If a child is diagnosed with diabetes (this is something which is referred to as a juvenile type of the condition), it can be an extremely confusing and distressing time for everyone involved.
For anyone who develops juvenile diabetes it is more likely going to be a case of type 1 that a child will suffer from.
This term “juvenile” is used because its when a case of diabetes will occur at some time during childhood. It doesn’t matter who develops the condition and when, treatment must still be taken seriously to prevent any more serious problems arising in future. There are a number of ways that this can be done, so keep on reading.
Fact: Even though type 1 diabetes is less common in adults, it has been reported that this is not the case when it comes to children. In cases of diabetes that involve children a staggering 90 – 95% of these developed type 1, rather than type 2.
What can cause juvenile diabetes?
Juvenile diabetes is typically known as type 1 and this develops when the body is unable to produce insulin whatsoever and this is when it will need replacing by an external source (commonly, insulin injections).
Type 1 diabetes is referred to as an autoimmune disease and many experts believe that the body works at destroying the beta cells (located within the pancreas) which produce the necessary insulin to keep the blood sugar levels balanced.
It is important to take this condition very seriously and if you suspect there might be a problem, the symptoms listed below will give you a better idea of what to expect, as well as questions that should be asked.
Symptoms of Juvenile Diabetes
As with any form of diabetes, it is essential that anyone can recognise the symptoms associated with such a condition so that the relevant treatment is received as soon as possible, so as to prevent any further problems occurring in future.
Should you have any suspicions then it is important to ask yourself the following:
- Has your child been urinating more than normal – this could be either during the day or night, or both?
- Does your child seem to have an increased level of thirst? This could be the case but it is important to remember that this might simply be occurring so that fluids lost through regular urination are replaced.
- Are they constantly feeling hungry, no matter how much they seem to eat? Has there been any sign of unexplained weight loss?
- Has your child complained of any pain, especially in the form of stomach and/or head aches?
If you have answered yes to one or more of these questions then it is essential to receive medical advice as soon as possible so that a firm diagnosis and method of treatment can be recommended.
Treating Juvenile Diabetes
If your worst fears have been confirmed then it is time to look at treating the problem effectively so that the condition can be managed with little risk of diabetes related complications arising at any time.
These are a few of the methods that you should definitely consider implementing at the earliest convenience:
- Ensuring that a minimum of 30 minutes exercise per day is carried out as this is going to keep blood sugar levels under better control. It doesn’t have to be anything particular difficult and could range from swimming, football, jogging and other similar activities
- With either type of diabetes, it is essential that regular glucose testing is carried out. The number of times per day will vary from person to person but at least 3 checks are recommended
- Manage the insulin injections effectively. Your doctor will be able to provide you with a better idea of when and how often these should be administered and once a pattern is emerging, you will be able to help your child learn how to do them by his / herself
- If required, make any relevant changes to a diet and be sure to include plenty of items that are full of carbohydrates, as well as limiting the amount of high fat / calories goods
Make others aware of Juvenile Diabetes
If your child has been diagnosed with juvenile diabetes then I am sure this is something that you don’t want the entire world to know. Of course, you only need to tell people who have to know. There are certain individuals / groups who should be aware of a condition like this so appropriate action can be taken if it were required.
These could comprise of the following:
- The school / individual teachers
- A childminder / babysitter
- If it is a young child then a playschool or nursery will need to know
It is vital that you never overlook telling people about a case of diabetes because this is going to mean that the situation can be controlled quickly and efficiently, and with little risk to your child.
Administering injections for Juvenile Diabetes
Making sure injections are delivered on time every day is essential because this will ensure that the blood glucose level is being adequately controlled. From the beginning, you may be unsure how injections need to be delivered, but you should have access to a handy diabetes team who will be able to provide demonstrations on what exactly needs to be done.
At first, you may want to be in control of delivering the insulin via injection, just until the process has become a lot easier. As time goes by, you can start to show your child exactly how it can be done and they will then go on to independently manage the condition.
Top tip: No matter where you are, always ensure that there is a steady supply of insulin, just in case it is needed. If you are on the go then a great way of storing insulin is by using a cool bag or similar product so that it remains fresh and useable.