What Type 1 Diabetes? Essay

What Type 1 Diabetes? Essay

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When a child is diagnosed with a chronic illness such as type 1 diabetes, it does not only affect the child, but the entire family. The family may feel overwhelmed by a number of emotions in the beginning such as shock, sadness, anger, guilt and helplessness followed by stress as a result of dealing with the demands involved with managing type 1 diabetes. These demands include blood glucose monitoring and insulin injections at least four times a day, balancing medication, food and physical activity, planning meals and outings as well as recognizing signs for high and low blood glucose. Since the child can not initially take care of these demands on their own, it is the responsibility of the care giver to manage their child’s diabetes along with other family demands. During this time the family needs support, assistance and education from the nurse to adapt to the new diagnosis and lifestyle changes.
First and foremost, the nurse should educate the family on what type 1 diabetes is. The cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown and it is not preventable. According to the Canadian Diabetes Association (2016), type 1 diabetes is a chronic illness in which the pancreas produces little to no insulin. Insulin is a hormone in the body that regulates blood glucose levels. Without insulin, glucose builds up in the blood instead of being used for energy which causes an elevation in blood glucose levels, known as hyperglycemia. Daily insulin injections are required to treat hyperglycemia, which if left untreated or undertreated can cause serious complications later in life such as heart disease, renal failure, retinopathy, neuropathy, limb amputation and can even affect cognitive function. Hypoglycemia, which is low blood sugar, is als...


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...ng for the child with type 1 diabetes (Symons, Crawford, Isaac & Thompson, 2015). The nurse should acknowledge these feelings and provide information and advice on management of the diabetes in order to reduce the stress put on the family. The nurse should also re-evaluate the family’s stress and how they are coping during each appointment.
When a child is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, it can be a difficult time for the family to adjust to their new situation. The nurse’s role is essential to the family during this time. Primarily, the nurse may be involved in determining the child’s initial diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. Once the diagnosis has occurred, the nurse plays a very important role for the family by supporting, educating, answering questions, dealing with concerns and helping to reduce the stress the family may have regarding their child’s illness.

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