Is your child complaining of the following? Be careful, immediately go for Blood Sugar Test. It could be life saving. Frequent urination and extreme thirst are usually the first apparent signs of diabetes.
• Frequent urination (including during the night)
• Excessive thirst
• Extreme hunger/ weakness
• Unexplained weight loss
• Extreme fatigue
• Blurred vision
• Itchy skin
• Slow healing of cuts and bruises
• Frequent infections of skin/gums/vagina/bladder
• Tingling/numbing in legs, feet, hands
Diabetes is one of the most common lifelong ailments in children.
About 75 percent of all newly diagnosed cases of type 1 diabetes occur in individuals younger than 18 years of age. The majority of these children attends school, preschool and/or daycare and need a knowledgeable staff to provide a safe school environment.
Presently, since 10 to 15 percent of children and teens are overweight the number of young people have type 2 diabetes has doubled since the last decade.
Identifying Children with DiabetesInsulin dependent diabetes mellitus (type 1 diabetes) results from the destruction of beta cells as a consequence of an autoimmune process in the pancreas. The rate of beta cell destruction in type 1 diabetes is fairly rapid in infants and children. Children and adolescents may present with ketoacidosis -a serious condition that can lead to diabetic coma (passing out for a long time) or even death. Ketocidosis means dangerously high levels of ketones.
Ketones are acids that build up in the blood. They appear in the urine when the body doesn’t have enough insulin. Ketones can poison the body. They are a warning sign that diabetes is out of control.
Most children and adolescents diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese, insulin resistant, and have a family history of type 2 diabetes. They also may have physical signs of insulin resistance such as acanthosis nigricans (a skin disorder characterized by dark, thick, velvety skin in body folds and creases). Undiagnosed type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents may place these young people at early risk for cardiovascular disease; however, no data are available to define the extent of this problem. As a result, it is important for health care providers to consider testing for diabetes in high risk or susceptible children.
Type 1 Diabetes in ChildrenDeveloping type 1 diabetes often has no family history of diabetes. Although type 1 diabetes can develop at any age, it typically appears during childhood or adolescence.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system destroys the insulin producing beta cells of the pancreas that regulate blood glucose. Type 1 diabetes has an intense onset, with children and adolescents usually able to identify when symptoms began. Since the pancreas can no longer produce insulin, people with type 1 diabetes require daily injections of insulin for life. Children with type 1 diabetes are at risk for long-term complications (damage to cardiovascular system, kidneys, eyes, nerves, blood vessels, gums, and teeth).
A diabetes management plan for young people includes insulin therapy, self-monitoring of blood glucose, healthy eating, and physical activity. The plan is designed to ensure proper growth and prevention of hypoglycemia (abnormally low level of glucose in the blood). New management strategies are helping children with type 1 diabetes live long and healthy lives.
There is no single way to treat type 1 diabetes. Each child’s daily incidents differ and experienced diabetes providers are essential to set up individualized treatment plans. For treatment plans to be successful, an insulin treatment will be adjusted to the needs of the child, as will a meal plan and recommendations for physical activity.
Children with diabetes must be allowed to participate fully in all school activities. They need the cooperation and support of school staff members to help them with their treatment plan. Blood sugar monitoring is vital to assist in evaluating whether the treatment plan is useful. Most children can administer blood sugar checks by themselves but may need a personal area to do so. Some children may need supervision to oversee that the procedure is done properly and results are recorded accurately.
Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes in Children Symptoms: The symptoms of type 1 diabetes usually develop over a short period of time.
They include increased thirst and urination, constant hunger, weight loss, and blurred vision. Children also may feel very tired. If not diagnosed and treated with insulin, the individual with type 1 diabetes can lapse into a life-threatening diabetic coma, known as diabetic ketoacidosis or DKA. Often, children will present with vomiting, a sign of DKA, and mistakenly be diagnosed as having gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach and intestines).
Risk Factors: A combination of genetic and environmental factors put people at increased risk for type 1 diabetes. Researchers are working to identify these factors and to stop the autoimmune process that destroys the pancreas.
The fundamentals of type 1 diabetes management are insulin administration, nutrition supervision, physical activity, blood glucose testing, and the avoidance of abnormally low blood sugar usually resulting from excessive insulin or a poor diet.
Children with diabetes need their parents’ help to keep their blood sugar levels in a safe range and to exercise safely. It is important for children to learn the symptoms of both high and low blood sugar so they can tell others when they need help. Further adjustment of insulin or food intake may be made based on anticipation of special circumstances such as increased exercise. Children on these treatments are expected to check their blood glucose levels routinely before meals and at bedtime. There are many support groups and diabetes education centers to help parents and children understand about blood sugar, exercise, diet, and medicines.
Most Serious face of Diabetes in India—- Occurrence of Type 2 Diabetes in Children/ Why one-third of the people who have type 2 diabetes don’t know it?
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the diabetes, a substantial 90-95% of all people with diabetes suffer from this type. It was formerly identified as beginning during adulthood or not having to rely on insulin because this type of diabetes most often occurs after age 40. However, a recent development has emerged in which type 2 diabetes is being diagnosed in children, adolescents and young adults. Currently, studies are in progress to better recognize the populations at highest risk for this form of diabetes. A doctor may test your child for diabetes if he or she is overweight, gets little physical activity, or has other risk factors for the disease. A risk factor is anything that increases your chances of having a disease. Some children are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes when they have a blood or urine test for some other reason.
