Elevation of the blood sugar levels is commonly considered as adult condition. We all know that aging increases our risks of getting diabetes.
In reality, it's completely possible for children and teens to suffer from diabetes.
In vast majority of cases it’s about autoimmune processes, in which child's immune system begins to destroy body's own insulin-created cells, located in the pancreas.
Insulin is a hormone, which normally delivers glucose from the bloodstream into the cells. If there is too few of insulin, blood sugar can't be removed from the blood flow as needed.
This condition is known as type 1 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is a rather widespread disorder among older adults. However, nowadays number of children with this health problem is rising.
In this type of disease body cells become insensitive (resistant) to insulin. The pancreas tries to overcome resistance, releasing more insulin. But this mechanism fails with time, leading to increase of blood sugar levels.
Type 2 diabetes in the early age is commonly caused by high-calorie diet, obesity, sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercises.
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Unfortunately, in many cases children with diabetes aren't diagnosed until the disease becomes dangerous.
If diabetes isn't corrected, it can contribute to heart attack (even in children!), nerve damage, kidney failure, blindness and skin infection.
Contact with your doctor as soon as possible, if noticed any of these symptoms in your child:
#1. Constant thirst – increase of the blood glucose levels pulls water from body tissues. That's why your child may feel thirsty all the time.
#2. Frequent urination – children with diabetes drink more than usually. As a result, they feel need to go too often, particularly at night. Urge to urinate in night time is medically called nocturia.
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#3. Unusual hunger – insufficient amount of insulin or cells resistance to this hormone lead to impaired delivery of glucose inside the cells. Lack of this energy fuel triggers tremendous hunger as usual.
#4. Unintentional rapid weight loss – even though a child eats more, in order to alleviate raised hunger, you may notice that your son/daughter loses weight. Sometimes it occurs rapidly. The reason is that lack of energy causes loss of muscle tissue and shrinkage of the fat stocks.
#5. Yeast infection – genital yeast infection may be one of the first signs of diabetes in girls.
#6. Fatigue and drowsiness – your body uses glucose as energy fuel, you know. When cells can't get enough sugar from the blood, your child may become abnormally tired and sleepy.
#7. Blurred vision – elevation of the blood glucose levels can affect child's ability to focus on things, even if they're not so far from the eyes.
#8. Fruity odor – in advanced cases, when insulin levels are dramatically reduced, body can start to burn fat to provide energy for cells. This results in production of chemicals called ketones, which can be extremely harmful in high amount. Fruity breath and unusual urine smell indicate this condition (diabetic ketoacidosis).
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