Diabetes

Fighting Diabetes in Children

Diabetes in Children
Diabetes in Children

The last 30 years have seen an alarming increase in reported cases of diabetes in children.

Type 1 diabetes is the usual common form of diabetes in children. About 90 – 95 per cent of children with diabetes suffer from this. It’s caused by the inability of the pancreas to produceinsulin.

An autoimmune disease, a condition in which the bodys immunesystem destroys one of its tissues or organ, type 1 diabetes attacks the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.

However, recently type 2 diabetes has been diagnosed in 8 – 45 per cent of the children with diabetes. It is caused by insulin deficiency due to other reasons, or resistance to the action of insulin in the body’s cells – especially in muscle, fat, and liver cells.

Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes

Weight loss

• Thirst

• Frequent urination

• Stomach pain

Headache

• Behavioral problems

• Presence of ketones on diagnosis, with about 35 per cent indicating ketoacidosis, severe out-of-control diabetes requiring emergency treatment

• destruction of the insulin-producing cells, leading to the intake of exogenous insulin

• Continued risk of ketoacidosis

Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes

The symptoms are so mild in the early stages that they often go unnoticed.

• Obesity with little 

• Presence of sugar in the urine but no ketones

• Diagnosis of ketoacidosis

• Increased thirst

• Frequent urination

• Tiredness

• Dark shiny patches on the skin, especially between the fingers, toes, and on the back of the neck

• Itchiness, especially around the genitals

• Strong family history of diabetes

• At least one parent with diabetes

• Disorders causing insulin resistance

diabetes in children

Living with diabetes causes considerable strain and requires patience. When it comes to kids’ diabetes, parents need to pay great attention. Children often have problems with diet restrictions, activity levels, and compliance with instructions.

An understanding of the different aspects of diabetes and its treatment will benefit your child and family life.

Most diabetic children require insulin treatment. Often in the early stage, known as the “honeymoon period”; the child may need only a small dose of insulin. But later on, a daily dose of fast-acting insulin during the day and slow-acting insulin at night may have to be taken. Good glucose control and avoidance of “Hypoglycemia” (low blood glucose attacks) are also important.

It is essential to give your child a healthy, balanced diet rich in fibre and carbohydrates. Sweets in moderation can be consumed if accompanied by an appropriate dose of insulin.

Physical activities and insulin treatment are a must to fight diabetes in children. As exercise lowers the blood sugar level, the child may need only a reduced dose of insulin. Otherwise, too much insulin and exercise can lead to hypos. To counter this, the child must always carry sugar.

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