What Do I Need to Know About Juvenile Diabetes
Juvenile Diabetes: Type 1 & Type 2
Diabetes in the United States is a widespread disease state that can is attributed to many factors. According to the CDC’s 2014 National Diabetes Statistics Report, in 2008-2009, approximately 18,436 people younger than 20 in the U.S. were diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Even more shockingly, 5,089 people younger than 20 were diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. If you are unaware of the differences between Type 1 Diabetes vs. Type II Diabetes, we will break it down for you.
Type 1 vs. Type 2 Juvenile Diabetes
Also known as “Insulin-dependent Diabetes,” Type 1 Diabetes patients require insulin injections. In this type of diabetes, the child’s immune system has not done its job of protecting. Instead, the body’s immune antibodies have attacked the beta cells, the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. This is the reason that patients diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes require insulin because their body is no longer able to produce any.
Type 2 Diabetes is known as “insulin-independent diabetes” because patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes do not always require insulin treatment. In this type of diabetes, the body has a difficult time using the insulin that it has. A few common complications associated with type 2 diabetes are overweight individuals, obesity, and HTN.
Now that we have discussed the different types of diabetes that could be affecting your children, we will get into what types of symptoms to look for that may indicate diabetes. We are going to focus on mainly type 1 diabetes, but these symptoms often apply to both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Symptoms in Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes
Symptoms associated with type 1 diabetes are often largely due to a lack of energy in the body from the inability to absorb glucose without insulin. One of the symptoms includes extreme hunger also associated with weight loss. Another symptom is increased thirst and increased urination. This sign is easy to overlook in young children who are not yet potty-trained who begin requiring more frequent diaper changes. It can also be overlooked in a toddler who is having more “accidents” even after being toilet trained. Lastly, fatigue, irritability or unusual behavior, and blurry vision can all be symptoms of type 1 diabetes in children. If you child is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is recommended that you consult a medical profession to determine the diagnosis.
Immediate medical attention is needed if your child is experiencing extreme belly pain, rapid breathing, drowsiness, or loss of consciousness.
How is Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes Diagnosed?
Juvenile diabetes, like adult onset diabetes, is diagnosed through medical tests such as urine tests or blood tests. Depending on your medical provider, different tests may be used to determine the diagnoses. It is highly advised not to try to diagnose your child on your own. Improper diagnosis and treatment of diabetes can be fatal and should always be performed by a medical professional.
My Child Was Diagnosed With Type 1 Diabetes, Now What?
“Now what?” is a common question for parents who have a child who has recently been diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Depending on the diagnoses and the individual situation, the diabetes treatment plan for your child will vary. Like many disease states, each diabetes case is different, and treatment plans should be made to fit the individual’s needs.
Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes Treatment
Typically, Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes treatment requires insulin because of your child’s inability to produce it on their own. Insulin is administered in one of three ways. The three types of insulin injection devices are small syringes, a preset insulin pen, or an insulin pump. For children, it is often recommended to use a pump or a preset pen. These two types of insulin injections are seamless and easy for parents or older children to use. The goal of these insulin injections is to normalize your child’s blood sugars. Another crucial aspect in the treatment of Type 1 Diabetes is the diet of the child. We will go more in depth with each of these areas of treatment.
There are multiple forms that insulin injections that a patient can utilize to manage their diabetes. The first one we will discuss is a simple syringe. When using a syringe, the insulin is in a small glass bottle that you must use to fill the syringe depending on the required insulin dose. This can be tricky for some people and leaves a large margin for error. For that reason, the next available option for daily insulin injections is an insulin pen. This pen is prefilled with insulin and can be set to a precise dosage before administering the insulin. An insulin pen is a nice alternative to the syringe and bottle insulin. For some patients, these two ways of delivering insulin may not work for their lifestyle. In those cases, an insulin pump can be installed which provides continuous insulin through a small plastic tube. These patients may also wear a continuous blood glucose monitor or have an insulin pump capable of performing both the insulin administration and the blood glucose monitor. As always, a medical professional such as your primary care provider or diabetes specialist should be consulted on the best treatment options for you.
Diabetic Diet for Children and Juveniles
Picky eaters can be a nightmare when it comes to planning and preparing food for your family. Picky eating can make feeding a small child no easy feat, even before factoring in diabetes. A healthy and nutritious diet is especially important for children with diabetes and will help improve their quality of life. For that reason, we have come up with a few tips to help you incorporate healthy foods into your child’s diet. If you are unsure of the calories your child should be consuming, check out healthychildren.org’s “Energy In: Recommended Food & Drink Amounts for Children.” If you are dealing with a picky eater who has recently been diagnosed with diabetes, consider these few tips below from the American heart association or Download the Lucas Research Tips for Dealing with a Picky Eater for free.
In the event that you have any questions about your child’s juvenile diabetes, feel free to contact us. At Lucas Research we are here to help improve your quality of life. We also have opportunities for pediatric diabetes studies that your child may qualify to participate in. To find out more about our pediatric research studies for diabetes, go to https://lucasresearch.org/clinical-research/pediatric-studies/