Diabetes in Children: Causes,Symptoms, Risk Factor and Complications

Mostly diabetes in children are of Type 1. Type 1 Diabetese is an autoimmune disease in which your child's body no longer produces insulin or may produce insufficient amount of insulin.

Updated: August 15, 2020

Mostly diabetes in children are of Type 1. Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which your child's body no longer produces insulin or may produce insufficient amount of insulin. The missing insulin have to be replaced as it is essential to survive. Type 1 diabetes in children is known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes.

Causes of Type 1 Diabetes in Children:


In most people with type 1 diabetes, the body's immune system  which normally fights harmful bacteria and viruses  mistakenly destroys insulin-producing (islet) cells in the pancreas. Once the islet cells of the pancreas are destroyed, your child produces little or no insulin. As a result, glucose builds up in your child's bloodstream raising the blood glucose level. Type 1 diabetes in children is commonly due to genetics and environmental factors.

Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes in Children:


The usual sign and symptoms include:

Increased thirst :

Excess sugar building up in your child's bloodstream pulls fluid from tissues which results in increased thirst.


Frequent urination:

As a result of increased thirst, your child will drink more water and urinate more.  A young child might suddenly experience bed-wetting.


Extreme hunger:

Your child's muscles and organs will experience lack of energy, as the insulin  moving into the cells are not enough. This will result intense hunger.


Fatigue:

Lack of sugar in your child's cells might make him or her tired and lethargic.


Weight loss:

The glucose that goes out when your child urinate takes calories with it. That's why children with Type 1 diabetes lose weight. Unexplained weight loss is often the first sign of type 1 diabetes to be noticed in children.


Irritability or behavior changes:

Your child will have Unusual behavior may be moody or restless than normal.


Fruity smelling breath:

Burning fat instead of sugar produces ketones that can cause a fruity breath odor.


Blurred vision:

High blood sugar levels can lead to blurred vision or other eyesight problems.


Yeast infection:

Girls with type 1 diabetes may have a genital yeast infections.

Risk factors of Type 1 Diabetes in Children:

Family history:

If the child has a family history of Type 1 diabetes that is anyone with a parent or siblings with type 1 diabetes has a slightly increased risk of developing the condition.


Genetic susceptibility:

The presence of certain genes indicates an increased risk of developing type 1 diabetes in children.


Certain viruses:

Exposure to various viruses may result in autoimmune destruction of the islet cells.


Complications of Type 1 Diabetes in Children:

Poor blood circulation and nerve damage:

Nerve damage usually happens gradually over a long period of time. Damaged nerves and hardened arteries lead to a loss of sensation  and a lack of blood supply to your child's feet. This raises the chances of injury and makes it harder for open sores and wounds to heal.
Nerve damage can also cause digestive problems like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Heart and blood vessel disease:

Type 1 diabetes increases your child's risk of developing  coronary artery disease with chest pain (angina), heart attack, stroke, narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis) and high blood pressure later in life.


Chronic kidney disease(CKD and Renal failure):

Damage to the kidneys, known as diabetic nephropathy, can lead to tissue scarring, urine protein loss, and eventually chronic kidney disease and failure, sometimes requiring dialysis or kidney transplantation.


Diabetes retinopathy:

Being diabetic, especially when on insulin, there is a high risk of diabetes retinopathy leading to vision loss and blindness. Diabetes can also lead to cataracts and a greater risk of glaucoma.


Skin problems:

Your child may be more prone to skin problems, including bacterial infections, fungal infections and itching.


Osteoporosis:

Diabetes may  lower the bone mineral density, increasing your child's risk of osteoporosis in later stage of life.


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