Many of us would be surprised to know that diabetes can happen to children as well. Generally we think that children can easily digest whatever food they eat, since their body is still in active growth phase. But children too can suffer from diabetes and may have to be dependent on insulin injection for the rest of their life.
Thus it is important to share information on diabetes in children & some of the early symptoms to look out for. Parents who do not know about these symptoms can be late for timely treatment, and it can cause the child to suffer throughout his life.
The extreme stage is called diabetes ketoacidosis. Which is associated with a loss of consciousness, breathing problem and even death.
Diabetes usually occurs to children in the age group of 5-15 years. The prime symptoms are
- Children feel very hungry; they frequently drink water and feel the need to urinate after short interval of time.
- Some children feel lethargic and loose weight drastically. They become irritated and get angry very easily.
If your children show any of these symptoms then be alert and start observing your child
- The child is feeling weak even when having enough food and is still loosing weight.
- The child is going to the loo very frequently during the day as well as at night.
If there is any of the above symptoms is observed then quickly consult a specialist and seek medical help.
In the starting phase of ketoacidosis the child may show som tendency of nausea, vomiting or dehydration. In this condition it is important to consult a physician and go for a blood test. There are four stages of diabetes in children
In the first stage the cells in pancreas start dying. In this stage the child does not show any of the above symptoms.
In the second stage the symptoms become apparent such as feeling very hungry, feeling thirsty all the time.
In the third stage 50% of the parents bring their children to the doctor. Here, the child may not need insulin injection and a change (improvement) in food habits can be helpful to control the diabetes.
In the fourth stage the body cannot produce enough insulin and the child become dependent on insulin injections.
If your child is detected with diabetes then apart from taking insulin injections regularly ( if prescribed), it is important to avoid sugar, sweets, chocolates, grapes, mango, soft drinks and other food and beverages containing a high amount of sugar.
If one child in the family has diabetes, then there are 15-20 % chances that the other siblings also has diabetes. There can be a further insight by performing a test that compares the HLA haplotype of the childrens. If their HLA haplotypes are very similar then the probabilities are higher for the siblings to also have diabetes.
It is difficult for the parent to handle children with diabetes. as they need to make sure that the children are given insulin injection on time and also need to monitor and restrict their food habits.