Type 1 Diabetes in Kids
Diabetes comes in two types. Type 1 diabetes actually used to be known as juvenile diabetes because it occurs from childhood, while type II diabetes develops later on, often in adulthood. However, even type 1 can occur in adulthood. Type 1 diabetes occurs due to the pancreas making little or no insulin and can be due to genetics, exposure to a virus, or other causes. The good news is that diabetes in kids is very manageable with monitoring, treatment, and lifestyle changes. Read on to learn about type 1 diabetes in kids.
If you suspect your child may have type 1 diabetes or if you just found out your child has type 1 diabetes, look out for these symptoms. Your child may experience an increased thirst, bedwetting (in a child who didn’t previously wet the bed), and/or many trips to the bathroom to urinate. Excessive hunger and weight loss are other signs. Symptoms of diabetes in kids may also include irritability, mood changes, weakness and fatigue, and/or blurred vision.
If your child is suspected of having type 1 diabetes, making a diagnosis is relatively easy and straightforward. Your child’s doctor may order a blood sugar test and check the urine for sugar as well. High levels of sugar in the blood with sugar in the urine can indicate that diabetes is present. These will give a more current snapshot of how your child’s blood sugar levels are doing. A hemoglobin A1C test is able to measure the average amount of blood sugar in the body over a long term, usually the past 2-3 months. This is a simple blood test. Your child’s doctor will be looking for an A1C level of at least 6.5% on two separate tests, which indicates diabetes.
Treatment for type 1 diabetes will be tailored to your child’s specific case and needs, but may include some combination of insulin therapy, blood sugar monitoring, dietary changes, and even exercise. A diet low in carbohydrates and exercise can go a long way toward minimizing the effects of the condition on your child. There are different types of insulin that can be taken. Your child will also have their A1C levels monitored regularly by their doctor.
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