Diabetes. This affects men, women and children of all ages and walks of life. Diabetes is not just an adult disease. Around 210,000 children and teenagers under the age of 20 years in the United States have diagnosed diabetes. Diabetes can be genetic and there can be a series of problems that one experiences that leads up to Diabetes. Yes, that includes children. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are different conditions, but they both affect the body’s use of insulin. Although type 1 is more common in young people, both types can affect children and teenagers. As with adults, the symptoms are increased thirst and increased urination. With Type 1 diabetes, there may be weight loss despite adequate food intake. Unfortunately, both parents and pediatricians can easily overlook diabetes symptoms in babies and children. If diabetes develops and is left untreated, a dangerous dehydration state called diabetic ketoacidosis can occur. Let’s talk Diabetes and statistics.
Type 1 Diabetes
Did you know that millions of people develop type 1 diabetes at any age, from early childhood to adulthood? Public information states that the average age of either pre-diabetes or diabetes type 2 is at the age of 13. An estimated 85% of all type 1 diagnosis take place in people aged under 20 years. Type 1 diabetes in children, previously called juvenile diabetes, occurs when the pancreas is unable to produce insulin. Without insulin, sugar cannot travel from the blood into the cells, and high blood sugar levels can occur.
Type 2 Diabetes
The rates of type 2 diabetes are increasing along with increases in childhood obesity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that obesity affected around 18.5% of children and adolescents aged 2–19 years in the U.S. in 2015–2016. Over 75% of children with type 2 diabetes have a close relative who has it, either due to genetics or shared lifestyle habits. Having a parent or sibling with type 2 diabetes is linked with an increased risk. Type 2 diabetes is less common in young children, but it can occur when insulin is not working correctly. Without enough insulin, glucose can accumulate in the bloodstream. The chance of developing type 2 diabetes increases as people get older, but children can also develop it.
What Parents of Children with Diabetes Can Do?
As your child becomes more independent, you can help them learn to take more responsibility for caring for their diabetes. Children above the age of 7 typically have the fine motor skills to be able to start giving themselves insulin injections with adult supervision. They can also check the sugar in their blood several times per day, using simple, chemically treated test strips and a blood sugar meter. However, these self-care tasks need your supervision to make certain their diabetes stays under control according to your doctor’s guidelines.
If your child takes too much insulin: their blood sugar can become too low (hypoglycemia). This can lead to trembling, a rapid heartbeat, nausea, fatigue, weakness, and even loss of consciousness.
If your child takes too little insulin: the major symptoms of diabetes (weight loss, increased urination, thirst, and appetite), can return.
Developing good diabetes management habits when a child is young can have a dramatic impact on their management habits as they get older. Many communities also have active parent groups that share and discuss common concerns. Ask your doctor for a recommendation.
Summary Of Diabetes And Its Impact On Children
Although there is no cure for diabetes, children with this disease can lead normal lives if it’s kept under control. Whether it be with the assistance of tablet form medication or Canadian insulin medication there is a chance and hope that a child can still live comfortably while dependent on Diabetic medication. Managing this disease focuses on blood sugar monitoring, treatment such as insulin therapy, given as multiple injections per day or through an insulin pump, and maintaining a healthy diet. Keeping blood sugars within a normal range reduces is important and lowers the risk of long-term health problems related to poor diabetes control. In addition to a healthy diet, at least thirty minutes of exercise a day can help children manage their disease as well.
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