What You Should Know About Type 1 Diabetes In Children and How to Deal with It
by Carolyn Lee Apr 17, 2023
Although diabetes in adults has garnered much attention over the years, children can also be affected. Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (formerly known as Juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes) is a severe health issue that affects children around the globe. We are taking a closer look at this disease, how it affects children, and what you can do.
What should you know about type 1 diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes (TD1) in children is a chronic, long-term autoimmune condition in which your child’s body no longer produces insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps sugar (glucose) in the blood get into the body’s cells, which use it as fuel. If glucose cannot get into the cells, it can lead to hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar). Hyperglycaemia can damage nerves and blood vessels and harm the kidneys, eyes, and heart. Children need insulin to survive, so paying attention to this disease is crucial.
At what age are children affected?
Type 1 diabetes may start at any age; however, it tends to be most prevalent in children between the ages of four to six and 10 to 14 years old. Children affected by this disorder need to replace the missing insulin with an insulin pump or injections. The specific cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown, but genetics and high blood sugar may contribute.
Are there risk factors for type 1 diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes typically occurs in children but may start at any age. The risk factors in children include genetics and family history. Specific genes show an increased risk of type 1 diabetes, and people with a sibling or parent with the disease have an increased risk of being affected.
What are the symptoms associated with type 1 diabetes?
Symptoms of TD1 in children develop quickly and may include severe hunger, possible bedwetting, frequent urination, blurry vision, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, increased thirst, and urination.
How can parents help their child with TD1?
Caring for a child affected by TD1 involves giving them insulin injections, serving healthy meals, and monitoring and treating hyperglycaemia. You will need a team of health care professionals, including a primary care doctor, dentist, optometrist, pharmacist, registered dietitian or nutritionist, podiatrist, and diabetes educator. You should maintain contact with your child’s team since they understand the treatment plan and can help keep your child healthy.
When should your child see a doctor?
You should take your child to see a doctor if you notice symptoms of type 1 diabetes. The doctor will order a blood test and may test the blood for autoantibodies. The autoantibodies test will indicate if your child’s body is attacking itself, a feature often found with type 1 diabetes.
With the right health care team and proper treatment, you can manage type 1 diabetes, so your child can enjoy a healthy life. Our Yello directory has listings for doctors and other healthcare professionals, so scroll through the pages of this book for the services you need.
Sources: Mayo Clinic, WebMD, Cleveland Clinic, CDC, and Medical News Today.