Did you just learn that you child has just been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes? If so, you are probably completely in shock and wondering what happened. You are probably wondering if you did something wrong as a parent or if the condition was passed down. Whatever the situation is, you should know that it is possible for your child to live a long and healthy life, as long as you are armed with the right information. In fact, there are tons of individuals, including children, that are able to keep their glucose levels in check and significantly lower their chances of life-threatening complications.
Below, you will learn more information about this type of diabetes in kids and what you can do to ensure that your child stays safe and healthy.
What Is Type I Diabetes?
The onset for Type I diabetes is childhood and adolescence. This form of diabetes never appears in adults. Diabetes is classified as a metabolic disease that typically affects different parts of the human body. People with Type I diabetes cannot produce insulin, a peptide hormone that helps manage blood glucose levels. Insulin is produced by the beta cells inside the pancreas. When the blood glucose increases in the bloodstream, the pancreas will release enough insulin to bring it back down to normal. Insulin also plays a huge role in many different body functions and without it, your body will not receive the energy needed to function properly.
Insulin also helps the body utilize the sugar from beverages and food to be transported into cells. Once there, the sugar will be naturally converted into energy. In children and teenagers who have been diagnosed with diabetes, their body cannot produce enough or any insulin. This is why they must rely on insulin that injected into the fatty tissue with an insulin syringe and sterile needle.
Hypoglycemia And Hyperglycemia
Hyperglycemia is considered higher than normal glucose levels. When the amount of glucose in the bloodstream is higher than normal, it could potentially be a sign of diabetes. If you fail to control your blood glucose, you will put yourself at risk of developing stroke, kidney disease and blindness. With Type I diabetes, parents are responsible for teaching their children how to manage their blood sugar.
Hypoglycemia is considered when the blood glucose levels are lower than normal. Anything below 70 mg/dL is considered hypoglycemia or low blood glucose. Learning the signs of low blood sugar will protect your from experiencing a ketoacidosis, a life-threatening condition that occurs when the cells cannot get enough sugar.
Signs Of Type 1 Diabetes In Children
Attempting to identify the presence of type 1 diabetes can be surprisingly difficult. This specific condition isn’t like a skin rash. It will not make itself visible on the patient’s skin. And of course, it is far more difficult to diagnose health complications in children. Children often feel strange, but they will not know how to express their feelings to adults. With this in mind, you will need to familiarize yourself with the most common signs of type 1 diabetes.
Below, you will find a list of some of the most common signs associated with this health complication.
- The child has begun to complain about their vision
- Your child has begun to use the bathroom far more frequently
- Your son or daughter has started urinating the bed, when they didn’t before
- The child’s mood has changed substantially
- Your child has started drinking more frequently
- Your child’s hunger is insatiable
- It seems that your child is lethargic and tired all the time
- Your son or daughter has begun to lose a significant amount of weight for no reason
Remember that these are only the most common signs of Type 1 Diabetes. If you spot these signs, you should consider taking your toddler to a medical professional. By doing so, you will be able to get the problem diagnosed officially. Then, you’ll be able to take action to begin treating and managing the problem.
The Potential Causes Of Type 1 Diabetes
So, what exactly causes children to suffer from type 1 diabetes? The truth of the matter is that the underlying causes are actually unknown. Despite researchers putting in a significant amount of effort and time to research this condition, the cause remains a mystery. Nevertheless, there is some evidence that the problem might be linked to genetics. It is also believed that exposure to certain viruses and environmental factors could cause a person to develop diabetes in the future.
Potential Risk Factors
While the underlying cause is unknown, there are some risk factors that can increase your chances of suffering from type 1 diabetes. For instance, if you or your partner has this disease, there is a good chance that your toddler will as well. Family history is definitely a major risk factor. If a parent or sibling has developed type 1 diabetes, there is a higher chance that the child will as well. As mentioned above, genetics is also another risk factor.
Geography is another potential problem. Those that reside further from the equator will be much more likely to develop this disease. Finally, it is vital to realize that age is thought to play a role in the development of type 1 diabetes. The illness generally peaks between the ages of 4 and year. Then, it will peak again between the age of 10 and 14. Just remember that type 1 diabetes can develop at pretty much any age.
Long Term Complications
As a parent, it is in your best interest to go above and beyond to teach your toddler how to deal with type 1 diabetes. If you do not, your toddler is going to run into significant problems in the future. This complication can lead to severe damage to the patient’s heart, nerves, eyes and kidneys. Proper management of the disease and help to reduce the risks involved. Below, you will learn more about the long-term complications of type 1 diabetes.
