Diabetes in children is recognized as a rather serious illness. He ranked second in terms of distribution among other diseases of the chronic form of the course. Diabetes in children can become a more serious problem than elevated glucose in adults. In addition, such a child is extremely difficult and problematic to adapt among peers.
Those parents whose child has type 1 diabetes are obliged to adapt to the illness and pay maximum attention to their children, because it is quite difficult for him to live with such a disease.
Symptoms of diabetes in children
Diabetes in children exhibits rapid symptoms. Signs of the onset of development of the disease may increase within a few weeks. If at least one of the following symptoms was found, then you should consult a doctor for a qualitative examination of the child’s entire body and all the tests needed in a similar situation.
If the family has a special device for measuring blood sugar levels - a glucometer, then for a start it will be enough to measure the glucose level in the morning on an empty stomach, and then after eating.
The main symptoms of diabetes in children primarily include a constant feeling of thirst. Untreated type 1 diabetes is characterized by a constant desire to drink. This is due to the fact that the sugar level rises, and the body begins to actively draw fluid from its cells and tissues in order to somehow dilute the glucose. The child will want to drink any liquid in sufficiently large volumes. It can be simple clean water, and various drinks.
The second characteristic sign of the onset of the disease will be frequent urination, because due to excessive fluid intake, the natural process of its withdrawal occurs. It is for this reason that a sick child always wants to go to the toilet. In addition, parents should be alerted by the fact that the child wrote at night, if previously he was not observed.
It is necessary to sound the alarm in those situations where a son or daughter quickly and unexpectedly lost weight. If a child has diabetes, his body begins to lose the ability and ability to use glucose for energy. As a result, their own muscles and fat layer are burned. Instead of gaining weight, the child loses it and loses weight more and more.
In addition, a constant symptom of fatigue will be a clear symptom of diabetes. This is due to the lack of insulin in the body and the lack of the ability to convert glucose into energy. All organs and tissues begin to undergo a shortage of fuel and give the body the appropriate signals, which are manifested by a constant feeling of fatigue and exhaustion.
Another sign of the onset of the disease will be a constant and irresistible feeling of hunger. In case of diabetes mellitus type 1, food is not able to be adequately absorbed and the body is not saturated. For this reason, the child is constantly hungry, even with excessive consumption of food. In some cases, the opposite effect is observed - appetite disappears, which becomes a symptom of diabetic ketoacidosis. These types of conditions are extremely dangerous for the life of the child, because they become a serious complication of the course of the disease.
If the child’s vision is impaired, this can be the first wake-up call parents should pay attention to. Increased blood glucose levels cause dehydration of the lens of the eye. This phenomenon is manifested by visual impairment, but not every child will be able to adequately describe such a state.
Fungal infections are also characteristic of type 1 diabetes. In girls, it can be thrush, and in infants severe cases of diaper rash that can pass only if the level of sugar in their blood is normalized.
Diabetic ketoacidosis is a dangerous and acute complication of diabetes mellitus in children, which can be fatal. His symptoms are:
- abdominal pain;
- fast fatiguability;
- fast breathing with interruptions;
- peculiar smell of acetone from the child's mouth.
If you experience such symptoms, you should seek medical help as quickly as possible. If these measures are not taken, then soon enough the child may lose consciousness and die.
Diabetes in children can be controlled, and the complications of this disease can be easily prevented if normal conditions for the life of the child are created and a full day regimen is guaranteed.
What are the main causes of diabetes in children?
If we talk about the exact prerequisites for the occurrence of type 1 diabetes in children and adults, then today medicine cannot give an exact answer to this question. Human immunity is designed to combat potentially dangerous viruses and bacteria that have entered the body. For some reason, the immune system gets off and starts attacking the beta cells of its own pancreas and destroys them, killing insulin.
There are reasons for which you need to talk about hereditary predisposition to type 1 diabetes. If a child has had rubella, flu, or other similar viral infections, this can also cause insulin to develop. That it is an important hormone that assists each glucose molecule and gives it the opportunity to get from the blood into the cell, where insulin is used as the main fuel.
For the production of insulin, particular cells that are located in the pancreas on the islets of Langerhans are responsible. In a normal situation, some time after a meal, glucose penetrates the bloodstream in fairly large quantities, namely, insulin allows the cells to get enough of it. As a result, the total blood sugar level decreases and insulin is produced in smaller quantities. The liver is able to store it and, if necessary, throw out the necessary amount of sugar in the blood. In those cases when insulin is not enough, the body independently releases glucose into the bloodstream and thus maintains the necessary concentration of it.
The exchange of sugar and insulin is constantly regulated based on feedback. This is the whole mechanism of the onset of the disease, because the immune system has already destroyed about 80 percent of the beta cells, which leads to insufficient insulin production, without which the child cannot be saturated with glucose in the required amounts. This leads to an increase in blood sugar levels and provokes the onset of symptoms of diabetes. At that moment, when glucose is in excess, the child's body feels a complete sense of hunger without this important fuel.
