October 27, 2010

Type 1 Diabetes in Children

Posted in Category : Child Health

A condition in which a child’s pancreas cannot produce the insulin required for functioning and survival is known as type 1 diabetes in children. This condition is also known as insulin-dependent diabetes in children, or juvenile diabetes. The diagnosis of type 1 diabetes in children can be quite overwhelming, not just for the child, but also for the parents. This is because the condition requires long term care and many lifestyle changes would also need to be made. This means that for the rest of his or her life, the child will need to take insulin injections, count carbs and monitor the level of sugar in the blood. However, with the recent advances that have been made, delivering insulin and monitoring blood sugar is no longer a painful task. Hence, children who have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes can also lead long, healthy and active lives.

Type 1 Diabetes Symptoms

The symptoms for type 1 diabetes in children usually develop within a couple of weeks. The signs that could be an indication of type 1 diabetes in children are:

  • Frequent urination and increase in thirst
  • Increase in appetite
  • Weight loss in spite of the appetite increase
  • Fatigue and lethargy
  • Moodiness and irritability
  • Vision problems, especially blurriness
  • Yeast infections (only in girls)

If any of the above type 1 diabetes symptoms are noticed in children, certain screening tests may be conducted, to check for type 1 diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes Cure

Research to find a type 1 diabetes cure is still on. However, unfortunately there is no way to cure type 1 diabetes in children or adults. Moreover, this condition requires lifelong treatment and commitment. Diabetes treatment plans for maintaining healthy levels of blood sugar keep changing, based on the age of the child. In order to keep this condition in control, the steps that should be followed are:

  • Monitoring blood sugar regularly
  • Continuous glucose monitoring
  • Taking insulin injections (regular insulin, rapid insulin, long acting insulin & intermediate acting insulin)
  • Following a special type 1 diabetes diet that consists of frequent meals, taken at the right time. The foods included in this diet should help reduce blood sugar levels in the body
  • Getting adequate physical exercise

In type 1 diabetes in children, there are times when a child’s blood sugar levels fall below the normal range, because of factors like injecting additional insulin, skipping a meal, and so on. However, this can be quite dangerous too. Hence it is important to consult a doctor immediately, if the child’s blood sugar goes too high or even too low.