What is Childhood Diabetes Mellitus?
Diabetes mellitus is a group of metabolic diseases characterized by high blood sugar levels, disturbances of carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism resulting from defects in insulin secretion, or action, or both. Childhood Diabetes also known as Type 1 diabetes mellitus accounts for only 5-10% of those with diabetes. Type 1 diabetes mellitus refers to cell mediated autoimmune destruction of pancreatic beta cells, which leads to absolute insulin deficiency. Usually the term type 1 Diabetes Mellitus is used to denote childhood diabetes associated with autoimmunity and absolute insulin deficiency, sometimes the deficiency may not be absolute at the clinical onset of the disease.
What causes Childhood Diabetes Mellitus?
Childhood Diabetes (Type 1 DM) is caused due to two main factors namely;
Environmental factors trigger an autoimmune process that leads to the destruction of islets cells and insulin deficiency. Beta cells destruction is more rapid in younger individuals than in older individuals. There are many viruses associated with inducing Childhood Diabetes (Type 1 DM) like:
- Rubella virus
- Mumps virus, and few more.
What are the Symptoms of Childhood Diabetes Mellitus?
Type 1 DM children usually develop symptoms over a relatively short period of time. The onset is sudden and many times associated with some other disease. Children with Type 1 DM are usually present with several week history of classic symptoms of
- Polyuria( increased urination)
- Polydepsia( increased thirst)
- Polyphagia( increased hunger)
- Weight loss
Treatment of Childhood Diabetes
Children with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus are on insulin therapy in order to control their blood sugar levels as there is insulin deficiency in them. Regular recommended insulin dosage, proper diet and exercise helps you manage Childhood Diabetes smartly. The only care one needs to take is regarding the hygiene and method of the insulin injections. Regular monitoring of the blood sugar levels is very much important as to decide the dosage and diet. Initially children might find it difficult but later on they manage it very smartly. Skipping the insulin dosage or any meal may lead to complications like hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels).
In case of any complication you should immediately contact the concern doctor for further help. Do not try and manage it on your own. It may get serious and life threatening.
All the Best!