Diabetes Mellitus Type 1

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Essay: Diabetes Mellitus Type 1

In today’s society, there are a number of chronic diseases and illnesses that affect the health and wellbeing of Australian’s each year. Diabetes Mellitus along with its complications create a significant impact on Australia’s health status as a whole (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2010). Diabetes Mellitus has proven to be one of the contributing factors to other causes of morbidity and mortality, resulting in being named one of Australia’s National Health Priority Areas in 1996 (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2010). Diabetes Mellitus can be referred to as a chronic disease found in humans, identified by glucose intolerance (King et al. 2007). There are two main forms of the disease, type 1; insulin dependent diabetes mellitus and type 2; non-insulin dependant diabetes mellitus (King et al. 2007). A 14 year old girl by the name of Molly Manning has recently been admitted to hospital with a newly diagnosed diabetes mellitus type 1. Although Molly is not experiencing any signs of diabetic ketoacidosis, she has presented with symptoms of; polyuria, polydipsia and polyphagia. The following essay will outline the normal control of blood glucose, the pathophysiology of how diabetes mellitus type one disrupts the normal process, and common presenting symptoms of an individual who has recently been diagnosed with the illness. As well as providing a rationale of the nursing care requirements in regards to molly’s case, while paying close attention to the five components of diabetes management.

Blood glucose levels can be referred to as the amount of glucose found in the bloodstream, often between 3-6 millimoles/liter (mmol/L) (The Oxford Dictionary of Sports Science & Medicine 2007). The normal control of an individuals blood glucose levels follow the digestion process, after an individual has eaten a meal (Marieb & Hoehn 2007). In a healthy person, blood glucose levels may rise following the digestion of a meal, as a result of nutrient molecules being absorbed and used (Wallymahmed 2007). When blood glucose levels are high, the Beta cells in the pancreas release insulin, stimulating most body cells to increase their levels of glucose uptake from the blood (Marieb & Hoehn 2007). The amount of glucose used as an energy source increases, allowing glucose to be stored in the liver as glycogen, reducing blood glucose levels back to a normal range (Marieb & Hoehn 2007). Blood glucose levels may fall below the normal limits, when the nutrients from a previous meal are no longer being absorbed into the blood (Wallymahmed 2007). During a period of fasting when an individual does not eat, or following the absorption stage, insulin levels are low, along with a declining amount of blood glucose (Wallymahmed 2007). The alpha cells in the pancreas react, through the secretion of glucagon (Wallymahmed 2007). Consequently this stimulates the breakdown of the stored glycogen back into glucose, and releasing it into the blood (Wallymahmed 2007). As a result the blood glucose levels increase back within the normal range (Marieb & Hoehn 2007).

Diabetes mellitus type 1 disrupts the normal control of blood glucose levels through the destruction of insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas (Farrell & Dempsey 2011). After an individual with diabetes mellitus type one digests a meal, glucose is unable to enter most tissue cells in the body, resulting in elevated blood glucose levels (Marieb & Hoehn 2007). As blood glucose levels rise and glucagon is unable to be released, hyperglycemia is likely to occur (Marieb & Hoehn 2007). Excessive hyperglycemia can cause an individual to feel nauseated (Marieb & Hoehn 2007). If left untreated, hyperglycemia can worsen causing confusion, clumsiness, or even fainting. Severe cases can lead to seizures, coma and even death (Marieb & Hoehn 2007). During a hyperglycemic episode, in the absence of insulin, the body’s cells are unable to transform glucose...
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