Type 1 diabetes or insulin dependent diabetes mellitus usually occurs during childhood. It is sometimes called juvenile onset diabetes because diabetes in children symptoms develop at an early age. It is the most common type of diabetes in children and constitutes about 95% of children having the disease. The body’s immune system attacks its own pancreas leading to inability to produce insulin.
In this type of diabetes, the beta cells of the Islet of Langerhans in the pancreas are destroyed, causing the occurrence of the typical diabetes in kids symptoms.
Diabetic children symptoms occur early in the development. However, it is uncommon for children to develop diabetes without any familial tendency to develop the disease. A number of 80 per 100,000 children develop the disease all over the world each year.
Despite type 2 diabetes as being adult onset, small percentage of children also develop it because of increasing number of obesity in children have been reported.
What are the causes of childhood diabetes?
Like adults, the main cause of diabetes in children symptoms has remained not understood. But a combination of genetics and environmental factors has been relevant in the development of the disease.
What are the diabetes in children symptoms?
The main symptoms of diabetes in children are similar with adults which include:
- Polydipsia (marked thirst)
- Polyuria (frequent urination)
- Polyphagia (increased hunger)
- Weight loss
More common diabetes symptoms include:
- abdominal pains
- behavior changes
Children experiencing unexplained tummy aches for a few weeks should be considered as having diabetes. Appropriate tests should be made to come up with relevant diagnosis.
Symptoms of diabetes in children also progress to critical complications involving the major organs in the body. The fragile body and immune system of children makes it more serious. It is significant to ensure that care giver is available; especially the parents to assist children go about with the disease.
How is diabetes in children symptoms managed?
Since most of the diabetes in children is considered type 1, a lifetime administration of exogenous insulin is carried out. Most often, parents are taught to administer insulin treatment but more cases are required to having insulin pumps to lessen the burden on children and caregivers. However, children should be taught to self administer the insulin as diabetes symptoms in children extend over a lifetime.
Diet restrictions should also be imposed to prevent unstable blood sugar levels. In addition, to prevent hypoglycemia during insulin therapy, caregivers should watch out for activity levels of children. Exercise is important to reduce blood sugar levels; so children should have readily available sugars such as sweets and juice to counteract hypoglycemia.
Guiding children to grow and develop is challenging under the best of internal and external factors. When a child has a disease such as diabetes, the challenges become more complicated. Today, advances in medications, treatment and monitoring of diabetes in children symptoms have made it far less difficult to address with than it used to be.
Still, it is a chronic and serious condition with potentially multi organ complications which requires lifelong diagnosis and treatment.