Diabetes mellitus is a pathology that has no age. Disorders in carbohydrate metabolism with the subsequent transition to diabetic manifestations can develop not only in an adult.
Little patients are also susceptible to sugar sickness.
Since most children get sick at an early age, before they have yet had time to develop speaking skills, the presence of diabetes in a baby is detected already at a late stage, when he develops a coma. In such situations, it is important to provide the patient with emergency medical assistance as soon as possible.
To make the life of a little patient a quality and long one, it is important for his parents to know as much as possible about childhood diabetes.
Classification of diabetes mellitus in children and adolescents
For childhood diabetes, as well as for an adult, a standard classification is applied, according to which the disease is divided into 2 types: type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Insulin dependent (type 1)
This type of disease occurs most often in pediatric patients. It is diagnosed in both newborns and adolescents.
Type 1 diabetes is characterized by absolute insulin deficiency, as a result of which the patient is forced to regularly use insulin injections to avoid hyperglycemia.
Type 1 diabetes is autoimmune in most cases. It is characterized by a tendency to develop ketoacidosis, destruction of β-cells, the presence of autoantibodies. As a rule, this type of ailment develops due to the presence of a hereditary predisposition of the patient to the corresponding disease.
Non-insulin dependent (2 types)
This type of disease is extremely rare in pediatric patients. In most cases, this form of diabetes affects people who have reached the age threshold of 40-45 years.
Usually manifested by an increase in body weight and impaired glucose tolerance.
Insulin for such a disease is used only for the relief of hyperglycemia and coma.
Etiology and pathogenesis of childhood diabetes
As noted by experts, in most cases, the main reason for the development of type 1 diabetes in children is a hereditary factor.
At risk are always those children whose relatives suffer from diabetes or have problems with the process of assimilating glucose.
Usually, the disease develops rapidly after reaching 1 year, when the intensive growth and development of the child continues. Since children at this age do not know how to speak and accurately describe their feelings, they cannot tell their parents about their ailments.
As a result, the disease is often found in babies in a random order, when the child falls into a pre-coma or coma due to off-scale indicators of hyperglycemia. Diabetes that develops during adolescence is often detected during the prophylactic examination process.
A disease detected in childhood requires immediate medical attention.
Causes of congenital diabetes mellitus
Congenital diabetes mellitus is a rare, but quite dangerous form of the disease for a child. It is based on an autoimmune process, when the body begins to attack the cells of the pancreas, as a result of which the latter lose their ability to produce insulin.
Congenital diabetes is considered a pathology, the appearance of which causes intrauterine malformation of the pancreas.
Many circumstances can lead to the development of this type of diabetes:
• inadequate development or complete absence of the pancreas in the child’s body;
• taking antineoplastic or antiviral drugs by the expectant mother during pregnancy. The components of such drugs have a destructive effect on the forming tissue of the pancreas, as a result of which the production of insulin after the birth of the child becomes impossible;
• In premature infants, diabetes can develop due to the immaturity of organ tissues and β-cells.
Also, a hereditary factor and exposure to toxins on the fetus can cause the development of congenital diabetes in an infant.
Features of the course of juvenile diabetes acquired in childhood and adolescence
Typically, diabetes symptoms in children, both young and adolescent, build up very quickly. Usually, the disease manifests itself within a few weeks.
The child may experience the following symptoms:
- constant feeling of thirst;
- sharp weight loss with the usual diet;
- frequent urge to go to the toilet;
- severe hunger;
- a sharp deterioration in vision;
- increased fatigue;
- itchy skin;
- genital candidiasis;
- the smell of acetone from the mouth;
- some other signs.
If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above in your child, be sure to seek help from a doctor.
Experts have a variety of methods to accurately determine if a child has diabetes.
As a rule, the results of such diagnostic procedures as:
- general blood sugar test;
- analysis of glucose tolerance with exercise;
- checking urine for sugar content and determining its specific gravity;
- tests for antibodies to beta cells.
It is possible to control the level of glycemia at home using a glucometer.
In this case, measurements are taken on an empty stomach, as well as 2 hours after eating.
Principles of treatment of type 1 and 2 diabetes used in pediatrics
The guarantee of the child’s normal well-being is full compensation and constant glycemic control. Even with such a disease, provided that measures are taken in a timely manner, the child can feel normal.
Diabetes treatment is carried out in a comprehensive manner, using a number of procedures that help lower and normalize blood sugar levels.
The list of therapeutic measures includes the following items.
• diet. Excluding prohibited foods from the child’s diet and achieving a balance in the diet is the key to a normal and stable blood sugar level;
• physical activity;
• insulin therapy;
• constant monitoring of blood glucose levels at home using a glucometer;
• psychological support of the child by family members.
Also, recipes of traditional medicine can be an excellent addition to drug and physiotherapy treatment.
Self-treatment of diabetes without the intervention of specialists can lead to tragic consequences.
Is it possible to defeat the disease at a young age?
Unfortunately, a sick child cannot be completely eliminated from the existing pathology. But on the other hand, you can take it under complete control and prevent the rapid development of complications. In this case, you will have to lead a certain lifestyle and constantly monitor the health of the diabetic.
Memo for diabetics on the prevention of complications
Diabetes is an insidious disease, as it causes a lot of complications in patients. To prevent this from happening, you must not allow an increase in glycemia.
It is necessary to constantly monitor the concentration of sugar in the blood and take immediate action if it rises.
Also, do not forget that a good prevention of hyperglycemia, and therefore possible complications, is moderate physical activity, adherence to a diet, timely medication and constant monitoring of blood sugar levels not only at home, but also using laboratory research methods.
Allowed the use of foods and drinks that help to strengthen the immune system and reduce glycemic indicators.