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What causes diabetes in children?

Diabetes is a disorder where the blood sugar of your body rises. People generally think that adults are more prone to diabetes but the fact is children can also develop diabetes. The most common types of diabetes are type1 and type 2. Type 2 diabetes is more common among adults whereas children are more prone to type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is also known as Juvenile Diabetes. It occurs in children mostly due to less or no production of insulin in the body. The word “juvenile” is a scientific term used for children whose age is below 15. Hence, juvenile diabetes refers to a type of diabetes that develops mostly in children whose age is less than 15 years.

Causes of Juvenile Diabetes

Diabetes occurs due to the rise in the glucose level of your body. Due to this rise, the glucose gets deposited in the nerves, kidneys, and eyes. This brings certain complications. Type 1 diabetes is considered an autoimmune condition that fights harmful viruses and destroys and attacks the beta cells that are present in your pancreas and are responsible for producing insulin. This type of diabetes is thought to be caused by a combination of environmental factors and genetic susceptibility.

Complications of Juvenile Diabetes

The complications that arise in juvenile diabetes are listed below-

  • Damage to your body– High blood sugar levels can harm the nerves and the small blood vessels in your kidneys, eyes, and heart. These can also make you prone to atherosclerosis which can lead to strokes and heart attacks.
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis– If your body is unable to get enough glucose, it ends up breaking the fat cells. This creates a certain chemical known as ketones. Ketoacidosis occurs when there is a mix of extra glucose with dehydration and acid build-up in your body. It can be life-threatening as well if not treated at the proper time.

Myths on insulin

There are various myths on insulin that people often worry about.

  • Regular intake of insulin harms the body
  • Insulin causes damage to the kidney
  • Insulin causes death

Usually, when parents get to hear such myths, they tend to stop the insulin intake of their child. This in turn can harm the child as blood sugar starts to rise in the body again in the form of ketone.

Types of insulin

Insulin replacement is the only treatment that can be provided to children who have developed diabetes. In the year 1921, two scientists named Frederick Banting and Charles Best discovered insulin. Before the discovery, children who developed juvenile diabetes used to die within 3-12 months. Since then there were many improvements in insulin. Nowadays, you may find various types of insulin in the market which can be used two, three, or even four times a day. They are:

  • Insulin pen
  • Insulin Syringe
  • Insulin Pump
  • Jet injector

How to prevent children from getting diabetes?

Though there are no preventive measures for type 1 diabetes. But type 2 diabetes can be prevented. Type 2 diabetes occurs in those children who have gained a lot of weight and are suffering from obesity. Here are some tips that you can follow to prevent diabetes.

  • Prepare a proper diet plan and adjust the dosage of your insulin according to the level of carbohydrate intake.
  • Learn everything about insulin which includes where and how to keep an insulin syringe, how to give insulin, and so on.
  • If your child is overweight, you must take strict steps to reduce the weight because heavy weight increases the risk of getting diabetes.
  • If suddenly blood sugar level decreases, you must have at least 3 spoons of sugar or some other sweetener.
  • Children need at least an hour of activity each day. This not only helps them to keep fit physically but also mentally.
  • Limit the screen timing. This is a major problem faced in every household. Most kids are very much attracted to mobiles, computers, TV, or tablets. As a parent, you need to limit the screen timing and spend some quality time with your child.
  • Avoid junk foods and offer your child healthy snacks.
  • Never stop insulin until recommended by the doctor.

There is no prevention for type 1 diabetes, but you can always prevent your child from developing type 2 diabetes. Due to an increased rate of obesity in children, type 2 diabetes is also becoming common among children. Advanced ways of insulin delivery and blood sugar monitoring have improved the quality of the children’s lives and manage their blood sugar levels effectively.

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dr-supriya-puranik

Dr. Milind Patil

Endocrinologist
Contact: 8806252525
Email – ask@sahyadrihospitals.com

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