Juvenile diabetes is also referred to as type 1 diabetes and is commonplace among young children. Even though individuals under 20 are more susceptible to this kind of diabetes, it can occur at any age. The disease is documented to be more common in whites than non-whites but equally prevalent among men and women. Juvenile diabetes or type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, whereby the body’s own immune system begins destroying the insulin cells produced by the pancreas. Usually, the immune system fights off various infections, viruses and bacteria, but in this case it tends to attack various cells in the body, resulting in a total deficiency of the insulin hormone.
The causes of juvenile diabetes or diabetes in children are yet to be discovered. However, certain researches conducted so far have suggested for juvenile diabetes to be hereditary in nature. However, research has also established for certain environmental factors to play a part in causing diabetes in children, even though it is not sure to what effect exactly. A scientific theory states that type 1 diabetes or juvenile diabetes may occur due to a virus or a toxin in the environment that triggers the immune system of the body to attack the pancreas mistakenly, and destroy the insulin cells or beta cells to the point when there is insufficient insulin left in the body. However, this line of discovery has not yet been proven to the core and is still under the shadow of further research.
The symptoms of juvenile diabetes may be very subtle initially but they can emerge as severe as well. Diabetes in children takes the form of the following symptoms:
The signs and symptoms of diabetes in children develop and gain visibility over a very short period of time. However, the cellular destruction may be occurring for years. These symptoms occur because of lack of insulin. The body is primarily fueled by glucose and it is insulin that is responsible for carrying glucose from the blood to the cells. Hence, without the presence of insulin the body is potentially starving.
The lack of insulin means, instability in the provision of glucose to the cells, which consequentially increase the level of glucose in the blood. The kidneys response to excess glucose in the blood is filtering out the extra sugar, which in turn increases urine production. This is why increase in urination may be the first and foremost symptom experienced in juvenile diabetes.
Following a marked increase in urination, the body gets dehydrated and the element of thirst increases too. There is a point to be noted here for all the parents! Your child is not urinating more because there is more water intake, but the other way round! Furthermore, the lack of glucose reaching the cells starves the body, increasing pangs of hunger, formulating into another commonplace symptom experienced as a part of juvenile diabetes.
If your children are experiencing any of these symptoms get them checked immediately, as these are the signature, standard and classic symptoms of diabetes in children.
To date, no cure to juvenile diabetes has been discovered. The only treatment that so far has made any sense in alleviating the symptoms of diabetes in children is insulin injections or an insulin pump.