- Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes in Children
- Cause for Diabetes in Babies
- Treatment of Diabetes in Children
- Prevention Diabetes in Kids
What is Child Diabetes
The disease can manifest itself at any age. There are cases of diabetes in newborns. It has an inborn character but it’s not often that diabetes occurs at such an early age. The disease is spread more in case of children from 6 to 12 years old. Metabolism in the organism of a child, including carbohydrate metabolism, goes much more faster than in case of an adult. The condition of non-formed nervous system on the background of it influences the amount of sugar in blood. The younger a child is the harder the course of the disease goes.
The process of diabetes’ development in children is very much like in case of adults. The peculiarities this disease has in case of children are due to the condition of the pancreatic gland. Its size is little. By the age of 12 it’s only 12 cm in length and weighs approximately 50g. The mechanism of insulin production comes to normal by 5 years. That’s why the period from 5-6 to 11-12 years is crucial for the manifestation of diabetes.
It is usual in medicine to distinguish 2 types of diabetes: insulin-dependent diabetes and insulin-non-dependent diabetes (Type 1 and 2 respectively). According to the statistics, most often children have Type 1 diabetes. It is exactly this diabetes for which low amount of insulin production is common.
Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes in Children
Parents should pay attention to some peculiarities in a child’s behavior so that not to lose time and consult a doctor as soon as possible. Diabetes develops very fast. If necessary treatment is not provided on time, diabetic coma may occur.
The main signs of diabetes in case of children:
- dryness in mouth and a constant desire to drink;
- frequent urination, urine is sticky;
- nausea and vomiting;
- a sharp decrease of eyesight;
- gluttony on the background of weight loss;
- weakness, children get tired and annoyed very fast.
If one or several symptoms have manifested themselves at once, it’s a reason for visiting a doctor. A doctor will prescribe necessary tests on the basis of which it’s possible to give an exact diagnosis.
Symptoms of the disease can be specific as well as non-specific. There may be complaints on the part of a child about constant headaches, getting tired very fast or decreased educational performance.
The main (common) symptoms of diabetes in case of children:
- polyuria or incontinence of urine. Parents of small children are mistaken when they take this symptom for nighttime incontinence of urine that occurs quite often at an early age. That’s why it is important to know the first symptoms of diabetes;
- polydipsia – morbid thirst. A child may drink up to 10 liters of water per day but there will still be dryness in mouth;
- a sharp loss of weight on the background of an increased appetite or the so-called polyphagia;
- skin itching and purulent formations on skin. Skin integuments become dry;
- after urination there occurs itching in the area of the sexual organs;
- the amount of urine increases (it is more than 2 liters per day). It has light colour. urine test shows a high amount and specific weight of acetone. There is a possibility of sugar in urine, as a rule, there shouldn’t be any;
- blood test on an empty stomach shows an increased amount of sugar in blood. There is more than 120 milligram.
If you suspect your child of having diabetes, it’s really important to undergo the procedure of diagnostics and get adequate treatment on time.
Cause for Diabetes in Babies
There are lots of reasons for diabetes in children.
The main are the following:
- biological inheritance. This disease very often occurs among relatives. If both parents have diabetes, there is a 100% possibility that their children sooner or later will have it too. The disease may manifest itself in a newborn, when he or she is 25 or 50 years old. It’s necessary to keep the level of sugar in blood under control when a woman is pregnant since placenta absorbs sugar really well, thus sugar accumulates in the forming organs and tissues of a fetus;
- virus infections. Up-to-date medicine has proved that rubella, chickenpox, viral hepatitis and viral parotiditis (contagious parotitis) damage the functioning of the pancreatic gland. In such like case, the mechanism of the disease’s development goes so that the cells of a human’s immune system simply destroy insulin cells. However, the infection a person has come through will lead to the development of diabetes only in case of bad heredity;
- overeating. An increased appetite may be a reason for obesity. This especially refers to easily absorbed carbohydrate products: sugar, chocolate, sweets and farinaceous products. If a person eats these products very often, the load on pancreatic gland increases as a result. Gradual exhaustion of the insulin cells leads to the situation when its production stops;
- low physical activity. If a person moves too little, he gains excess weight. constant physical loads increase the functioning of the cells that are responsible for insulin production. Consequently, the level of sugar in blood is within established levels;
- getting constantly ill with colds. When immune system faces infection, it starts to actively produce antibodies in order to fight with it. If such like situations occur very often, the system gets exhausted and immunity is brought low. As a result, antibodies, even if there is no virus, continue to be produced thus destroying themselves. A failure in the functioning of the pancreatic gland occurs and, consequently, the production of insulin is decreased.
