Children who have diabetes can experience symptoms in the form of frequent thirst and frequent urination, as well as eating a lot but his weight actually drops. As a parent, it is important that you recognize the various risks and symptoms of diabetes in kids so that this condition is not too late to be treated by a doctor.
When the insulin hormone is reduced or the body’s cells have difficulty using insulin, there can be a buildup of blood sugar. That’s what causes diabetes.
Diabetes in Kids Causes and Complications
Scientists, researchers, and doctors know that diabetes in kids is caused by abnormalities in the immune system. However, they have not established a reason why the immune system attacks the pancreas. Chances are there are harmful bacteria or viruses and the genetic structure of sufferers.
It is important to know the difference between type 1 diabetes (childhood diabetes) and type 2. In type 1 diabetes, the islets in the pancreas, which is in charge of producing insulin, do not function. In type 2 diabetes, the islets works, but either the body have developed resistance to insulin, or the pancreas does not produce adequate amounts of insulin.
Regardless of the type, with the same results, organs and tissues experience a lack of sugar and begin to malfunction. In addition, blood sugar levels rise, causing life-threatening complications.
Childhood diabetes is impossible to avoid because the disease can be congenital or patients have certain genes that cause the disease to appear. Researchers also believe that adolescent diabetes may be triggered by certain factors, such as viruses, a child’s diet, and low levels of vitamin D.
If left untreated, diabetes in kids can lead to a variety of complications. Some of the most common are:
- Heart problems – Diabetes is known to cause cardiovascular problems, such as coronary artery disease, atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes.
- Nephropathy (kidney damage) – The kidneys filter waste from the blood. Diabetes damages filtration of the kidneys, causing kidney failure, which cannot be treated. The only solution is dialysis, and in the end it is a kidney transplant.
- Nerve damage – Diabetes restricts normal blood flow to the limb causing nerve damage. Children will usually complain of a tingling sensation in the arms or legs, which can develop into severe pain.
Characteristics of a child with diabetes
Diabetes in Kids Treatment
Because it cannot be cured, the treatment for diabetes in children aims to control blood sugar levels in the body. Because it is done for life, the type of treatment can change, as you get older.
Here are the treatment steps for type 1 diabetes in children.
Regular monitoring of blood sugar levels
You need to check your child’s blood sugar levels at least four times a day. The examination is done by stabbing a small needle into the fingertips to take a blood sample.
This examination aims to monitor the child’s blood sugar levels, and ensure that they stay awake to the recommended range. This range of blood sugar levels will change with age. (Learn more about What’s A Normal Blood Sugar Level, and How To Keep It Normal)
Type 1 diabetes makes the body no longer able to produce insulin in sufficient quantities. So, it is necessary to give insulin through injections periodically to maintain blood sugar levels in the body.
The dose of insulin needed can be individualized, depending on the amount of carbohydrates consumed, and the physical activity the child is carrying out.
Live a healthy lifestyle
As a diabetic, your child needs to lead a healthy lifestyle by:
- Eating healthy foods
Keep in mind that healthy food doesn’t mean boring, flavorless food. You can add fruits, vegetables, and foods made from whole wheat as the intake menu of the child.
Provide foods that are high in nutrients and low in fat and calories. Keep the amount of carbohydrate intake to always be consistent, not too much, but also not too little.
Reduce the consumption of foods derived from animals and sweet foods. If possible, live this healthy diet together in the family, so that children more easily follow it.
- Exercise regularly
Regular exercise is very important for children with type 1 diabetes. Make regular exercise a part of your child’s daily life.
However, you need to remember that exercise can cause sugar levels in the blood to decrease up to 12 hours after exercise. So, you need to keep checking blood sugar levels periodically after exercise.
Do not let exercise cause children to experience hypoglycemia or lack of blood sugar levels.
Diabetes in children is rare. But you still have to be wary of it. If the child starts to experience conditions similar to the symptoms of type 1 diabetes above, then immediately see a doctor to get further treatment.
Last Updated on November 19, 2021 Reviewed by Market Health Beauty Team