The main likely causes of diabetes in children
Medicine suggests that there are certain causes that are the causes of the onset of the disease. These include:
- viral infections that are characterized by a rather serious course: Epstein-Barr virus, Coxsackie, rubella, cytomegalovirus;
- a decrease in vitamin D baby’s blood;
- the premature introduction of whole cow milk into the baby’s diet, these reasons also serve as the development of allergies;
- too early feeding of cereals;
- dirty drinking water saturated with nitrates.
In the bulk of the causes of the disease can not be prevented, however, some of its prerequisites are entirely dependent on the parents themselves. It is better not to hurry with the start of complementary foods, because mother's breast milk is considered to be the ideal food for an infant up to the age of 6 months.
There are unconfirmed guesses that bottle-feeding can increase the likelihood of the onset of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. It is recommended to provide the child with the purest drinking water, as well as to create optimal conditions for his life. At the same time it is impossible to overdo and surround the baby with sterile objects, because such an approach can cause a backlash. As for vitamin D, it should be given to the child only after the recommendation of the pediatrician, because an overdose of the substance can cause side effects.
How to identify diabetes?
To diagnose diabetes in a child, it is first necessary to assess his general condition. In addition, the doctor will find out the likelihood of glucose absorption and a type of diabetes.
If a child has some symptoms of an illness, then he will need to measure his blood sugar level with a glucometer or in a laboratory. The analysis does not provide for mandatory blood donation on an empty stomach. Having studied the norms of glucose content and correlating them with the result, it will be possible to talk about the presence or absence of diabetes in a child.
Quite often, parents neglect the symptoms of the disease until the sick child fainted as a result of diabetic ketoacidosis.
In such situations, resuscitation measures are taken and blood tests for the level of antibodies in it are taken. The most common disease in our region is recognized as type 1 diabetes, and type 2 is more common in countries where there are quite a lot of overweight children. If the second type of ailment shows signs of its development gradually, the first almost immediately and acutely makes itself felt.
If we are talking about type 1 diabetes, then the following antibodies are inherent to it:
- glutamate decarboxylase;
- cells of the islets of Langerhans;
- to tyrosine phosphatase.
This confirms that the child’s immunity makes an attack on the beta cells, which are produced by the pancreas.
With type 2 disease after eating and before it there is a fairly high level of insulin, and antibodies in the patient's blood will not be detected. In addition, blood tests of the child will show resistance to glucose, in other words, the sensitivity of the body and its tissues to the effects of insulin will be reduced.
Almost all patients in this age group will be diagnosed as a result of blood and urine donations, which are assigned to diagnose other health problems. In addition, the burdened heredity can also cause you to seek medical help and undergo a full examination. If any of the relatives suffers from a disease, then the child will be highly susceptible to a disturbance in the exchange of glucose in his body.
About 20 percent of children in adolescence fall ill with type 2 diabetes, which causes persistent strong thirst, urge to urinate, and a sharp loss of lean body mass. Such signs of diabetes are consistent with the signs of an acute course of a type 1 sugar disease.
Burden of diabetes in children
The disease is very dangerous for its complications. Disruption of metabolic processes can lead to problems with all organs and systems of a small organism. First of all, we are talking about damage to the heart and blood vessels that are involved in its nutrition. In addition, the kidneys, eyes, and the child’s nervous system are seriously affected. If you do not engage in adequate treatment and do not control the course of the disease, in such cases mental development and growth of the patient is slowed down. Parents need to be aware of what blood sugar is the norm in a child.
Complications of type 1 disease include those that are provoked by consistently high levels of sugar or in cases where there are sharp jumps. On the part of various systems, these will be manifestations:
- cardiovascular disease. The presence of diabetes in a patient repeatedly increases the risk of developing angina, even in fairly young children. The disease is manifested by pains in the chest. At a young age, atherosclerosis, increased blood pressure, stroke, heart attack can begin;
- neuropathy. This disease causes damage to the nervous system of the child. High levels of glucose in the blood leads to disruption of the normal functioning of the nerves, especially affected legs. Symptoms of neuropathy are pain or complete loss of sensation, light tingling in the feet;
- nephropathy. It is characterized by damage to the kidneys. Diabetes becomes the cause of the defeat of the special glomeruli, which are responsible for filtering blood waste. As a result, kidney failure may begin to develop, leading to the need for regular dialysis or even a liver transplant. If this is not essential for children, then by the age of 20 or 30 the problem may become relevant;
- Retinopathy is a disease that affects the eyes. Problems with insulin production lead to damage to the eye vessels. This causes blood to flow into the optic organ, increasing the risk of developing glaucoma and cataracts. In particularly difficult cases, the patient may lose sight;
- Problems with the work of the lower limbs can also be caused by diabetes. The disease has a negative effect on the sensitivity of the feet, causing a deterioration in blood circulation. If the legs are affected by infections, then gangrene can begin in such situations. However, this is not characteristic of childhood diabetes;
- poor skin can also indicate problems with sugar absorption. The integuments in such cases begin to itch and constantly peel off due to excessive vulnerability;
- Osteoporosis can be caused by leaching all important minerals from the bone tissue. As a result of diabetes, even in childhood there is an excessive fragility of the bones.
Forecast for the future
Subject to timely treatment for medical care diabetes will manage to keep under control. In addition, with all the recommendations of the doctor and a special diet, it is possible without much effort to avoid exacerbating the disease in children.