Free Childhood Diabetes Research Paper Example
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One of the diseases among children with continuously increasing cases all over the world is type 1 diabetes which commonly affects children below 5 years old (Marcovecchio, et al., 2010). Childhood diabetes type I can be defined as an illness where antibodies produced by the body attack healthy cells and tissues specifically the beta cells found in the pancreas which is responsible for the production of insulin (Parslow, et al., 2001). This type of diabetes can be diagnosed among children who experience acute illness followed by excessive production of urine, excessive thirst, excessive hunger, and weight loss (Lundberg, et al., 2014).
According to Parslow, et al. (2001), the main cause of the disease has yet to be identified however, researches revealed that the factors influencing the development of type 1 diabetes among children include genetic predisposition to the disease and environmental factors. They also mentioned the possibility that the decreased contact with common infectious agents can be one of the risk factors in the development of the childhood diabetes which is a theory commonly referred to as “hygiene hypothesis”.
Childhood diabetes like the other types of diabetes can lead to further complications if not managed and controlled properly. Some of the complications that may arise from type 1 diabetes include diabetic coma or diabetic ketoacidosis, diabetic retinopathy, diabetic neuropathy, kidney failure, increased susceptibility to common infections, gastroparesis, and poor blood circulation. Diabetic ketoacidosis is a fatal complication of diabetes which arises when there is are high levels of ketones in the body caused by the digestion of fats as an alternative for sugars. Another common complication of diabetes is diabetic retinopathy which develops when the cells in the retina are damaged by because of the high levels of sugar in the blood. This is a serious complication because it can eventually lead to permanent blindness. One of the most severe consequences of having high levels of blood sugar is the damage it can bring to the nerves of the body which is a complication known as diabetic neuropathy. The common symptoms of this complication is the loss of feeling and responsiveness and control of the nerves in the body (Tropy, 2014).
One of the current methods for the treatment of diabetes type 1 is islet transplantation. According to the American Diabetes Association (2014), since the cells that are destructed in type 1 diabetes are the beta cells, the aim of islet transplantation is to replace the destroyed islet cells into healthy cells for the production of new beta cells which can produce insulin. This treatment provides lesser disturbance since the patient no longer needs to inject doses of insulin every day to prevent the worsening of the disease. However, like any other medical treatment, islet transplantation has its own downside as well. To prevent the body’s antibodies from killing the transplanted islet cells, the patient must take immunosuppressant which is not yet fully studied to have long term effects.
Another treatment method for type 1 diabetes is intensive diabetes therapy which utilizes doses of insulin every day and treatment using external insulin pump. According to Nathan, et al. (2005), intensive diabetes therapy and early treatment and intervention can help in lowering sugar levels and decreasing the possibility of developing diabetic neuropathy, retinopathy, and nephropathy. The study also revealed that continuous diabetes therapy for roughly six and a half years can result to long term reduction of the development of microvascular complications.
Thus, early intervention and risk reduction can help in alleviating the possible difficulties and complications of diabetes type 1. Also, with the current researches and development in production of functional beta cells, complete recovery is already possible in the near future.
American Diabetes Association. (2014). Islet Transplantation. Retrieved from http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/transplantation/islet-transplantation.html
Lundberg, R., Narang, P., Lippmann, S. (2014). Childhood Diabetes and Mood Disorders. Journal of Psychiatry 18(1).
Marcovecchio, M.L., Tossavainen, P.H., Dunger, D.B. (2010). Prevention and treatment of microvascular disease in childhood type 1 diabetes. Bristish Medical Bulletin 94:145-164.
Nathan, D.M., Cleary, P.A., Backlund, J.C., Genuth, S.M., Lachin, J.M., Orchard, T.J., Raskin, P., and Zinman, B. (2005). Intensive Diabetes Treatment and Cardiovascular Disease in Patients with Type 1 Diabetes. The New England Journal of Medicine 353(25):2643-2653.
Parslow, R.C., McKinney, P.A., Law, G.R., and Bodansky, H.J. (2001). Population Mixing and childhood diabetes. International Journal of Epidemiology 30:533-538.
Torpy, J.M. (2007). Type 1 Diabetes. The Journal of the American Medical Association 298(12):1472.
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