Youngsters the same as grown-ups are at danger of getting diabetes. It was considered that only type 1 diabetes may emerge in kids. More and more patients are of child and adolescent age. The major fault is the way our children spend their time (lack of active movement, overeating). Let’s find out how diabetes evolves in youngsters and what are the prospects for the future of such kids.
Type 1 diabetes at the child’s age
This affliction is the result of inability of pancreas to secrete insulin. It is either absent or is secreted in such small quantity that it cannot perform its function. Consequently, the cells do not receive glucose. Hence, they lack power needed for correct functioning of the organism. Instead, glucose stays in the blood stream causing increased blood glucose indexes.
The only way to manage this ailment is to inject insulin. Once a baby evolves type 1 diabetes, he will have to get a lifetime insulin therapy. Those, who do not get insulin therapy develop severe problems with eyesight, kidneys and other systems and organs. The outcome of such situation is lethal.
Except of the medicament remedy, the child should keep a well-balanced diet and be physically active. Proper treatment of the ailment is the key factor of long and comparatively healthy life.
Features of diabetes of the first type in youngsters
Determining of this state may be complicated taking into consideration immaturity of the patients. Of course, the manifestations of diabetes in kids are similar to those in the grown-up people but it is not very easy to notice them if you do not spend the whole day with the kid. Try to notice if your child
- Started drinking more than usual;
- Is always hungry;
- Rapidly loses weight;
- Has fruity or sweet smell or breath;
- Uses toilet more often;
- Is often irritated or very tired.
All these may be the manifestations of type 1 diabetes.
Recognition of type 1 diabetes
Take your child to the doctors to pass several tests. They will detect whether he/she is diabetic or not. Your son or daughter will need to undergo two tests:
- A urine test to determine the presence of sugar
- A capillary blood test to determine the amount of sugar in the blood.
You should consider constant blood glucose control if one of your family members has diabetes.
Early diagnostics of the disorder is crucial because the earlier you start the treatment, the less is the probability that your kid will get serious health problems. One of the most dangerous states, which develops because of absence of the correct diagnosis is diabetic ketoacidosis.
As we have already said, because of absence of insulin, the body is not able to use glucose for getting power. That is why the child’s organism starts taking the energy from fats. The result of such splitting of lipids is the production of ketones. These are the chemicals, which may become toxic if their amount is too big. Consequently, the organism accumulates more and more ketones, which poison the child’s organism and lead to diabetic ketoacidosis.
In case the diabetes was detected at early stages of the sickness, the probability of aggravation of the situation is very low.
Why does type 2 diabetes evolve in kids?
This ailment is less common in children but in recent years it becomes more common. There are several reasons for that. Among them:
- Low physical activity. Children spend hours in front of TV or computer. Their physical activity is limited.
- Drinking of sugar-sweetened beverages. The amount of sugar in such products is huge. Hence the load on the pancreas is rather big;
- Eating fatty foods and simple carbohydrates (chocolates, cookies). Such meals increase the level of cholesterol in the body, which is one of the cause of type 2 diabetes;
- Excessive body mass. The result of the previously mentioned factors is gaining weight. The problem of child’s obesity caused an increase in number of children suffering from type 2 diabetes.
To manage blood sugar levels one should keep fit, follow a diet, drop bad eating habits. Your child may need treatment with special medicines to feel well.
Manifestations signaling about type 2 diabetes in children
The signs are like those of type 1 diabetes. Nevertheless, there are some differences. The common symptoms of type 2 diabetes are:
- Frequent urination;
- Emaciation without obvious reasons;
- Slow healing of scratches and cuts;
- Yeast infection accompanied with itching of the genitals;
- Problems with vision.
This disease is more dangerous for kids and young people than for grown-ups as the period of being ill is much longer. Hence, the likelihood of complications is higher. The sickness may develop for many years staying unnoticed.
How can you know that the child is in danger of getting diabetes?
There are some things, which may influence the probability of type 1 and type 2 diabetes manifests in children.
- Affiliation to a certain ethnicity. African Americans, Latin Americans, Native Americans and some other ethnic groups are more inclined to these disorders;
- Weighing over 4kg at birth;
- Gestational diabetes in mother during pregnancy;
- Diabetes in close relatives;
- Excessive weight.
What can be done to cope with diabetes in children?
- Diet for diabetics is decisive. One may shrink the dose of insulin or other pills for treating diabetes in children only with the help of nutrition.
- Stay physically active. Encourage your child to play active games in the fresh air. Maybe you should think of joining some sports team to have regular physical exercises.
- Control your child’s weight. Let him/her eat more than three times a day but in small portions.
Try to think of diabetes as of way of life. Of course, it differs from the lifestyle of other kids. Yet you should try to teach your child and yourself to think positively. Unfortunately, diabetes will not go, but you can do your best to make the life of your child healthy and happy.