What Goes Wrong When Juvenile Diabetes Sets In
A lot of funding and time is being expended towards researching juvenile diabetes in a bid to be able to pinpoint the triggers thus preventing it from occurring. Certain environmental factors, genetics and stress have all been labeled as possible triggers of juvenile diabetes with even the consumption of cow’s milk being mentioned in a number of studies.
Warning to Parents: What Goes Wrong When Juvenile Diabetes Sets In
The onset of juvenile diabetes general involves the immune system malfunctioning to the extent where it attacks the body’s own good cells situated in the pancreas.
When the essential processes in the pancreas do not happen sugar starts to build up causing Acidosis or Ketoacidosis. When either of these processes are triggered the body will once again attack itself and the body will start consuming its own tissue matter. This is the upsetting manner in which many children suffering from diabetes died prior to 1922 when animal insulin injections were introduced to stabilize blood sugar.
This method was considered to be highly controversial but it saved many children from death. Diabetes management has come a long way since 1922 and today juvenile diabetes can be diagnosed and treated with great accuracy.
What are the risk factors for type 1 diabetes in children:
Genetic vulnerability – the existence of certain genes can signify an inflated threat of developing type 1 diabetes.
Family history – If a parent or brother/sister suffers from type 1 diabetes a person has a higher risk of contracting the illness themselves.
Race – In the USA type 1 diabetes is more dominant amongst non-Hispanic Caucasian children than any other race.
Possible environmental factors:
Diet – To date no precise nutritional factors in infancy have been pinpointed in playing a role in the development of diabetes although, as previously mentioned, cow’s milk has been linked to an increased risk. Breast milk is known to lower the risk of contracting diabetes, making breastfeeding
Specific viruses – The autoimmune destruction of the islet cells of the pancreas can be caused by exposure to certain environmental viruses.
Complications of diabetes in children
The complications associated with type 1 diabetes progress over a period of time and if blood-sugar levels are not controlled they can ultimately become incapacitating or even deadly.
These complications can include:
Nerve damage – Too much sugar in your blood can damage can the small blood vessels that feed a child’s nerves, specifically in the legs which can cause a burning sensation or numbness.
Cardiac disease – A child’s risk of contracting cardiac conditions such as angina, hypertension and even heart attack is increased dramatically by diabetes.
Osteoporosis – A child suffering from type 1 diabetes may experience lower bone density than normal which may lead to osteoporosis in the future.
Kidney damage – Diabetes is known to damage the blood vessel clusters that strains waste from the blood. If the damage is too severe it can lead to complete kidney failure which requires dialysis or a kidney transplant.
Skin problems – Infections, itchiness and dryness are all side-effects that your child may experience due to the diabetes.
Eye damage – Diabetes can damage the retina which can cause a deterioration in vision, cataracts or even complete blindness.
You might not be able to prevent your children from getting type 1 diabetes but you can help them to minimize the risk of contracting type 2 diabetes later in life by doing the following :
- Make snacks and dishes that look good, taste good and are healthy
- Reduce your child’s fat, sugar and salt consumption
- Limit sedentary activities such as watching television to no more than 2 hours a day
- Monitor your child’s weight to make sure it is at a healthy level
- Encourage your children to be active every day
How active should children be?
Children need to be active for at least an hour every day. It can be broken up into sessions if it’s not possible to complete 60 minutes of activity all at the same time.
Make sure your children start out at a comfortable pace. More activities can be added as times goes by. Be encouraging and let your children know that you support them fully.
Being active will help your children to build muscle and maintain a healthy weight. It will also assist is growing strong, healthy bones and remaining flexible. Considering all the options regarding what goes wrong when juvenile diabetes sets in can never be an easy task for a parent but it is of vital importance to aid your children in any way possible to minimize the effects of the disease.