December 17, 2009

Diabetes in Children: What You Need To Know

Diabetes in ChildrenThe cause of diabetes is unknown; however it has been linked to genetics, certain environmental triggers and lifestyle habits, such as eating right and exercising often. Today, about 7.8 percent of Americans living in the United States have diabetes. An alarming amount of those people are children. Similar to adults, children are equally susceptible to diabetes, although children are more likely to develop Type 1 diabetes as opposed to Type 2.

Why is My Child More Likely to Develop Type 1 Diabetes?
Type 1 Diabetes occurs when the pancreas is unable to produce insulin, a chemical that breaks down glucose in the blood. It is estimated that approximately ninety-three percent of all diabetic cases in youth are Type 1. While Type 2 diabetes has been linked to obesity, the reason for frequent cases of Type 1 diabetes in children is not entirely known. Some evidence suggests that Type 1 diabetes may be linked to allergies, and that avoiding cow’s milk during an infant’s first year of life may reduce the risk of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes has also been diagnosed in children after recovering from viral infections including influenza, polio, rubella, measles and mumps. There are several other factors that have led to Type 1 diabetes in children, such as genetics and diet.

How Can I Can I Tell If My Child Has Developed Diabetes?
Common symptoms of diabetes include thirst, weight loss, exhaustion, and frequent urination. Diabetes in children is also characterized by stomach pains, headaches and behavior problems. If you are concerned that your child may have some of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with your family doctor.

What Is The Treatment For Children With Diabetes?
Though there is no cure for diabetes, it can be easily managed with insulin treatment. For children, the most common methods of insulin treatment are injections and insulin pumps. Lifestyle change is an avid combatant against diabetes; adapting you and your child’s lifestyle to more healthy alternatives such as regular physical exercise and healthy eating habits is crucial in managing your child’s diabetes.

There is no proof that diabetes is caused in children by any specific factor, so there is no need for anxiety concerning the condition that your child possibly could develop, and no need to ration your child’s sugar intake as if you’re in a famine. Though transitioning into a lifestyle that supports the prevention of diabetes in your child may seem daunting, just take small steps at a time.

Remember, even if part of your child’s life is managing diabetes, it isn’t their (or your) whole life, so enjoy it!

 

Information provided on this website is for general purposes only. It is not intended to take the place of advice from your practitioner.

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