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Effects of five life factors Essay

Genetic factors such as cystic fibrosis for example, are life factors which can affect the development of an individual. It can affect an individual at any age and is caused by a faulty gene that is passed from the parents to the child. The faulty gene allows too much salt and not enough water into cells and makes a build up of thick, sticky mucus in the body’s tubes. This can cause blockages in the body’s tubes and passageways, and causes damage to lungs, the digestive system, and other organs.

Case Study

Lauren, who is 14 years old, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when she was 3 months old. Her personal symptoms include coughing, wheezing and being unable to do things that she normally could do if she wasn’t ill. For example, if she was coughing a lot, then she couldn’t do any sports or dancing because it would make her more productive, which means bringing up lots of phlegm and it isn’t very nice. Sometimes it makes her sick in front of her friends, which can be embarrassing. This affects Lauren physically as she would suffer from malnutrition, which would cause her to be unhealthy as she isn’t getting the nutrition’s that she needs, and she would be tired with no energy which stops her from doing things she likes doing like sports and dancing. She would also have a low immune system which causes her to catch bugs easily so she has to be extra careful.

It affects Lauren intellectually too because due to CF making her unwell, she would be constantly in and out of hospital so she would miss a lot of school, meaning that she would miss out on learning the things that the other children are learning. Lauren is also affected emotionally by cystic fibrosis because she may feel different to everybody else, which could lead to stronger feelings such as feeling isolated from everyone else, or depression and sadness.

She can feel embarrassed at times too when other people see her when she is unwell as she can’t stop herself from being sick when she needs to be. Lastly, Lauren is affected socially as well because friendships would most likely be on a low and she wouldn’t be able to go out with her friends much because of cystic fibrosis making her unwell. She would also not be able to participate in some social groups/activities because of her condition, meaning that she misses out on things that other children don’t need to, and has her opportunities restricted.

Biological factors such as foetal alcohol syndrome for example, are life factors which can affect the development of an individual. Women who drink alcohol during pregnancy can give birth to babies with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. These disorders range from mild to severe. They can be behavioral, physical, related to learning, or all of the above. Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is a severe form of the condition. People with FAS may have problems with their vision, hearing, memory, attention span, and abilities to learn and communicate. While the defects vary from one person to another, the damage is often permanent. http://www.healthline.com/health/fetal-alcohol-syndrome#Overview1

Case Study

In 1977, Matthew was the first British baby to be diagnosed with foetal alcohol spectrum disorder. The damage to his brain in the womb means he suffers from learning difficulties, emotional problems like immaturity, and obsessive behaviour. Matthew looks like many other young men his age, although his head is small for his body, one of the many physical effects of FASD, which can also include heart, skeleton and facial abnormalities. “I can only cope with one thing at a time or it’s too overwhelming,” he says. “I can remember my family’s car number plates from the last 15 years, but not whether I locked my car door 30 seconds ago”. Just as difficult is Matthew’s social isolation. Those with FASD can’t interpret facial expressions or body language. In company, Matthew can be over-familiar with people he doesn’t know well. “I can’t relate to anyone,” he says.

“When I’m on my own, I’m dying to be with other people. But when I’m with around other people, I wish I was on my own again”. Matthew was born weighing just under 6lbs. Damage to his nervous system meant he didn’t respond to stimuli or even cry for the first year of his life. “Every one of my milestones was late,” says Matthew. “I didn’t smile until I was a year old. I was three before I sat up and four before I walked.” It was in Matthew’s late teenage years that the gulf really started to open up. As his peers forged careers and relationships, his social and intellectual limitations became more obvious. Matthew’s progress has been remarkable. He is articulate and self-aware. But he also suffers from fragmented vision in one eye and chronic short-sightedness.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/foetal-alcohol-syndrome-drink-destroyed-my-life-402017.html

Environmental factors such as damp/overcrowded housing for example, are life factors that can affect the development of an individual. Dampness includes the presence of water damage, damp stains, visible mould and condensation. Reports from housing charity Shelter have found that more than one million children in England are living in “damp, cold, infested” housing. Moreover, more than one million houses in England are considered “unfit to live in”. A survey based on the 2001 census has also found that more than half a million families in the UK live in officially overcrowded housing. These statistics have major implications. A person’s physical environment affects their health and well-being. This is especially the case for young children, who can spend 90% of their time in the home.

Studies

Some studies and reviews from the UK and elsewhere have reported an association between dampness, moisture and mould and the prevalence of respiratory symptoms among children of all ages. For example, one review found that children in homes with damp and/or mould are two and a half times more likely to have coughs or wheezes than children in “dry” homes. Another UK study found that visible mould was significantly associated with an increased risk of wheezing illness among children aged 9-11 years. A wider European study of older children also found prevalence of asthma and chronic cough was higher in damp homes. The association between moisture and cough or respiratory problems is particularly significant with regard to nocturnal symptoms and more significant still for children who have a predisposition to allergies.

