Gone are the days when only a particular age of people was suffering from diabetes. Today even children and surprisingly even infants are identified with high blood sugar disease. Several research studies indicate that at least seventeen in every hundred thousand children are suffering from diabetes – ‘juvenile diabetes’. Diabetes is actually categorized into two types, the “Type-1 Diabetes” and the “Type-2 Diabetes”.
- Type-1 diabetes develops when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin that is required to break the glucose, which is present in the blood.
- The prime cause of ‘type-2 diabetes’ is when the pancreas loses its resistance to produce insulin, or in other words, is not effectively working.
Common Causes of Juvenile Diabetes
Children are affected by both ‘type-1 diabetes’ as well as ‘type 2 diabetes’. Earlier, majority of the children were suffering from type-1 diabetes, however, currently, children with suffering from type-2 diabetes are on the rise.
It is a known fact that obesity is the causative factor for the development of diabetes in children. Bad diet and lack of exercise can also cause diabetes, although little known is about the causes of type-1 diabetes in the children. But there are pieces of evidence to show that it is caused due to genes, some say it is due to unhealthy lifestyles, such as imbalanced diet or no exercise.
The causes for the rise in the ‘type-2 diabetes’ incidence in children is mainly because of very poor diet right from the young age and the rapid change in the lifestyle that hardly emphasizes of any importance to exercise and physical activities. The video-game crazy children are hardly flexing their limbs while junking down several of the empty calorie foods.
Symptoms of Juvenile Diabetes
There is not much difference in the symptoms of diabetes whether it is a child or an adult, they are the same. ‘Polydipsia’ or excessive thirstiness is a condition where children feel often thirsty and frequent urination, although, both these are interdependent.
Sometimes children do complain of headaches and aches in the stomach. Another symptom that needs to be worth watching is weight loss; the children suffering from diabetes can lose weight easily. They also feel tired and exhausted frequently. Some children show problems in their behaviour as well. In rare cases, the child would suffer from diabetic acidosis, where the symptoms are the same as in adults, but in this case, it is accompanied by unconsciousness, where immediate hospitalization may have to be done.
Exercise is the best way to keep diabetes at bay. Working out by flexing the limbs helps to reduce the level of glucose in the blood and this is very important for children that are suffering from ‘type-2 diabetes’. Just because you can control diabetes through exercise, it does not mean that you blindly tell your child to go and start exercising. You need to ensure that your child has taken necessary safety measures before exercising. Keep your child well hydrated. See to that you prepare a proper diabetic healthcare plan for your child that adheres to having small meals in frequent intervals; the anti-diabetic and the insulin agents properly adjusted. It is always better to keep everything under check and control with the help of a physician.
If your child uses an insulin pump, then you need to check with your doctor whether the device should be connected while he is exercising or not. Also, if your physician asks for your glucose level chart, make sure to check the level of glucose in your child before and after the exercise. And if the level of glucose is too high or too low, the necessary treatment might be the best solution with the consultation of the physician. What generally doctors say and people follow, you also can follow and in case the level of glucose is dipping better help your child and give him a sweet or glucose tablet.
Treating Diabetes in Children
Raising a child with diabetes can be extremely challenging. But thanks to the rapid progress in technology and the field of medical science, treating a diabetic child or taking care of one has broken a lot of complexities.
Change in Food Habits
The treatments first start with a change in food habits. Help him to develop an eating habit the same time every day, it helps to maintain the glucose level in the blood.
Do not restrict your child from eating sweets, instead, give him low-sugar sweets. Try to include a lot of fresh vegetables and fruits. When the level of glucose is low, it is known as ‘Hypoglycemia’ in such case give him glucose tablets, food that contains glucose or sometimes even beverages help too. On the other hand, if the level of glucose is high it is called as ‘Hyperglycemia’. This happens when there less insulin and more food, and treatment should be given immediately. You must know the difference between ‘Hypoglycemia’ and ‘Hyperglycemia’ very carefully. Any miss-identification and a little carelessness can be dangerously harmful to your child.
Encourage your diabetic child to take part in sports activities in school and play at home. Give him a snack box with glucose tablets or sugar candy in case, he is suffering from low glucose levels. A positive inspiration from the parent’s side will help immensely in fighting the disease.
As a parent, you should be of emotional strength to your child. You child may not be comfortable to tell his friends that he has diabetes. It is better that you consult your doctor how to handle this emotionally and then act accordingly. Diabetes education can help a great deal to handle a diabetic child. So update your knowledge on diabetes and discuss with your physician to clear any apprehension. Make all attempts to enhance the self-confidence level of your child. The disease can happen to anyone.
Locating the Treatment Center
Consult a diabetologist for the right treatment. There are a lot of centres across the world that specializes in the treatment of juvenile diabetes. To name a few are the Partners Healthcare, Truman Medical Centers, and XCell Center. Make sure that a good diabetic treatment centre located in the vicinity of your area is well under your reach. If you travel frequently along with your child you must know the treatment centres at the destination you are reaching. Information, in this case, is real wealth and real help.
Do Not Panic Just Care For Your Child
The irony is that a child with diabetes lives longer than a normal child. So do not panic if your child is diagnosed with diabetes. The only thing that you need to do is to consult a good diabetic expert and follow his instructions. Plan a proper diet and exercise routine for your child further developing into a habit. This will, in turn, help him take care of himself to lead a happy and healthy life.