Diabetes is a serious disease that affects the level of sugar or glucose in the blood. Diabetes is chronic but can be managed with proper treatment.
When food is broken down, digestive juices convert food into simple sugar, or glucose. Glucose is the body’s source of energy. As glucose is passed into the bloodstream, the pancreas produces insulin. Insulin is a natural hormone that allows the cells to properly use the glucose.
There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is most common in children. With type 1 diabetes, the pancreas cannot produce insulin. Type 2 diabetes mainly affects adults. With type 2 diabetes, the body will produce insulin, but the cells cannot properly absorb the insulin.
The cause of diabetes is unknown, although researchers have determined that there are certain genetic links and environmental factors for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
If your child has diabetes, it is most likely type 1 in which the pancreas have stopped producing insulin, In this case, your child must replace the insulin with regular injections. If not, the glucose will accumulate in the bloodstream and left untreated, can lead to life threatening conditions such as kidney disease and infections.
If you are concerned that your toddler has type 1 diabetes, look for these symptoms:
Your child may have extreme thirst along with frequent urination. They will be lethargic and irritable. Their appetite can increase but they may lose weight suddenly. Your child’s breath might have a sweet, fruitlike smell. If you notice these signs, take your child to the doctor for blood tests.
Treatment of type 1 diabetes will usually consist of daily insulin injections and monitoring of glucose levels. Proper diet and exercise are also crucial to managing a child’s diabetes