Juvenile Diabetes Page
According to a study by the National Statistics for Health, rates of new cases of diabetes in children and teens rose during 2002 to 2012. The researchers reported increases in the rates of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The rate of new cases of type 1 diabetes in youths under the age of 20 rose by about 2 percent. The rate of new cases of type 2 diabetes in youths ages 10 to 19 increased by about 5 percent. Unlike type 1 diabetes, type 2 is seldom diagnosed in children younger than 10.
The National Statistics for Health also reports type 1 diabetes in children used to be referred to as juvenile diabetes, or insulin-dependent diabetes. A child with type 1 diabetes will need insulin to survive. This diagnosis for children can be overwhelming for the parents and child alike. The diabetic child (or caretaker) will have to administer injections, count carbohydrates and monitor blood sugar levels. Thanks to diabetic research advancements, blood sugar monitoring and insulin delivery have improved the daily management of the condition.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the signs and symptoms of type 1 diabetes in children usually develop quickly, over a period of weeks. These signs and symptoms include:
- Increased thirst and frequent urination
- Extreme hunger
- Weight loss
- Irritability or behavior changes
- Fruity-smelling breath
- Blurred vision
- Yeast infection
Juvenile Diabetes Prevention
There is no known way to prevent type 1 diabetes, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Children who have a high risk of developing type 1 diabetes are tested for antibodies associated with the disorder. Even if the antibodies are present, this does not make diabetes inevitable. If the antibodies are found, there is currently no known way to prevent type 1 diabetes.
According to the Mayo Clinic, researchers are working on preventing type 1 diabetes in people who have a high risk of developing the disease, and other research focuses on preventing further destruction of the islet cells in people newly diagnosed.
While you cannot prevent your child’s type 1 diabetes, the Mayo Clinic reports, you can help your child prevent its complications.
Juvenile diabetes and school
According to the American Diabetes Association, children going back to school need to have a current Diabetes Medical Management Plan (DMMP) in place. This plan will provide a child with a diabetes care regimen for school.
What to do if a diabetic child gets sick
According to the American Diabetes Association, when a diabetic child gets sick, the body perceives the illness as stress. To relieve the stress, the body fights the illness. This process requires more energy than the body normally uses and helps supply the extra fuel the body needs. The downside is, the stress can lead to high blood sugar levels. A diabetic physician will include sick-day instructions in the diabetes management plan, which, according to Kids Health, might include:
- how to monitor both blood sugar levels and ketones when your child is sick
- which over-the-counter and prescription medicines are OK to give your child
- what adjustments you should make to your child’s food and drink and medications
- when to call the doctor or another member of the diabetes health care team