Case study: Carol is 17 years old and was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 7 years. Carol has had a recent hospital admission for dehydration and high blood glucose. During the admission Carol was found to be 6 weeks pregnant. Prior to the admission she had been experiencing weight loss and changes in mood.
Following Carol’s diagnosis, she would have been made aware of the pathophysiology of type 1 diabetes. Carol would have had explained the role of the immune system in the destruction of beta cells and development of type 1 diabetes. Following Carol’s recent hospital admission, she would have been informed of how the destruction of beta cells affects glucose regulation in the blood which would have brought on her recent admission. This is due to her beta cells being destroyed by the natural immune system, consequently destroying the production of insulin, therefore taking away her energy which we require each day, causing dehydration and high blood glucose.
Type 1 diabetes develops when the beta-cells are killed off by the immune system. This is because an inflammation is caused which the immune system fights off, ultimately destroying all/majority of beta cells. The role of the beta cells is to produce insulin within the pancreas. The beta cells are signalled when to release insulin’s to certain parts of the body. A person with type 1 diabetes is likely to have lost 70-80%1 of their beta-cells mass which is why they must manually inject insulin into themselves to maintain a healthy blood glucose level. When the blood glucose level falls (hypoglycaemia) you begin to lose energy.
The beta cells affect a person’s glucose regulations within the blood. This is because the beta cells are in charge of sending insulin around the body when signalled to do so. Once these signals are sent this insulin is released and raises a person’s glucose levels. It’s important the beta cells work and this insulin is released so that the body has access to this chemical when needed. People with Diabetes will struggle to naturally produce insulin due to autoimmunity (where the beta cells are destroyed by the immune system). Initially, this means having to maintain your blood glucose levels by injecting or eating sugary foods if your blood sugar levels drop.
When there are small amounts of insulin in the body and the levels drop, this leads to increased urine and blood glucose levels. Ways in which you can monitor your insulin levels is by being particularly cautious of the common symptoms associated with type 1 diabetes. When the brain is deprived of glucose the following symptoms begin to occur, these include urinating often, increased hunger and in Carol’s case weight loss and thirst.
The lack of blood glucose control can cause the experiencing of various signs and symptoms. In Carol’s case, these may have occurred either soon beforehand or throughout her hospital admission. The signs and symptoms which come along with lack of blood glucose control are...