Diabetes type 1 in children

Overview

Type 1 diabetes can appear in children either as infants, toddlers, or sometimes manifests itself in the teen years. Type 1 diabetes is a situation where your child’s body can no longer naturally produce the necessary amount of insulin. Type 1 diabetes is also called juvenile diabetes. It is also called insulin-dependent diabetes because the insulin level must be maintained within a normal range; your child may need insulin injections.

All about type 1 diabetes in children

Type 1 diabetes is a life-changing disease as parents suddenly have to make many lifestyle changes to cope with the disease in their child. They must learn how to give insulin injections and how to monitor blood sugar regularly to keep the child healthy. Diabetes management is crucial in children with type 1 diabetes to provide them with a good quality of life while controlling the disease.

What Are the Causes of Type 1 Diabetes?

While research is ongoing, the exact cause of type 1 diabetes in children is still unknown. But it has been seen that in children with type 1 diabetes, the child’s immune system mistakenly destroys the insulin-producing cells. Scientists also believe that type 1 diabetes in children is also caused by genetic factors that contribute to the destruction of the insulin-producing cells.

Environmental factors, such as viruses, can also trigger this process. Several studies have found that type 1 diabetes follows viral infections such as rubella, mumps, encephalitis, measles, or polio. Type 1 diabetes in children is also sometimes caused by an injury to the pancreas.

But several studies are underway to find the exact causes of type 1 diabetes in children to prevent the disease or at least reduce its harmful side effects.

What Are the Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes?

The most common symptoms of type 1 diabetes in children are:

  • Increased urination
  • Increased appetite
  • extreme thirst
  • irritability
  • mood swings
  • lose weight without trying
  • Headache and nausea
  • Fungal infections
  • The urge to urinate in the middle of the night
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Blurry sight
  • Sudden onset of bedwetting in children

When do you go to the doctor?

Children always cannot express their problems. That is why it is very important to monitor them properly. If you notice any of the above signs and symptoms, you should see a doctor immediately, as diabetes can lead to serious organ damage if left unchecked for many days.

What are the risk factors for type 1 diabetes?

The risk of getting type 1 diabetes increases:

  • If there’s a family history of the disease or if parents or siblings have a history of type 1 diabetes, there’s a chance your child will get it too.
  • Certain genetic factors are also responsible for increasing the risk of developing type 1 diabetes in children.
  • Age is a major risk factor in developing type 1 diabetes. Although type 1 diabetes can develop at any age, it is common in children of both age groups. One is between the 4 to 7 age group, and the other is the 10 to 14 age group.

What are the treatment options for type 1 diabetes in children?

Because children can’t be expected to be that aware, you should be extra careful about your child’s diabetes and check their sugar levels regularly. You should also consult a doctor if and when needed. The treatment options for type 1 diabetes in children are:

  • Take insulin, There are different types of insulin on the market, such as rapid-acting insulin, short-acting insulin, long- and ultra-long-acting insulin, and also intermediate-acting insulin. Your child’s doctor will decide which insulin is best for your child and prescribe it accordingly.
  • Regular monitoring of blood sugar levels, There are many blood sugar monitoring devices readily available in the market. The more regularly you test the sugar levels, the safer your child will be.
  • A healthy diet. You must include a healthy diet for your child to maintain healthy sugar levels. Your child’s diet should be high in nutritious foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains. A dietitian can help you follow a nutrition chart based on the number of carbohydrates in food.
  • Regular exercise. Motivate your child to move more. Children suffering from type 1 diabetes should be physically active to prevent obesity. With each new activity, you should monitor your child’s blood sugar even more closely.

What Are the Complications of Type 1 Diabetes?

If type 1 diabetes is left untreated for a long time, it can lead to damage to various organs, such as the heart, eyes and kidneys, as well as nerves and blood vessels. Therefore, it is important to monitor blood sugar levels regularly to prevent various complications of type 1 diabetes in children.

  • Excess sugar buildup can lead to diabetic neuropathy or nerve damage. This can cause a tingling sensation, especially in the legs. The tingling sensation gradually increases to numbness, pain and burning sensation. If blood sugar levels are not checked in a timely manner, this can lead to loss of feeling in your child’s extremities.
  • Type 1 diabetes is a leading cause of cardiovascular problems if left undiagnosed and untreated. It can even lead to heart attack, narrowing of the arteries, angina and high blood pressure in children.
  • Diabetes can seriously affect the kidneys. Children diagnosed with type 1 diabetes can develop kidney disease if sugar levels are not controlled from the start. Diabetes can lead to kidney damage (nephropathy) or irreversible kidney disease, which may require dialysis or a kidney transplant.
  • Type 1 diabetes in children can lead to diabetic retinopathy, which can cause blindness. If diabetes is not controlled, it can also lead to glaucoma and cataracts.
  • Nerve damage or obstruction of blood flow to the feet is a common complication of type 1 diabetes. Failure to control your child’s sugar levels can lead to serious side effects. Even minor cuts can become serious infections leading to limb amputations.
  • Type 1 diabetes can make children more susceptible to mouth and skin infections. Bacterial and viral infections associated with dry mouth are common complications.
  • Type 1 diabetes in your child can lead to osteoporosis. Diabetes reduces the normal bone mineral density, leading to various bone-related problems as the child matures.

What are the preventive measures for type 1 diabetes?

Scientists are working on ways to prevent the disease. There are no proven methods to prevent the disease, but that won’t stop your child’s life from being normal; , Type 1 diabetes can be controlled if not cured. Therefore, you should check your child’s blood sugar regularly, eat a healthy diet and avoid sugary and starchy foods. Please don’t panic. Let your child go through life carefree. Do not force a strict regimen on your child, which will make him or her feel depressed or anxious.

Conclusion

Give your children a stress-free life so that they can cope with a disease like diabetes. Good and timely monitoring can give your child a normal and healthy life despite type 1 diabetes.

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