Cases of diabetes in children below 15 yrs of age have been on the rise lately with 23 people out of 100000 people being diagnosed per year. Of all the different types of diabetes, type 1 is the most common one in children. These children might have gotten diabetes from their close relatives. The most common person is the mother: if she had diabetes during birth, the child might get it too.
Children who have type 1 diabetes are supposed to be handled in a unique way, unlike any diabetic patient. This specialized care should be accorded to them as early as in the diagnosis stage.
Diagnosis of type 1 diabetes is based on the different signs and symptoms these children display and also the measurement of blood sugar. Below are some of the signs and symptoms observed in children who have type 1 diabetes:
- Weight loss
- Shortness of breath
- Abdominal pains
In the earlier stages, diabetes can be misdiagnosed as asthma or appendicitis. This can, however, be clarified by running the following tests apart from the
- Oral glucose torelance test
- HbA1c measurement
- Diabetes- associated antibodies.
Type 1 diabetes in children is a severe condition that should be treated with immediate medical attention. If the above symptoms are observed in a child, they should be rushed to a doctor.
After diagnosis, the patient may then be put under insulin therapy. If the child cannot inject himself the insulin, he should be given a nurse or an older family member to help him.
Other modes of treatment are similar to those of any diabetic patient
- Proper diet: the parents should make sure that the child keeps of sugary foodstuffs such as candy and sweet drinks. This can be very hard for the child, and so guidance will be needed.
- Constant monitoring of blood sugar: the child should be taught on how to monitor their blood sugar levels if they are of age. If the child is very young, the parents should then do the checking. It is advised for one to check the sugar levels as many times as possible preferably before and after eating.
- Diabetes education: (applies to grown kids only) the child should be made aware of their condition and the reasons behind the kind of lifestyle they will be required to have. This education helps them to be more responsible and cautious.