Diabetes in children

Apr 14, 2012 , Zuzana Boučková

diabetes-u-deti.jpg - kopie
diabetes-u-deti.jpg - kopie
Diabetes mellitus is a disease, which is not an exception even in children. Most common in children is diabetes type 1, when the immune system attacks the body's own cells of the pancreas, which produce insulin. With the increasing obesity in children diabetes mellitus type 2 is also not an exception. Diabetes in children if treated according to doctor’s recommendations is a manageable disease.

Diabetes in children

Diabetes mellitus or simply diabetes is a disease in which mainly the carbohydrate metabolism is disrupted. Nowadays it is considered a disease of the developed world, and therefore is most prevalent in Euro-American countries. Diabetes is still an incurable disease; although with early diagnosis can be well treated. Diabetes has several types, wherein in children the most typical one is type 1, abbreviation DM1. Today is not an exception that we meet with type 2 diabetes in children, which is primarily due to increasing obesity in children.

Causes of diabetes in children

The cause of type 1 diabetes in children is that the cells of the immune system start attacking the body's own cells. That's why diabetes is an autoimmune disease. In the case of type 1 diabetes are attacked islets of Langerhans, which are found in the pancreas and produce insulin. This hormone is necessary for supplying the majority of cells of the organism with sugar, called glucose, from the blood. Without it glucose levels in the blood increase and the cells remain without adequate energy supply.

Types of diabetes in children

Despite the fact that diabetes type 1 in children is the most common type of diabetes it is far from the only type. Recently, in children and adolescents there is a significantly increased incidence of type 2 diabetes that was previously typical for people over 45 years old. This disease is usually not characterized by insufficient production of insulin, but a poor response of body tissues to its effect. Increased incidence of type 2 diabetes can be blamed on improper lifestyle and the growing number of obese children. Therefore, in the treatment of this disease it is needed to focus on lifestyle modification and weight reduction.

In some families with high incidence of diabetes can specific types of diabetes occur in children, which are inherited and associated with a failure in certain genes, in which is encoded the information for the correct functioning of the islets of Langerhans, which produce insulin. The group of these diabetes is called MODY, where the individual types differ from each other by their symptoms.

Symptoms of diabetes in children

The first symptoms of diabetes in children are usually typical. Increased is fluid intake, urination, which in infants is light yellow and sticky, which is due to the increased glucose in the urine. There is loss of weight and increased loss of fluids causing thirst. The child is also tired and lethargic. In infants poor weight gain in the first stages is not exceptional.

Complications of diabetes in children

It is very important to recognize the symptoms listed above as soon as possible and bring the child to a doctor. If this condition remains unrecognized for a long time, then the patient can fall into a coma, which is a life-threatening condition. This is mainly due to the fact that the body processes fats as an alternative source of energy, producing the so-called ketone bodies, which acidify the body. This leads to a condition called ketoacidosis, which is manifested by vomiting and the inability to replace fluids thus dehydration. This condition, together with increasing blood glucose levels, leads to the development of a diabetic coma, which is life-threatening for the child. Also common is eye, kidney and vascular system damage, or non-healing wounds on the lower extremities. It is therefore essential to inform enough young diabetics and guide them through their modified regime.

Treatment of diabetes in children

Treatment of diabetes in children includes regime adjustments and insulin administration. The lifestyle changes include especially a healthy and varied diet with plenty of vegetables and fruits, limiting fatty foods and sugary sodas. Regular physical activity is also helpful. Insulin is injected under the skin. For some children injections may be initially very unpleasant since usually children are afraid of needles, but over time they adjust easily, since application to the dermis is usually painless. Nowadays, are widely used insulin pens, which make the application of this hormone easier. During the treatment also regular home blood glucose measurements are needed, with a device called glucometer. Likewise, every day at home is analyzed glycosuria, the amount of glucose in urine, and ketonuria, the amount of ketone bodies in urine.

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