This report will aim to look at diabetes, its causes, symptoms and treatment in children. Commonly thought of as a mild' condition, the seriousness of diabetes is often not recognized; therefore this report shall attempt to illustrate the potential risks involved, whilst raising awareness of the condition. The digestion of starchy foods, sugar and other sweet foods all produce glucose, as well as the liver which produces glucose naturally. Diabetes mellitus is a condition in which the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood is too high because the body cannot use it properly'. This occurs when the insulin produced by the pancreas is not sufficient to allow the glucose to enter the cells to be used as fuel. Without insulin this process cannot take place proving fatal.
[...] The main aim of treatment for diabetes is to sustain levels of blood glucose and blood pressure as near to normal as possible (www.diabetes.org.uk) so that the body can use it properly as fuel in the cells. Aims of treatment in children are in two main directions. Firstly, the child must be relieved of symptoms, and be able to lead a full and happy life at home and school. The second aim of treatment is to safeguard the future and to reduce the risks of ill health in later life (Bloom 1975:101). [...]
[...] Diabetes is the most common endocrine disorder of childhood and is a life long chronic condition (Court and Lamb 1997:106). Normally, cells in the pancreas secrete hormones necessary for energy production, regulating blood glucose. Insulin, produced in beta cells, ‘lowers blood sugar by allowing glucose to move from blood to the cells' (Phillips 2000:7). When the beta cells have been destroyed for one reason or another diabetes results (www.diabetes.org.uk). most likely cause is abnormal reaction of the body to the cells' (www.diabetes.org.uk), which be triggered by a viral or other infection' (www.diabetes.org.uk). [...]
[...] In investigating diabetes, it is certainly clear that although a common condition, generally not a lot is actually known about it, especially in relation to the severity and complications that can arise. It is important for all those working with children, for example nursery workers and teachers, to hold an understanding of diabetes, what it entails and how to alleviate any problems which arise so that the child be treated correctly without being ‘left out' from his/her peers' activities and to enjoy an as ‘normal life' as possible. Marx re BIBLIOGRAPHICAL REFERENCES Bloom, Dr. Arnold., (1975) Diabetes Explained, Lancaster, UK: Medical and Technical [...]
[...] This said it does occur equally in boys and girls, but is 20 times more likely if already present in family history (Bloom 1975). It has also been found ‘that the incidence of diabetes in childhood is increasing and the onset is occurring at a younger age' (Court and Bloom 1997:106), so a better understanding of the condition should be held by professionals and families alike, in order to notice any signs to keep it under control. Although diabetes can be effectively treated there is still yet to be a cure (www.diabetes.org.uk). [...]
[...] Up to now the main focus of this report has been upon the child, but as any childhood condition shows, the family is as important, deserving time and support themselves. This is shown as ‘Diabetes in a child is more than a disease, it is a way of life. It involves the whole family and all those outside the family who are caring for the child' (Craig 1982:5). Diabetes is for life, and those in contact with the child need to be aware of any potential problems, however ‘There is no getting away from the fact that the control of a diabetic child may be very difficult and that the best of parents will at times feel self-doubt' (Craig 1982:5). [...]
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