Diabetes In Kids | Type 1 Diabetes Symptoms & Causes | Diabetes Test
Diabetes in Kids is on the rise – Type 1 Diabetes. More kids are being diagnosed with diabetes now.
Diabetes occurs when the body is unable to produce or respond to insulin, the hormone that is produced by the pancreas and is needed to convert glucose – sugar into energy. In type 1, the immune system destroys the cells that make insulin, causing insulin production to cease
What Is Type 1 Diabetes in Kids?
Diabetes happens when someone’s body does not have enough insulin. Say for example; a car needs fuel to give it the energy to keep working. Our bodies need fuel to give them the energy to keep working. We get the fuel from our food.
Carbohydrates in food get changed into glucose, the main energy that our bodies use. This change happens in our gut and in our liver.
Enzymes help this change; they are not the same enzymes as the ones in washing powder. These enzymes come from several different parts of our body including the pancreas.
The glucose travels around our bodies inside blood vessels but it cannot be used as energy until it gets into our body cells.
Insulin is the key that lets the glucose go through the cell wall into our cells. Insulin is a hormone.
If there is not enough insulin there can be a lot of glucose travelling around in the blood, but the cells do not have enough energy to work well, which makes people sick.
Types Of Diabetes In Kids
There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2.
- Children and young people usually get type 1, sometimes called ‘juvenile diabetes’ means s a word that means child or young person.
- People who get diabetes when they are older usually get type 2 diabetes. But more young people are getting Type 2 diabetes because they are overweight or obese.
Diabetes In Kids – Symptoms
Diabetes in kids symptoms seem to develop suddenly: something triggers the development of insulin in the body so glucose levels are still normal.
Over time, a decreasing amount of insulin is made in the body, but that can take years. When there’s no more insulin in the body, blood glucose levels rise quickly, and these symptoms can rapidly develop:
- Extreme weakness and/or tiredness
- Extreme thirst—dehydration
- Increased urination
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Blurry vision
- Wounds that don’t heal well
- Irritability or quick mood changes
- Changes to or loss of menstruation
There are also signs of type 1 diabetes. Signs are different from symptoms in that they can be measured objectively; symptoms are experienced and reported by the patient.
The signs of type 1 diabetes include:
- Weight loss—despite eating more
- Rapid heart rate
- Reduced blood pressure (falling below 90/60)
- Low body temperature (below 97º F)
Causes Of Diabetes In Children
Type 1 diabetes happens when the ‘islet’ cells in the pancreas are damaged and they don’t make enough insulin.
The reasons behind why children are affected with type 1 diabetes is complicated.
- Partly it is due to the genes that the child got from his parents.
- Then maybe the child gets an infection caused by a virus.
- For a few people this infection triggers the body’s immune system so that instead of attacking only germs, the immune system starts to attack normal, healthy body cells such as the ones that make insulin.
Even though a viral infection triggers the damage, you can’t ‘catch’ diabetes and most children who have this infection do not get diabetes.
Treating Type I Diabetes In Kids
Type 1 diabetes accounts for almost all diabetes in children younger than 10, and it is also on the rise in children and adolescents. Formerly called juvenile diabetes, type 1 occurs when the body’s immune system destroys the insulin-making cells in the pancreas. Researchers are still investigating the causes of diabetes.
For children with type 1 diabetes, multiple injections of insulin are needed every day to keep the blood sugar in check.
Treatment is individualized to the child and the spikes of high or low blood sugar need to be minimized. It’s a balancing act to lower the blood sugar but not get it too low, which could make the child feel shaky or pass out.
A common misconception is that kids with diabetes can’t eat anything with sugar, including things like birthday cake, cookies, and ice cream. The truth is that kids can eat these foods in moderation; they just need to carefully plan what else they eat that day, and adjust insulin doses accordingly. A healthy meal plan for a child with diabetes is actually the same for a child without diabetes.
Kids can also play sports and take part in physical activities just like other children. Once again, you just need to plan first talking with their doctor, and then learning the routine of glucose testing, planned eating, and insulin, that works best for them.
Of course children, can’t, and shouldn’t, be dealing with their diabetes alone. Diabetes affects the whole family, and it’s very important that all members of the family take an active role in your child’s diabetes. “One of the most important things parents can do to help their child with their diabetes is to continue to stay involved with day to day management tasks and find ways to work together as a team with your child.
Stay tuned for FitaCon’s next event which focuses on health, nutrition, and fitness for kids.
FitaCon upcoming event focuses on ” Health, Nutrition and Fitness For Kids” hence it will be the best of amalgamation of doctors and certified professionals from respective arena offering various tips, guidance and suggestions on health, nutrition and fitness for kids.
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