Family history is closely linked with type 2 diabetes; such as a first degree or second degree relative. One of the greatest risk factors for type 2 diabetes is excess weight. The same is likely true for children with diabetes. As an individual gains weight, the extra weight causes the cells of the body to become resistant to the effects of insulin. The pancreas responds by producing more and more insulin, which eventually begins to build up in the blood. High levels of insulin in the blood, a condition called insulin resistance, may cause problems such as high blood pressure and harmful changes in the levels of different fats (cholesterol) in the blood.
Insulin resistance is the first step on the path to type 2 diabetes. The second step to type 2 diabetes is a condition called impaired glucose tolerance. Impaired glucose tolerance occurs when the pancreas becomes exhausted and can no longer produce enough insulin to move glucose out of the bloodstream into cells. Glucose begins to build up in the blood. If it is not diagnosed and not treated, this gradual rise in glucose often leads to type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease, in any order and in any combination. While all these harmful activities are going on inside the body, the affected individual may feel perfectly fine.
Type 2 diabetes is more common in certain racial and ethnic groups such as African Americans, American Indians, Hispanic/Latino Americans, and Asian and Pacific Islander Americans. The increased incidence of type 2 diabetes on children is the result of the obesity epidemic among young people, a significant and growing public health problem.
Overweight children are at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes during childhood, adolescence, and later in life.
Type 2 diabetes is considered a silent disease because it causes damage over many years without giving any noticeable symptoms. That’s why 1/3 of the people who have type 2 diabetes don’t know it.
What Are the Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes in Children?
• Being overweight
• Family history of diabetes
• Female gender
• Specific ethnic groups (American Indian, African-American, Asian, or Hispanic/Latino)
• Other problems with insulin resistance (most people with type 2 diabetes in childhood are diagnosed at the start of puberty, a developmental stage where there’s increased resistance)
The single greatest risk factor for type 2 diabetes in children is excess weight. In the U.S., almost one out of every five children is considered to be overweight. Once a child is overweight, chances are more than doubled that the child will develop diabetes. One or more of these factors may contribute to excess weight or obesity:
• Unhealthy eating patterns
• Lack of physical activity
• An inherited tendency
• Rarely, a hormone problem or other medical condition
In addition, as with adults, the risk of type 2 diabetes in children appears to be associated with excess abdominal weight. This obesity pattern increases the chance of insulin resistance and the risk of type 2 diabetes.
What Are the Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes in Children?
The symptoms of type 2 diabetes in children develop slowly. Initially, there may be no symptoms. Eventually, you may notice one or more of these symptoms:
• Unexplained weight loss
• Increased hunger or thirst, even after eating
• Dry mouth
• Frequent urination
• Blurred vision
• Heavy breathing
• Slow healing of sores or cuts
• Itchy skin
• Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
It is time to visit your child’s doctor if you notice any of these symptoms of diabetes in your child.
Why Is Type 2 Diabetes in Children a Serious Problem?
With type 2 diabetes in children, symptoms may be minor at first. However, serious health problems may be developing. These are complications associated with type 2 diabetes in children or adults:
• Kidney failure
• Blood circulation and nerve damage
• Early death from complications
How Is Type 2 Diabetes in Children Treated?
The first step in treating type 2 diabetes is for your child to visit a doctor. The doctor can determine if your child is overweight based on your child’s age, weight, and height. The doctor can also request tests of your child’s blood glucose to see if your child has diabetes or prediabetes.
If your child has diabetes, you and your child will work with the doctor and other health professionals to create a plan to manage diabetes. These health professionals may include a diabetes educator, a dietitian, and a diabetes nurse.
The goal is to reduce your child’s blood glucose to normal levels. The primary strategy will be to help your child reach a normal weight. Your child’s plan may include these steps:
• Learning to make wise food choices, especially reducing the amount of fats and sweets
• Increasing physical activity to at least 30 minutes every day
• Taking medication
The same steps used to treat type 2 diabetes in children can also prevent it. Reduce fats and sweets in your child’s diet. Make sure your child gets at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day. In fact, studies show that exercise has a dramatic effect on reducing insulin resistance. These two strategies can help your child achieve or maintain a normal weight and normal blood glucose levels.
Dealing With Special Concerns of Type 2 Diabetes in Children
Children – especially teens – may have a tough time making changes to prevent or manage type 2 diabetes. You can help by following some of these suggestions:
• Talk with your child honestly but supportively about health and weight. Encourage your child to speak up about his or her concerns.
• Do not separate out your child for special treatment. Your entire family can benefit from making changes in diet and activity.
• Make changes gradually. Just as it took time for diabetes to develop, it will take time to achieve better health.
• Increase activities your child enjoys, while at the same time reducing the amount of time your family spends watching TV or playing video games.
• If your child refuses to follow his or her plan, try to find out why. Teens, for example, are dealing with hormone changes, demands on their time, peer pressure, and other factors that seem more important to them than taking care of diabetes.
• Set small, step-wise goals. Plan special rewards for your child when he or she meets each goal. Then move on to the next.
• Talk to a diabetes educator, doctor, dietitian, or other diabetes professional for more ideas on how to help your child become healthier.