We all know that Diabetes is a growing problem in our kids.
Fact: Every year 25000 children diagnosed with diabetes.
To start, there are 2 different types of childhood diabetes namely Type 1 & Type 2.
Type 1 diabetes was initially called Juvenile Onset diabetes & is typically diagnosed in children and adolescents. Only five percent of those with diabetes have Type 1.
Our parents worry thinking that their kids will get diabetes as they eat a lot of sugar. Sugar does not directly cause type 1 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease where our immune system attacks and destroys the beta cells (insulin producing cells) of the pancreas. Scientists are not quite sure why it occurs, but it seems to be a combination of genetic & environmental factors, & has no relation with diet.
Symptoms of juvenile type 1 diabetes
The Type 1 diabetes comes very suddenly and it depends on insulin for the rest of the child’s life.
- Extreme thirst
- Frequent urination (day and night)
- Increased appetite &
- Sudden weight loss.
Children who develop type 1 diabetes appear to be tired, thin & sick. Parents worry that their child is diabetic because the child drinks a lot of water though this is not the only symptom.
Luckily, the manner in which insulin is given now days continue to improve & most children now use an insulin pump, which delivers insulin in a consistent manner than earlier methods. Even after hopes of pancreas transplants and all, parents find it difficult to manage.
Children’s diabetes type 2
Type 2 diabetes, earlier called “Non-insulin dependent diabetes,” is quite different than before. Earlier diagnosed in adults, currently it is now rising in children too.
In type 2 diabetes, our body is unable to use insulin in the correct way and the glucose in the blood stream is unable to enter the cells. This is called insulin resistance. Hence, the pancreas tries to produce even more insulin to keep blood sugar levels normal. Over time, the pancreas may wear out completely. Type 2 diabetes can be controlled with an oral medication instead of insulin.
Type 2 diabetes occurs in those children who are
- Less active &
- Often have a parent with diabetes
The more children in this country developed obesity, the more the number of cases of type 2 diabetes will continue to rise. In most cases, if a child changes their lifestyle starts a healthy diet, loses weight and importantly exercising, then the body may be able to restore normal insulin balance.
This is the big difference between the type 1 & type 2.
If any concerns for your child, child is showing any signs of diabetes, make sure to consult your doctor. Also, promote healthy eating habits and daily exercise.
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