Treatment of Diabetes in Children
At present, medicine hasn’t found a way that can completely cure a child of diabetes. The main aim of the carried out treatment is to get the metabolism’s processes back to normal for a long period of time. On the part of parents there should be a constant control of a child’s condition (dependent on a child’s age, he or she may control it by himself/herself).
Adequate treatment, no complications and health condition of a child being normal for a long time – these are the things on the base of which positive prognosis on living condition and further working activity can be given. Up-to-date medicine is carrying out work in the area of diabetes’ treatment.
There are several separate areas:
- universal and non-painful ways of injecting insulin drugs in a child’s organism are being developed;
- ways of pancreatic gland’s cells transplantation are being studied. The cells are responsible for the production of insulin;
- methods and drugs the aim of which is to bring the changed immune system of a child back to normal are being tested.
Endocrinologist is carrying out treatment of diabetes. If there is the first stage of the disease, it can be corrected in a hospital for in-patients. Other stages of diabetes require clinical examination.
In case of children, treatment starts with finding an optimal diet that is discussed with doctor and corrected in accordance with how severe the disease is. There is a need to follow dietary pattern since a child takes several drugs within a day. Taking the drugs depends on the time when a child eats. The scheme of treatment should be strictly followed otherwise the efficiency of drugs will be decreased considerably.
The calorific value of foods is calculated according to the following scheme: breakfast - 30 %, lunch - 40 %, afternoon snack - 10 %, supper - 20 %. The counting of the carbohydrate foods amount requires special attention. Its general amount per day shouldn’t be more than 400 g. A full list of what is allowed and forbidden to eat in case of diabetes and the importance of glycemic index.
Medicine treatment includes using insulin drugs and undergoing courses of angioprotectors. Vitamin therapy, hepatotropic and bile-expelling drugs act as helping means of treatment.
The Use of Insulin
Insulin that is used in treating diabetic children functions for a short period of time. Actrapid and Protophane has such like function. The consistence is injected with the help of a pen-syringe. It’s convenient and allows a child to learn and inject the drug himself or herself on a certain time without any help.
The Transplantation of Pancreatic Gland
In very severe cases, a transplantation of pancreatic gland is carried out. There is either a complete transplantation or part transplantation of the organ carried out. However, there is a danger of rejection, occurrence of immune reactions on heterogeneous organ and development of complications (pancreatitis). Doctors consider the procedure of transplantation with the use of fetal pancreatic gland to be a perspective one. Its structure decreases the risk of the negative reactions’ development.
Experiments on transplantation b-cells pancreatic islands’ where b-cells of rabbits and pigs act as basic have turned out to be a temporary help. The suspensions injected into the portal vein allowed people who have diabetes to make do without insulin for less than 1 year.
Prevention Diabetes in Kids
Babies who are bottle fed from the very first days of life are more prone to the risk to become ill with diabetes. The mixtures have a cow’s milk protein that makes the functioning of the pancreatic gland worse. Breast milk is the first preventive measure that will decrease the possibility to get diabetes. Breastfeeding up to 1 year and more will improve the immune system of the baby and protect him or her from infectious diseases that may provoke the development of diabetes.
In case when it is about older kids, it’s necessary to keep an eye on what he or she eats and when. The food ration should be balanced and various. Big amounts of fat and carbohydrates are to be excluded. It is necessary to eat fruits and vegetables.
Preventive measures also include defining risk group: if there are members in a child’s family that have diabetes, disorder of metabolism in a child and obesity. Children that fall into these categories are put on record to endocrinologist and undergo an examination twice a year. If the disease is diagnosed, dispensary observation and monthly examination by a child’s endocrinologist is prescribed. The aim here is to correct the programme of treatment, define the periods of escalation on time and prevention of severe complications’ occurrence in the course of the disease.
The frequency and methods of examination are defined on the basis of the disease’s stage. People ill with diabetes undergo examination each year and at particular specialists. They are ophthalmologist, heart specialist, neurologist, surgeon, nephrologist and others. The list of necessary for them examinations includes electrocardiogram, urine test and examinations that on early stage will help in detecting the damage of organs and systems.
It’s impossible to completely cure of diabetes. Adequate treatment that is carried out on time will lead to the disease’s remission and a child will be able to live his usual life while developing in accordance with his or her age.
Video: Warning Signs of Diabetes in Children