Diabetes refers to a medical condition in which the pancreas secretes a reduced amount of insulin. Many children these days are affected by this diabetes mellitus. There seem to be many reasons for this. Diabetic conditions can be triggered by exposure of children to a virus called Coxsackie R virus. Some environmental conditions may also cause diabetes in children. Children of early primary school and initial secondary school are especially vulnerable to diabetes.
Two types of diabetes
There are two main types of diabetes. The Type 2 diabetes is common among adults, but these days more children are affected with it. The Type 1 variety is called Diabetes Mellitus or IDDM. It is characterized by low body insulin levels. In Type 2 variety the patient gets immune to the insulin effects. It can also be caused when the pancreas are not producing enough insulin levels.
Symptoms of diabetes
Diabetes among children can manifest itself in some symptoms. Children get thirsty often; they also exhibit reduced immunity levels to common ailments, have blurred vision, and may have wounds that take a longer time to heal. Other symptoms are numb feet and hands, too much hunger, a need to urinate frequently, irritable behavior, and rapid weight losses.
The symptoms exhibited by juvenile diabetes can easily be mistaken to be part of the growth process. Parents tend to ignore the symptoms lightly. The symptoms are also likely to alternate. For example, one day the child may be exhibiting extreme hunger, the next day may exhibit irritability, and another day a blurring of vision may occur. There need not be a particular consistency or pattern, so detecting diabetes can be difficult on the part of a parent. Careful observation and a close watch are a must.
Initial as well as serious symptoms
There may be some symptoms that occur sporadically among diabetic children. These usually occur early on but may be difficult to detect. This includes excessive hunger, thirst, urination, and blurry vision. Symptoms which may be more serious are stomach aches, vomiting, heavy and deep breathing, a smell of acetone from the mouth, even coma.
What causes these diabetes cases among children? The reason is said to be sedentary lifestyles with no exercise, coupled with consumption of junk food.
If you come across any of the juvenile diabetes symptoms in your child, get your kid tested immediately. The testing procedure does not hurt and is easy. An early diagnosis will be helpful in treating the disease. Type 2 diabetes seems to be incurable. But children can control it with adequate exercise and proper diet. If the disease is more serious, then medication and insulin injections are needed.
Diabetic children may need to start using insulin injections. When trained properly, they can handle this procedure themselves. A pen injector is more convenient than a traditional syringe injector. A close family member need also get trained in the injection procedure. Blood sugar levels need to be monitored 4 times a day by extracting blood samples.