Have you ever thought that a child that is bedwetting constantly might not be a result of excessive play?
Do you know that Children also suffer from diabetes?
According to the IDF diabetes atlas, 10th edition, More than 1.2 million children and adolescents (0-19 years) are living with type 1 diabetes – Juvenile diabetes.
What is Juvenile diabetes?
Juvenile diabetes, also known as Type 1 diabetes or Insulin-dependent diabetes is a disorder in the body in which there is an autoimmune reaction where the body’s defence system attacks the cell that produces “Insulin”.
The body’s defence system sees the insulin-producing cells as a threat and it started pulling them down by attacking them. As a result of this, the body produces little or no insulin.
Insulin performs the critical job of moving sugar (glucose) from the bloodstream to the body’s cells for energy.
Sugar enters the bloodstream when food is digested. Without enough insulin, sugar builds up in your child’s bloodstream. This can cause life-threatening complications if left untreated.
What are the causes of Type 1 diabetes /Juvenile diabetes?
Science proved that the main cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown. But in most people with type 1 diabetes, the body’s immune system — which normally fights harmful bacteria and viruses — mistakenly destroys insulin-producing (islet) cells in the pancreas. Genetics and environmental factors appear to play a role in this process.
Once the islet cells of the pancreas are destroyed, your child produces little or no insulin.
What are those risk factors that expose your child to juvenile diabetes/ type 1 diabetes?
- Genetics: Genes are an important component of the body. Children inherit certain traits and disease conditions from their parents. If there is anyone with type 1 diabetes in a family, there are chances that your child might develop type 1 diabetes.
- Races: Research shows that type 1 diabetes is more common among children of non-Hispanic descendants than in other races.
- Certain viruses: research shows that certain viruses trigger the autoimmune destruction of the islet cells. When your child gets exposed to those viruses, there is the likelihood of the child developing type 1 diabetes
What are the signs and symptoms that show that your child might have juvenile diabetes/ type 1 diabetes?
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination
- Enuresis (bedwetting)
- Extreme hunger
- Weight loss
- Blurry vision
- Mood swings
- Stomach discomfort
- Fruity-smelling breath.
If your child shows the aforementioned symptoms, there are chances that your child might have type 1 diabetes and you need to visit the hospital for a proper diagnosis.
Management of Juvenile diabetes/type 1 diabetes.
There is no prevention or cure for juvenile diabetes. However, it can be managed.
The following are ways in which type 1 diabetes can be managed:
- Taking insulin: Your child can get insulin by taking an insulin injection or insulin pump. Insulin injection is taken up to 4 or more times a day and an insulin pump is placed under the skin.
- Monitoring the blood sugar level: the blood sugar level of the child needs to be monitored to prevent hypoglycemia – a low sugar level or hyperglycemia -a high sugar level.
- The blood sugar level needs to be balanced and in moderation.
- Diet: meals need to be considered. Fruits and vegetables must be abundant in the meal plan. Carbohydrates must be measured. The service of a dietitian is highly recommended in this aspect to get adequate and proper Information.
- Exercising regularly: Physical activities are important in the management of type 1 diabetes. Physical activities should be regular and also be monitored actively to prevent hypoglycemia.
- 60 minutes of physical activities in a day is recommended and has proven to be effective.
- Also, regular medical check up is very crucial
- As a parent, you need to be actively involved in the management of your child’s health.
- Work closely with the doctor or the healthcare provided to get the necessary information
- You can get involved in physical activities with your child to make the activities fun for the child.
- Follow up with your child’s meal plan and also make sure that your child adheres to the meal plan.
As parents, your role in the management of your child’s health is very important. You have to be actively involved in the management of your child’s health condition. You also need to work closely with the health providers in order to get adequate information.
All these are proven ways to manage type 1 diabetes in children and they provide the children with more energy, allow the children grow well, live normal life and prevent further complications.
IDF diabetes atlas, 10th edition
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