Learn The Facts About Diabetes Infantil

French for “childhood diabetes,” diabetes infantil, particularly type 1 diabetes, is one of the most common metabolic disorders primarily affecting children between the ages of six and 16. Incidences of childhood diabetes have been steadily increasing over the past 20 years, with an average yearly increase of three percent. Researchers suggest that several variables may be directly promoting this increase, especially the worldwide prevalence of a high fat, Western-type diet, socioeconomic factors and psychosocial influences.

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Type 1 Diabetes Facts

Diabetes Infantil

Facts about type 1 diabetes as it pertains to diabetes infantil include:

  • Nearly 95 percent of children under 16 years old with diabetes have type 1 diabetes.
  • Pancreatic insulin production is nonexistent in children with type 1 diabetes because cells necessary in the creation of insulin have been eliminated.
  • Diabetes is an autoimmune disease, causing the body to mistakenly attack its own organs and tissues.
  • Most children who develop diabetes do not have family members with diabetes.
  • Adolescents suffering from type 1 diabetes have high rates of depression, anxiety and eating disorders.
  • In addition to typical symptoms of diabetes including fatigue, extreme thirst, weight loss and frequent urination, children may also complain of stomachaches and headaches and exhibit problem behaviors.
  • Insulin is the method of treatment most of the time, with rapid-acting insulin dosages used during the day and slower ones at night.
  • Diabetes infantil can develop in children as young as one year old, although it is generally not seen until children are around five or six years old.
  • Possible risk factors for suffering from diabetes in childhood include the presence of “diabetes” genes that are triggered by obesity, unhealthy diet and sedentary lifestyle; exposure to certain viruses as such mumps, Epstein-Barr and coxsackie virus and insufficient amounts of dietary vitamin D.
  • Each year in the U.S., around 15,000 children are diagnosed with diabetes. with that number expected to increase within the next decade.

Complications potentially affecting children who do not receive treatment for dysregulated blood glucose levels are:

  • Damage to kidneys, nerves, heart, eyes and blood vessels
  • Gangrene of the extremities, especially the feet, due to inhibited blood flow and infections of untreated wounds
  • Fungal skin infections, a common problem in children with diabetes because diabetes compromises immune system functioning
  • The potential risk of developing osteoporosis as older adults

When a proper diet is not followed or insulin injections are not given, unexpected drops or spikes in blood glucose level results in any one of three severe conditions:

  • Hypoglycemia
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis, a combination of dehydration, shock and hyperglycemia
  • Hyperosmolar nonketotic coma, an consequence of extreme dehydration and hyperglycemia

Taking Care of Children With Diabetes

Diabetes Infantil

Young children with diabetes need constant monitoring regarding meals, medication and physical activity. Doctors recommend children be given three meals a day, with an additional two or three appropriate snacks spread out between meals to maintain a healthy blood glucose level. The amount of food diabetic children need to eat will depend on their weight and age.

Getting daily physical activity is vital to diabetic children. Playing outside, riding bicycles and engaging in sports are excellent ways to prevent hyperglycemia, control weight and enhance blood circulation to extremities. Older children who develop diabetes can be taught methods to treat their condition as well as learn how to give themselves injections if necessary.

What Can Parents Do

Parents of children with diabetes infantil can help their diabetic son or daughter by learning all they can about childhood diabetes and by remaining vigilant about monitoring their child’s glucose levels. In addition, parents need to be aware of the symptoms of hyper-or hypoglycemia and always have ready access to sugar tablets or sugary foods in the event the child experiences a sudden drop in glucose. Joining a support group comprised of other parents with diabetic children can also assist in dealing with the many problems and questions associated with raising a diabetic child.

 

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