. If this is not treated with insulin it leads to coma and death and termed hyperglycaemia.

My Son - If we can do it, so can you!

He was 18 months old when he developed Type 1 Diabetes - Now he is 14! There is hope! Life goes on!
He was 18 months old when he developed Type 1 Diabetes - Now he is 14! There is hope! Life goes on!

Signs and Symptoms of Hyperglycaemia

· Constant thirst

· Going to the toilet to urinate a lot more than is considered normal (typically night time urination and drinking)

· Possible appearance of spots

· Weight loss

· Weakness/fatigue

· Increased hunger

These are normally the first indications that someone has diabetes and in need of a simple blood and/or urine test.

Hyperglycaemia onset with an established diabetic can happen because he/she has eaten too much sugar in comparison to the amount of insulin administered or is ill. Illness complicates the diabetes because it may make the blood sugar plunge prior to illness onset, then plummet once the illness is more established. Insulin requirements are higher in times of illness.

Why Do People Get Type 1 Diabetes?

Although there are lots of studies as to why people get diabetes, there does not seem to be an exclusive answer to this. Frankly, it is not known. There is some evidence to suggest that people who are more at risk tend to have diabetes in their families. Therefore, it is thought as hereditary possibly triggered by illness. Diabetes affects the autoimmune deficiency system, which makes it harder for them to get over illness and infections. The immune system is damaged by the onset of diabetes. Furthermore, there is some research in progress on diabetes onset linked to environmental issues like phosphates in our water.

How Would I Know If I Had Diabetes?

As explained in our hyperglycaemia section, there is a simple blood and urine test that all diabetics use on a daily basis when they monitor their blood sugars (i.e. the amount of sugar swimming around the blood stream at any given time). The normal range for blood glucose levels is between 4 and 7. If you are above 10, for instance, you may have diabetes, especially if accompanied with the symptoms of hyperglycaemia. Your doctor can perform this and check your urine with ketone sticks. If you suspect you have diabetes, seek medical advise.

Now a challenge for you…….

The next part (2) is to complete an activity. Good Luck!

This work is covered under Creative Commons License

CHECK OUT THE OTHER PARTS TO THIS COURSE ..........

Diabetes Awareness in Children and Young People - Part 1 – 3 Type 1 Insulin Dependent, 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. I hope you might get something out of it. I know that I did!

How to Inject Insulin

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Comments

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    • shazwellyn profile imageAUTHOR

      shazwellyn 

      7 years ago from Great Britain

      Thanks happyboomernurse - I believe in trying to help others from my own situations. I know you believe in this too. Thanks for reading and sharing your love.

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 

      7 years ago from South Carolina

      Hi Shazwellyn,

      I linked to this hub through the comment you made on The Isle of Langerhans piece and I'm so glad I did.

      This hub is very comprehensive and well researched and I hope many parents, nurses and student nurses get to read it. I also like the way you personalized it by sharing some of your son's story. That does inspire hope!

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