Diabetes is one of the most common diseases experienced by Indonesians. Usually you know this disease as a disease of parents, but actually small children can also experience this disease. Yes, diabetes can occur in children, usually children can suffer from type 1 diabetes. What is type 1 diabetes? Why can it occur in children? To find out more, let's consider the following review.
What is type 1 diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes in children can occur due to a disruption in the function of the pancreas, so that the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin. Insulin is a hormone released by the pancreas gland to help the body absorb sugar or glucose, so that blood sugar levels are controlled. Type 1 diabetes in children is known as juvenile diabetes or insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM).
People with type 1 diabetes are thought to be caused by an immune system that is wrong in resisting threats or that endanger the body. The immune system in children with type 1 diabetes destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Thus, the ability of the child's pancreas to produce insulin decreases. As a result, blood sugar accumulates a lot in a child's bloodstream and causes the child's blood sugar levels to rise. Experts also suspect genetics (heredity) plays an important role in this matter.
Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented and anyone can experience it. This disease generally occurs in children aged 7-12 years, although it can occur at any age, from infants to adults. Children with type 1 diabetes rely heavily on external insulin which is put into the body every day to control their blood sugar levels.
What are the symptoms of type 1 diabetes in children?
Your child may grow up like other children, there is no problem in his bodily functions, until he gets bigger and then can show symptoms related to type 1 diabetes. Yes, it has been explained above that type 1 diabetes can appear at any age . Therefore, you need to know various symptoms of type 1 diabetes, so that your child can get treatment earlier.
Usually, symptoms of type 1 diabetes appear very quickly, in just a matter of weeks. The following are symptoms of type 1 diabetes in children.
1. Increased thirst and more frequent urination
Because blood sugar levels in a child's body increases, the body will respond by removing extra glucose through the kidneys. This makes children urinate in large quantities more often. Because a lot of fluid is released from the body, then the child will feel thirsty often. Drinking large quantities can help children with diabetes to maintain water levels in their body.
2. Children often feel hungry
Because the child's body does not produce enough insulin, as a result glucose or sugar from food that enters the body of the child is not able to be absorbed by the body as a whole. This makes the cells in the child's body, such as cells in the muscles and organs of the child, lack energy to carry out their activities. As a result, children often feel hungry.
3. Weight loss
Although children may eat more because they often feel hungry, the child's weight will decrease (can occur in a short time). The body that cannot absorb blood sugar in the body makes muscle tissue and fat reserves shrink, resulting in a decrease in body weight in children. Weight loss is usually the first sign that children have type 1 diabetes.
A body that cannot absorb sugar from food causes the body to lack energy. Because cells in a child's body do not get enough energy, the child can experience fatigue and the child looks lethargic.
5. Children get angry quickly
Not only is the problem physical, children also show symptoms in their mental. Children with unknown type 1 diabetes can suddenly get angry or moody.
6. Fungal infections
Girls who are not puberty and suffering from type 1 diabetes may have a fungal infection in their vagina. Babies with type 1 diabetes can also experience fungal rash.
If the symptoms of type 1 diabetes in children are not immediately recognized, the child can experience abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, bad breath, difficulty breathing, and even loss of consciousness. This happens because ketone substances are formed in the body. This condition is commonly called ketoacidosis.
How to treat a child with type 1 diabetes?
Diabetes in adults only requires routine care, especially if it occurs in children. However, this might feel lighter if you already know how to treat it and are used to doing it. Routinely controlling blood sugar levels and taking medication, and a healthier lifestyle can make type 1 diabetes in children always awake.
The following are things to do when treating a child with diabetes:
- Check your child's blood sugar levels several times a day. You can do it before or after the child has activities, such as eating or exercise, to find out how certain activities or foods affect the child's blood sugar levels.
- Give regular insulin injections to children. Do it carefully and give understanding to the child that he must get it. Children may sometimes feel scared and angry when given an injection.
- Make it a habit for children to eat with balanced nutrition, especially noting how much and what kinds of carbohydrate sources the child should consume. Also pay attention to the child's eating time. Children must eat regularly so that their blood sugar levels are always maintained.
- Get children to exercise regularly. Exercise can help maintain blood sugar levels.
- Check the child's health condition with a doctor regularly. Build good cooperation with your doctor, so your child's blood sugar levels are always controlled and children avoid diabetes complications, such as heart disease, stroke, vision problems, kidney problems, and so on.
You should also know the signs of low or high blood sugar levels in children. This can help you anticipate the bad things that might happen.
Children with type 1 diabetes need special attention
Not only the symptoms and treatment are different from adults, children with type 1 diabetes must also be kept in mind the development. It is not impossible, the little one experiences growth and development problems due to the chronic illness suffered.
The reason is, children with type 1 diabetes must undergo continuous treatment and need insulin injections for the rest of their lives. Therefore, children who experience this chronic disease need special attention.
In order to commemorate World Diabetes Day, Hello Sehat collaborates with Action for Diabetics (A4D) to increase Indonesian people's awareness of diabetes in children through complete information about type 1 diabetes, especially how to recognize symptoms, how to treat them, and treatment tips children with diabetes.
A4D is a charitable organization that helps finance the treatment of children with type 1 diabetes in Southeast Asia. So that all type 1 diabetic children can get treatment more easily, you can donate by accessing this page. Let's donate now! Because a little support from you is very valuable for those who need it.
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