- Type 1 diabetics will be far more likely to suffer from cardiovascular problems. This could include chest pain, stroke, and even a heart attack.
- An excessive amount of sugar in the body can lead to damage of the cells of the blood vessels. This usually impacts the legs, but it can easily spread throughout the body. In return, this can lead to a tingling sensation, burning and even pain. If your child does not manage their blood sugar, they’ll eventually lose feeling in the impacted limbs.
- Type 1 diabetes can also decrease the kidney’s filtering capabilities. If the problem becomes too severe, the patient may need a kidney transplant. Alternatively, they might be required to get dialysis treatment.
- In severe cases, diabetes can result in serious damage to the patient’s eyes. It could lead to blindness, cataracts and even glaucoma.
Truly, type 1 diabetes is very dangerous and it needs to be monitored and managed carefully. It can lead to various health complications and could cause problems during pregnancy. Teach your toddler how to control this problem early in life to ensure that they’ll be able to enjoy a fulfilling life well into the future!
How Is Type 1 Diabetes Diagnosed?
As mentioned above, there are various signs that could help to identify type 1 diabetes. Nevertheless, the only way to know for certain is to take your child to the doctor. When your child travels to the doctor’s office, they’ll be required to submit to a blood test. There are several different blood tests that can help to identify this problem. The A1C or glycated hemoglobin test is the most common. Unfortunately, there are certain conditions that can negate the reliability of this specific test. If the doctor is unable to use the A1C test, the patient may be required to get a random blood sugar test.
The random testing will be carried out at a random time and it may need to be performed several times. The fasting blood sugar test is another option. Your child may be required to perform an overnight fast. Once this is done, the doctor will test their blood to determine whether or not their blood sugar levels are high. Consult with your child’s primary doctor to determine precisely which option is right for you!
After the child has been diagnosed with diabetes, they’ll probably run a test of autoantibodies. This test is performed to help determine whether the toddler is suffering from type 1 or type 2 diabetes. After the problem has been positively identified as type 1 diabetes, you’ll be able to teach your toddler how to manage the problem efficiently.
Monitoring Blood Sugar
Before getting into the potential treatment options, you should teach your toddler how to monitor their blood sugar levels. In some cases, the patient may be required to monitor and record their blood sugar level several times each day. It is highly recommended that the levels are checked before a meal, before exercise, and if your child feels strange. The truth of the matter is that the only way to ensure that your child’s blood sugar levels remain safe is through constant monitoring. It is vital to realize that eating healthy and taking insulin can help, but your child’s blood sugar levels could still change erratically throughout the day.
After time and with additional experience, your toddler will begin to learn how they feel when their blood sugar levels are low or high. They’ll also learn how certain activities, foods and drinks impact their blood sugar levels. CGM or continuous glucose monitoring can help, but the associated monitors aren’t as reliable as standard blood sugar monitoring. With this in mind, you should teach your child how to check their levels manually. And of course, you should make it a habit!
Basic Treatments For Type I Diabetes
When your child suffers from type 1 diabetes, it basically means that his or her body can no longer produce insulin, which makes it impossible for glucose to reach the cells. This eventually causes the blood glucose levels to rise and leads to severe complications. Not to worry though, because there is a variety of different treatment options that can help your child live a healthy life with this condition. The main goal of the treatment will be to control the condition, so that it prevents symptoms from arising. In order to do this, you will have to ensure that your child’s blood sugar levels stay as close to normal as possible during all times of the day and night.
A child with type 1 diabetes will need to take insulin as prescribed by a trained physician, eat a healthy balanced diet, check blood sugar levels throughout the day, and exercise regularly. It is important to remember that there is no cure for type 1 diabetes, so this is something that your child will have to live with for the rest of his or her life.
How To Take Insulin As Prescribed
As mentioned above, insulin will be a huge part of the treatment process for your child. Insulin will be the only medication available that will be able to keep your child’s blood sugar levels within a healthy and acceptable range. Most children will require around two injections a day unless they are using an insulin pump or there are some other special circumstances. As a parent, it is important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to your child’s insulin schedule. The number of injections and type of injections that your child requires will really depend on the type of management plan that you have setup for your child.
Blood sugar levels can rise during and after meals, so insulin levels might have to be adjusted during these times. The best possible thing you can do is to keep your kid on a well-balanced schedule that you can monitor and control. Remember to visit Canadian insulin, so you can get the medication you need at a bargain.
Proper Meal Planning
Proper meal planning is essential when it comes to dealing with a child with type I diabetes. After all, everything that your child eats is going to affect his or her blood glucose levels. Nutrient-rich foods will be one of your best options, as it will help keep your child growing, while ensuring that he or she maintains a healthy weight.