Diabetes Case Study - NUR 427


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Diabetes Case Study - NUR 427

The case study approach is an effective tool for nurses to use critical thinking skills to shape an individual based care plan and reaffirm educational goals for patients. A successful case study addresses the signs and symptoms of a disease process, its effects on the body, challenges in managing care, and useful tools for measuring educational goals.

According to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse website (2007), there was an estimated 23.6 million people with diabetes in the Untied States in 2007. This was approximately 7.8% of the population. In 2006, diabetes was also the 7th leading cause of death in the nation. These numbers indicate there is a vast need for education on prevention and treatment of this growing disease.

Diabetes Case Study

The focus of this case study is Charles D. He is a 45-year-old male with signs and symptoms of diabetes. He is newly divorced and is living by himself in a new home. He reports weight loss, excessive thirst, and frequent urination. Charles has a busy schedule and does not have time to worry about himself.

Charles D. is presenting with typical signs and symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus. This type of diabetes usually takes place prior to turning thirty, but it may occur at any age. This diabetic will lose weight and will depend on insulin and managing diet to maintain charge of this condition. Type 1 is considered an autoimmune disease that may be related to human leukocyte antigens DR 3 and 4. It may also be related to particular viruses (Hoffman, 2004).

Diabetes Case Study

Diabetes is the result of insulin deficiency. Insulin is needed to carry glucose out of the vascular space over to the cell. Since there is no insulin, the glucose just builds up in the blood. At this point, the cells are starving so they start breaking down protein and fat for energy. When fat is broken down, ketones are formed, and the person goes into metabolic acidosis (Dubé, Joanisse, Prud'homme, Lemieux, Bouchard, Pérusse, et al., 2006).

According to Taplin and Barker (2008) assessment of the person with diabetes usually includes: fatigue, polyuria in relation with hyperglycemia, nocturia, dry mucous membranes, polydipsia, poor skin elasticity, weight loss, blurred vision, and polyphagia. Polyuria usually accompanies weight loss as seen in Charles D.

Palta and LeCaire (2009) state that there are several potential effects of diabetes on the body as a chronic process; vascular problems, neuropathy, and increased risk for infection. The number one complication is vascular problems. The first problem with chronic processes is diabetic retinopathy, which leads to blindness. Nephropathy will follow suit and cause kidney damage. Diabetes is the leading cause of end-stage kidney disease and renal failure. Usually these problems start with the eyes and proceeds down to the toes. Poor circulation develops as a result of vessel damage. The accumulation of sugar in the blood decreases the size of the vessel lumen; therefore it decreases blood flow, and eventually causes cardiovascular disease.

The next problem is neuropathy. Diabetics will have neuropathy because sugar kills nerves. Neuropathy leads to an array of problems. Sexual dysfunctions will occur due to decreased sensation, and impotence may be likely. Foot and leg complications will arise such as pain, parasthesia, and numbness caused by neuropathy (Wilkin, 2008).

Lastly, chronic diabetics tend to have an increased risk of infection. This patient’s blood is full of sugar particles, and bacteria multiply when sugar is present. This can cause delayed wound healing related to the compromise in vessel integrity (Palta & LeCaire, 2009).

End of Diabetes Case Study

References for Diabetes Case Study

Dubé, M., Joanisse, D., Prud'homme, D., Lemieux, S., Bouchard, C., Pérusse, L., et al. (2006). Muscle adiposity and body fat distribution in type 1 and type 2 diabetes: varying relationships according to diabetes type.

InternationalJournal Of Obesity (2005), 30(12), 1721-1728. Retrieved from MEDLINE with Full Text database.

Hoffman, R. (2004). Practical management of type 1 diabetes mellitus in adolescent patients: challenges and goals. Treatments In Endocrinology, 3(1), 27-39. Retrieved from MEDLINE with Full Text database.

National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse. (2007). Diabetes statistics. Retrieved from http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/statistics/#allages

Palta, M., & LeCaire, T. (2009). Managing type 1 diabetes: trends and outcomes over 20 years in the Wisconsin Diabetes Registry cohort. WMJ: Official Publication Of The State Medical Society Of Wisconsin, 108(5), 231-235. Retrieved from MEDLINE with Full Text database.

Taplin, C., & Barker, J. (2008). Autoantibodies in type 1 diabetes. Autoimmunity, 41(1), 11-18. Retrieved from MEDLINE with Full Text database.

Wilkin, T. (2008). Diabetes: 1 and 2, or one and the same? Progress with the accelerator hypothesis. Pediatric Diabetes, 9(3 Pt 2), 23-32. Retrieved from MEDLINE with Full Text database.

Diabetes Case Study

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