Diabetes case study Essay Example

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Diabetes Case Study

For the body, especially the brain, to function properly, there has to be a certain level of sugar or glucose in the blood. However, when the level of blood sugar is too high (hyperglycemia), a condition known as diabetes occurs (Sperling, 2010). Diabetes is therefore a dysfunction of metabolism. Diabetes type 1 occurs when the body or the pancreas does not produce any insulin at all or it produces inadequate insulin. Because of this, the blood sugar level is uncontrolled and it therefore becomes very high. The second type, Type 2 Diabetes occurs when the cells of the body do not respond in the right way towards the insulin produced by the pancreas. As a result, a lot of sugar accumulates in the blood stream (Dunning, 2009).

Type 1 Diabetes is known as juvenile diabetes mainly because of the fact that it is mainly found in children, teenagers and young adults. This type is also referred to as the insulin-dependent type of diabetes. It occurs when the immune system of the body destroys the good insulin-producing cells in the pancreas (Allman, 2008). Unlike the Type 2 Diabetes, Type 1 is not in any way determined by the lifestyle of the person. Cases of diabetes are increasing all over the world (Moran & Merriman, 2004). In Australia, it is estimated that about a million people are suffering from diabetes. Most shockingly, about 45% of the one million people are not aware of the fact that they have diabetes, hence the reason why early mortality and disability is on the rise (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2011).

Since diabetes type 1 has no cure, lifelong care needs to be given to the patient. In the case of a child or teenager, such as Laura Collins, the patient and the family should be seen by health professionals (Morrone, 2010). The professionals who can give the right information on care include a diabetes specialist, a diabetes educator, a dietician and a social worker, who is also a psychologist. Though not all of them may be available, some of them are very crucial in the matter when dealing with a child or teenager (Fox & Kilvert, 2007). A diabetes specialist may be a doctor who specializes in children or teenagers with diabetes. The diabetes educator may or may not be a doctor or health practitioner, but he is someone who has specialized in diabetes training and education. At times, the doctor or specialist can also be a diabetes trainer (McKay, 2011).

A diabetes dietician is a health practitioner who has specialized in nutritional health. The dietician should give valuable information on the type of diet that the Laura should take to control diabetes and to maintain a healthier life for longer. A social worker and/or a psychologist are also very important in this. The social worker is there to help Laura’s family in social issues pertaining to her. Any stress the family or patient may go through, especially financially and socially should be handled by the social worker (Ambler et al. 2001). The psychologist will help Laura Collins and her family to deal with the psychological effects of the new development in their life. Most of the times, the social worker may also be a trained psychologist.

The government of Australia has done a lot, and is still doing much, to give support to those suffering from diabetes and those who are at a risk. The Australian National Diabetes Services Scheme, which is under the National Diabetes Strategy, has devised a method through which patients and those at risk can be reached at. The patients who register with the scheme are given extremely cheap test strips and free syringes (Tattersall, 2009).

Also, since 2004, the Scheme announced the lowering of the prices of the consumables of the insulin pump. For children who are eighteen and below, the consumables are availed to them for free. A lot of research is also being done, and new methods of measuring BSL have been introduced. For instance, Laura is one of the many who have benefited from the new method of measuring BSL using a contact lens (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2011).

Also, the internet is greatly used as a tool for managing and helping diabetes patients and families affected in Australia. There are several SMS services for the diabetes patients. Through these services, the patients are given vital information on health care (O’Donohue, 2009). In the internet, there are several sites where diabetes forums are held. Here, the patient meets with thousands of other patients and medical specialists, dieticians, social workers and psychologists who encourage and offer advice and help. This service can be of great help to Laura Collins, because it will help her meet with other adolescents who are going through the same thing as her, thus encouraging her. Here, she will also get priceless information and advice (Hanas, 2007).

The government of Australia is working on its National Diabetes Strategy to ensure that quality research is done. The main aim is to do the right prioritization, education of the public, educating patients and affected families on medication and related issues and educating the patients on how to be efficient in the society despite the prevailing condition in their life (Silink, 2004).


Allman, T. 2008. Diabetes. London: InfoBase Publishing.

Ambler G.R., Barron V., May C., Ambler E. & Cameron F. 2001. Caring for Diabetes in Children and Adolescents – A Parents Manual, 2nd Ed. London: MacMillan Publishers.

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. 2011. Diabetes Prevalence in Australia: detailed estimates. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

Dunning, T. 2009. Care of People with Diabetes: a manual of nursing practice. New York: John Wiley and Sons.

Fox, C., and Kilvert, A. 2007. Type 1 Diabetes. London: Class Publishing Ltd.

Hanas, R. 2007. Type 1 Diabetes in Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults: how to become an expert on your own diabetes. Sydney: Class Publishing Ltd.

McKay, D. 2011. Handbook of Anxiety Disorders in Children and Adolescents. New York: Springer Publishers.

Moran, K., and Merriman, L. 2004. Diabetes: the ultimate teen guide. London: Scarecrow Press.

Morrone, L. 2010. Diabetes: Are You At Risk? (1 in 3 Adults Are). Sydney: Harvest House Publishers.

O’Donohue, W. 2009. Behavioral Approaches to Chronic Disease in Adolescence: a guide to integrative care. New York: Springer Publishers.

Silink M. 2004. APEG Handbook on Childhood and Adolescent Diabetes. Australasian Paediatric Endocrine Group, 2nd Ed. London: Oxford University Press.

Sperling, M. 2010. Type 1 Diabetes: Etiology and Treatment. London: Humana Press.

Tattersall, R. 2009. Diabetes: the biography. Oxford: Oxford University Press.