Type 1 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes in children. 90-95 per cent kids who are under 16 have Type 1 diabetes.
It is caused by the inability of the pancreas to produce insulin. Type 1 diabetes is classified as an autoimmune disease, meaning a condition in which the body's immune system 'attacks' one of the body's own tissues or organs. In Type 1 diabetes it's the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas that are destroyed.
As with adults, the cause of childhood diabetes is not understood. It probably involves a combination of genes and environmental triggers. The majority of children who develop Type 1 don't have a family history of diabetes.
The main symptoms are the same as in adults and they are:
• Weight Loss
• Frequent Urination.
Symptoms that are more typical for children include:
• Tummy pains
• Behavior problems.
HOW IS DIABETES TREATED IN CHILDREN?
Most children with diabetes need insulin treatment. If this is the case, your child will need an individual insulin routine, which will be planned with the diabetes team.
• Most now use frequent daily dosage regimes of fast-acting insulin during the day and slow-acting insulin at night.
• Very small children normally don't need an injection at night, but will need one as they grow older.
Often in the first year after diagnosis, your child may need only a small dose of insulin. This is referred to as 'the honeymoon period'.
Good glucose control and avoidance of ‘hypos’ (low blood glucose attacks) is important.
WHAT PARENTS CAN DO?
Living with diabetes can put families under considerable strain. Understanding all the different aspects of diabetes and its treatment requires patience, but will benefit your child and family life.
• Learn how to administer insulin injections. Insulin is usually injected into the skin over the abdomen or the thighs.
• Know the symptoms of low blood glucose and diabetic acidosis and what to do about them.
• Make sure glucose is always available.
• Measure blood glucose levels and teach your child how to do this as soon as they are old enough.
• Teach your child how to self-administer insulin injections as soon as they are old enough- around the age of nine is typical.
• See the doctor on a regular basis, and particularly if your child becomes ill for any reason - treatment is likely to need adjusting.
• Inform the school and friends about the symptoms of low blood glucose and what to do about them.
• It's important to give your child a healthy balanced diet that is high in fiber and carbohydrates.
• A healthy diet is the same for everyone, whether or not they have diabetes.
• How much your child should eat depends on age and weight. The dietician and parents should determine this together.
• Sweets are no longer off limits because the 'diabetic diet' is now a relic of the past.
• Once your child gets to know how her body responds to eating and taking insulin, sweets in moderation are possible - accompanied by the appropriate dose of insulin.
Physical activity is important for children with diabetes, who should try to exercise every day. Physical activity lowers the blood sugar level, so if your child takes insulin, he may need to reduce the dose. This is because a combination of too much insulin and exercise can lower the blood sugar level and lead to hypos. To counter this, your child should always carry sugar. Physical activity also affects how much your child can eat. Before your child exercises or plays sport, give extra bread, juice or other carbohydrates.
LONG TERM PROCEDURE
A child who develops diabetes will live with the condition longer than someone who develops diabetes in adulthood.
The longer diabetes is present, the higher the risk of long-term complications such as those affecting the eyes and kidneys.
These can start after puberty, but are usually a concern only in later life. Regular checkups for late-stage complications begin around the age of nine. From then on, this checkup is done every year.
written by braunstein1230, Thursday, 07:33 PM, August 04, 2011