What is Type 1 Diabetes, and How do You Help Your Child to Control it?

type 1 diabetes childrenType 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, meaning the immune system attacks the insulin-producing cells in the body. When this happens, the body can no longer produce insulin on its own and is trying to figure out what to do. Insulin helps your body metabolize sugars, which gives you the energy that you need in order to function. When there is no insulin, the sugars simply build up in the bloodstream because your body can’t metabolize it, resulting in high blood sugar levels in the body, which in turn leads to many other conditions that can be rough on an adult but even more frustrating for a child. This can make it tough to handle.

Extreme thirst is one of the early symptoms of Type 1 diabetes, which means that the patient will be drinking a lot of water and going to the bathroom more often to urinate. This can also have a damaging effect on the kidneys, cause unnecessary weight loss, and lead to other complications as well. The lack of insulin in the body can cause damage to the kidneys with a build up of ketones. When you combine all of this together, it means that there can be severe damage to the entire body over time because everything is working overtime trying to make the body function correctly.

With the right methods, however, you can stop it early. Type 1 diabetes is generally diagnosed in those that are younger than 20 years of age. Although it is not common, it is not gender selective. It is unclear what all of the causes for the disease are, but once diagnosed it is important to follow the doctor’s orders in order to avoid severe complications. Things to look out for with your child would be unusual hunger and thirst, pain in the stomach or abdomen, unusual fatigue, blurry vision, unexplained weight loss, difficulty breathing and even nausea. You should also watch for infections more than usual.

Once diagnosed, making simple changes in their daily lifestyle can make a big difference and go a long way toward helping them live a healthy, happy and long life. Watch their blood sugar level, getting them to eat the right foods, make sure they get plenty of exercise and take their insulin and any other medications that the doctor gives. By following a simple daily regimen, life can go on as it did every day before the diagnosis.

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