When most people think about diabetes, they are thinking about adults with type 2 diabetes. This is the most common image and understanding of diabetes. However, there is also type 1 diabetes, which most people do not know much about. And what they definitely do not recognize is that it can affect children. As a parent, it is important to know some of the basic facts about type 1 diabetes in children. Then, you can be sure to get your child to the pediatrician right away if you suspect they might have this condition.
What Is Type 1 Diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes is a condition in which a person's body is incapable of producing sufficient insulin to maintain healthy blood sugar in the body. It is chronic and incurable. This condition has also been referred to as insulin-dependent diabetes in the past.
How Many Children Are Affected?
Type 1 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes affecting children. About 1 in 400 children will be diagnosed with type 1 diabetes during childhood or adolescence. While this means it is not an exceptionally common ailment, it is still something to watch out for, especially if there is a history of diabetes in the family.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes in Children?
One of the most common symptoms or signs of type 1 diabetes is the development of bed-wetting in children who previously did not have that problem. This can happen to adolescents as well, which should be a clear indication that they need to get to the pediatrician right away.
Another common sign of type 1 diabetes is an increase in thirst. If your child is suddenly asking for drinks quite often or is complaining about being thirsty even when they just drank a lot of water, you may have an issue on your hands. Additional symptoms include increase urination, fatigue, excessive hunger, unexplained weight loss, weakness, and chronic headaches (these can occur from low blood sugar).
How Is Type 1 Diabetes Treated?
Type 1 diabetes is primarily treated with insulin. The child will need to have insulin injected into their body throughout the day to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Diet and exercise are also an important part of managing type 1 diabetes. A healthy diet that is low in processed and sugary foods is a vital component of managing the condition.
Now that you know more about type 1 diabetes in children, you can be sure that you take your child to the pediatrician right away if they show signs of type 1 diabetes. Contact a healthcare clinic like Kitsap Children's Clinic LLP to learn more.