Diabetes – Type 1[wr_row][wr_column]Diabetes is a condition that causes a person’s blood sugar (glucose) level to become too high. The hormone, insulin, which is produced by the pancreas is important in controlling the amount of glucose in the blood. There are two types of diabetes, and the first one is Type 1 diabetes which is usually diagnosed in young adults and children as well, as it was previously known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes. Even though only 5% of people with diabetes have this type of the disease, it can be potentially life threatening if left unchecked. The symptoms of type 1 diabetes in children usually develop rapidly over a period of a few weeks. Here are some signs to look out for:
- Weight loss: Despite having more meals to relieve the hunger, your child may lose weight and in some cases, this might happen a lot quicker. Without the energy glucose supplies, muscle tissues and fat stores simply shrink. Unexplained weight loss is often the first sign to be noticed.
- Increased thirst and frequent urination: As extra glucose builds up in your child's bloodstream, fluid will be pulled from the tissues. This may leave your child thirsty and as a result, your child may drink and urinate more than usual.
- Increased hunger: Without enough insulin to move glucose into your child's cells, your child's muscles and organs becomes drained of energy and will cause hunger pangs.
- Blurred vision: If your child's blood sugar is too high, fluid may be pulled from the lenses of your child's eyes. This may affect your child's ability to focus clearly.
This diagnosis of type 1 diabetes in children can be overwhelming for parents at first, having to suddenly learn how to give insulin injections, count carbohydrates and monitor blood sugar. While type 1 diabetes in children needs constant care, modern medical advances in insulin delivery and blood sugar monitoring has improved the daily management of type 1 diabetes in children. Some risk factors of getting type 1 diabetes include having a family history of the disease and the presence of certain genes which indicates an increased risk of developing it. Book an appointment for your child with your medical doctor to provide the best preventative care possible.