A Finnish study found a significant association between eczema in preschool children and visible moisture and mould in the home, and a relationship between these environmental conditions and nausea in older children. All age groups in this study were found to visit primary care more frequently than their counterparts in dryer houses. This effects children living in these damp homes physically as it can make them very unwell more than children living in dryer homes. These symptoms include coughing, wheezing, nausea and even worse effects for children who already have allergies such as asthma.

It would affect the children emotionally too as they would be most likely on a low if their allergies or illnesses aren’t getting better because of the house they are living in. This could lead to them feeling slightly depressed or sad, and even make them have a low self-esteem as they may think that there is something wrong with them. Also, it could affect these children socially as their allergy getting worse may prevent them from going out with friends and taking part in out-door activities. http://www.communitycare.co.uk/2007/11/21/the-environmental-impact-on-children-of-poor-housing/

Socio-economic factors such as employment status for example, are life factors that can affect the development of an individual. The amount of income and social status an individual has, is linked to better health. The greater the gap between the richest and the poorest people, the greater the differences in health is. People who have a higher income and social status are usually the ones who have better health because they can afford the best treatment in health services and can afford the best products. Also they would have a better self-concept and confidence. Education links to this as if you have good qualifications you are more likely to get a good employment status. Low education levels are linked with poor health, more stress and lower self-confidence. http://www.who.int/hia/evidence/doh/en/

Case Study

Garry is 43 years old and works in a theatre as the cleaner. He has worked at the theatre for 4 years as he has been in and out of different cleaning jobs before. When Garry left school at 16 he only had 2 qualifications and he never bothered going to college. This meant that his opportunities career-wise were quite limited, so he went into cleaning to earn some money and never progressed to anything higher. Gary’s salary isn’t very much but he has to stretch his money to pay bills and look after his wife and 2 children. He has constantly been stressed with trying to sort his money out for many years, as he could have been more stable and happy if he was earning more money. Garry has a bad self-concept of himself and has no confidence at all as he thinks that he should be a better husband and father, this is because he has a low employment status and doesn’t earn as much as other men do.

Due to all the stress Garry has had throughout many years, he was diagnosed with heart disease and he and his family have been doing everything they can to make sure he is okay. Unfortunately, Garry could not afford any special treatment for his heart disease as he has never had a high-income, so his chance of being cured was quite low. This would most likely end badly, however a person who has a higher income than Garry can afford the special treatment and therefore has a better chance of surviving.

Employment status effects Garry physically as his wage is low, meaning he can’t afford special health treatment to survive things such as heart disease when people with a higher income could survive. It effects him emotionally too because he hasn’t progressed any higher than a cleaner, so he doesn’t have a good self-concept of himself, making him have feelings of depression and he has no confidence at all. He is also affected socially as he may feel intimidated to socialise with other men who are earning much more than him and who are providing extremely well for their families, so he may feel isolated and lonely as he may feel like he can’t make friends.

Lifestyle factors, such as obesity for an example, are life factors that can affect the development of an individual. Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have a negative effect on health, leading to reduced life expectancy and/or increased health problems. Obesity increases the likelihood of various diseases, particularly heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, certain types of cancer, and osteoarthritis. Obesity is most commonly caused by a combination of excessive food energy intake, lack of physical activity, and genetic susceptibility, although a few cases are caused primarily by genes, endocrine disorders, medications, or psychiatric illness. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obesity

Case Study

A 52-year-old woman with obesity and a 9year history of type 2 diabetes presents with complaints of fatigue, difficulty losing weight, and no motivation. She denies polyuria, polydipsia, polyphagia, blurred vision, or vaginal infections. She notes a marked decrease in her energy level, particularly in the afternoons. She is tearful and states that she was diagnosed with depression and prescribed an antidepressant that she chose not to take. She states that she has gained an enormous amount of weight since being placed on insulin 6 years ago. Her weight has continued to increase over the past 5 years, and she is presently at the highest weight she has ever been. She states that every time she tries to cut down on her eating she has symptoms of shakiness, diaphoresis, and increased hunger.

She does not follow any specific diet and has been so fearful of hypoglycemia that she often eats extra snacks. Her health care practitioners have repeatedly advised weight loss and exercise to improve her health status. She complains that the pain in her knees and ankles makes it difficult to do any exercise. This affects her physically as she can suffer with many different diseases because of being obese, and could be as serious as causing death. It affects her emotionally too because she may have a very low self-esteem because obesity is defined the opposite of beautiful in today’s society.

This could lead to further feelings such as depression as she may feel not good enough, and she cannot do as much physically as people who don’t have obesity which can lead to feelings such as frustration. Also, obesity can affect her socially as she may not feel confident enough to leave the house to socialise as people make fun of her, which makes it even harder to make new friends. Feelings of depression could lead to even further feelings of isolation, as she may not feel happy enough to go out and see friends, which will lead to her not leaving her home. http://journal.diabetes.org/clinicaldiabetes/V17n31999/Pg142.htm


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