Juvenile Diabetes Symptoms, Causes and Prevention Tips
Created by Ambili S Kartha Updated on Dec 03, 2019
As parents, you want to protect your child from anything to everything that could harm him or her, either physically or emotionally. However, you also know that you can’t safeguard your child a hundred percent in all aspects, especially when it comes to ailments. If a child is diagnosed with some health issues, especially a chronic one, it not only affects the child but the entire family. Juvenile diabetes is one such condition. Yes, diabetes in children is on a steady rise and while it has no links with an unhealthy diet and lifestyle maintaining a healthy lifestyle and diet can help your child live a normal life.
What Is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a state of the body’s inability to absorb the glucose from the blood. The sugar and starch from the food we eat come to the bloodstream in the form of simpler sugar-glucose. Glucose is the energy source of the cells. Once the level of glucose increases in the blood, normally beta cells in the pancreas release a hormone called insulin into the bloodstream. Insulin permits the glucose to enter into cells and get utilized.
However, if one has diabetes, child or adult, their body either can't make insulin thus resulting in abnormal raised levels of blood sugar.
What Is Juvenile Diabetes?
Juvenile diabetes is type 1 diabetes. Even though anyone can have this condition during any phase of their life, the type 1 diabetes most often appear among children and hence the name juvenile diabetes.
Here, the person's own immune system — which usually attacks harmful bacteria and viruses — attacks and destroys insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. Type one diabetes, thus, comes under the category of autoimmune disease. Once beta cells are destroyed, they cannot be regenerated and won't be able to produce insulin anymore.
Is Juvenile Diabetes Curable?
Juvenile diabetes cannot be cured. Type 1 diabetes happens when around 90 to 99 percent of the body's insulin-generating cells have been destroyed. And, as already stated, once destroyed, beta cells cannot regenerate and produce insulin. Your child requires insulin to survive. Because if left untreated, the high blood sugar level can damage the eyes, nerves, skin, kidneys and the heart, and can also lead to coma and death. Therefore, inducing insulin is important. Treatment of type 1 diabetes, thus, concentrates on.
- Managing blood sugar levels with insulin therapy and other treatments,
- A well-planned diet and
- A healthy lifestyle
What Are The Symptoms Of Juvenile Diabetes?
- Increased thirst and urination: Persisting thirst and frequent urination are common warning signs of type 1 diabetes in toddlers and young children. The body pulls the fluid from tissues as an after effect of the increased blood sugar level. This results in increased thirst which leads to increased urination. If your child previously didn't wet the bed during the night, starts to wet the bed, don’t ignore it.
- Yeast infection: Yeast infection, especially, recurring among the girls, can be the sign of diabetes
- Extreme tiredness or weakness: Since your child’s body is not capable to change the sugar in the bloodstream into energy, he or she will appear extremely tired most of the time
- Intense hunger: Since your child’s body is not capable to change the sugar in the bloodstream into energy, your baby’s muscles and organs will not get sufficient energy, which can bring about extreme hunger
- Unintended weight loss:. In spite of intense hunger and eating more, if the child loses weight considerably, it could be a major warning sign of juvenile diabetes
- Changes in vision: High blood-glucose levels could affect the nerve and blood vessels of the eye leading to blurred vision or other issues with the eyesight. Unfortunately, if your child is very small, it can go unnoticeable
- Fruity smelling breath or sugar in urine: When the sugar in the blood fails to get into the cells, the body tries to excrete it. This can bring about fruity-smelling breath and sugar in the urine
What Causes Juvenile Diabetes?
A particular reason for juvenile diabetes is still not fully understood. Any of the following can cause or trigger type one diabetes any time. Read below
- Environmental factors
- Exposing to perilous microbes
Can Juvenile Diabetes Be Prevented?
Juvenile diabetes more often strikes out of the blue and is not at all associated with an unhealthy lifestyle or diet. Therefore, as there is no way to cure this disease, as of now, there are no specific ways no prevent it either. [Know - How Can You Help Diabetic Child As a Parent?]
However, some studies put forward that exclusive breastfeeding, introducing solid food at right time (only after 6 months), minimizing the use of formula, etc. might bring down the risk of type 1 diabetes in your child. Therefore, instead of finding ways to prevent type 1 diabetes, it is important to find ways to manage the condition.
How Common Is Juvenile Diabetes Among The Children?
Juvenile diabetes is quite common in children between the age-group of 4 and 7 and then 10 and 14.
In 2014, Medical News Today reported that (based on a study published in JAMA), the incidence of type 1 diabetes in children age-up to 9 years has increased by 21 percent between 2001 and 2009.
While you are not alone in fighting this battle against juvenile diabetes, it is heartening to know that with proper guidance and assistance, even your child will eventually figure out how to deal with his or her condition.
How Can I Help My Child In Dealing With Juvenile Diabetes?
While the diet and lifestyle are not the culprits here, it is important to note that if you help your child maintain a healthy lifestyle and an equally healthy diet regime you can help in containing diabetes to a manageable level. [Read - Ways to Prevent Juvenile Diabetes]
Did you like the blog on how you can prevent juvenile diabetes? Do you know any child who has similar symptoms? Please share your views and feedback in the comments section below.