Juvenile Diabetes - Serious?

By: mikeherman1
Juvenile Diabetes (Juvenile Onset Diabetes) or type 1 diabetes accounts for 5 and 10% of all diagnosed diabetes in the United States .

It usually appears in children, teenagers and young adults under the age of 30 are most at risk, while adults and even senior citizens run the risk of developing type 1 diabetes as well. So the common name, "Juvenile Diabetes", for type 1 diabetes may be deceiving.

Although the increase in obesity, due to a poor diet and lack of exercise, in children is beginning to increase the incidence of these overweight children developing type 2 diabetes, it is usually type 1 diabetes that develops in juveniles.

As with many of the common diseases of the endocrine system, an auto-immune problem is the root cause of type 1 diabetes, the body's natural defences begin to attack the bodies tissues rather than the invaders they are designed to destroy, as they were designed to. In the case of type 1 diabetes, the immune system destroys the valuable beta cells within the pancreas that are responsible for the production and release of insulin.

Without beta cells there can be no naturally produced insulin and glucose levels rapidly escalate to dangerous levels.

After having undiagnosed diabetes for years the beta cells that create insulin are damaged beyond repair. The body then stops producing insulin, and the diabetic is forced to rely completely on an outside insulin source.

Diabetes is still associated with overweight, middle aged individuals who are deemed to be paying the price for earlier life excesses. No-one expects their child to develop this disease, however it does occur.

Unfortunately, early symptoms are subtle and very easy to attribute to other childhood illnesses, conditions and ways of being:

? A sudden weight loss

? Drowsiness and lack of energy, unless excessive, may not be noticed or remarked upon. Many children now lead very sedentary lifestyles and lethargy may simply not be noticed.

? Extreme thirst - is not unusual in children, especially in warm weather. Also, once children are old enough and tall enough to reach the refrigerator door it can be difficult to monitor their fluid intake.

? Frequent urination - this may become apparent to parents if travelling with children, but just around the home it can be difficult to spot as children simply take themselves to the bathroom.

? Vision changes - they should not be attributed to too much time in front of the television or computer screen.

? Sweet smelling breath may be noticed by parents and may equally well be attributed to something the child has eaten.

? Increased appetites may be remarked upon, but of course children are growing and can have large appetites - why would a parent necessarily consider this to be a bad thing?

? Heavy, laboured breathing is another symptom which can be masked by any number of respiratory problems which seem to be more prevalent in children nowadays.

From this symptom list, it becomes apparent how important it is for parents to be watchful of the childeren.

All parents should make themselves aware of the symptoms of type 1 diabetes so they can respond quickly in the event that their child develops this disease. The earlier treatment is sought, the less damage is done.

If diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, there are a host of issues that a person needs to address.

Blood glucose levels need to be monitored as often as 6 times per day with a prick of the finger or another source of blood.

? If the levels are too high, diabetes patients face the problem of a hyperglycemic reaction.

? Consequently, if blood glucose levels are too low, the patient runs the risk of a hypoglycemic reaction.

For this reason, in addition to monitoring the levels, diabetes sufferers need to maintain their glucose through injections of insulin, a proper diet, and exercise.

Low blood glucose levels can be heightened by eating something with sugar. Soda and fruit juice are two commonly used remedies for a low glucose level.

If the glucose in the bloodstream is too high, more specific actions need to be taken and may even involve a trip to the hospital.

High glucose levels can cause a poisoning of the blood that can be fatal if unaddressed.
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