Juvenile Diabetes


Last Updated December 20th, 2021

Overview

In the recent years, children and teens have been suffering from various diseases that are usually associated with old age. One such disease is Diabetes that is interfering with the lives of millions of children all over the world and is directly impacting productivity and performance. The kind of diabetes evident in children is popularly known as “Juvenile Diabetes”. It affects children of the developed, low and middle-income countries equally. According to global estimates by the World Diabetes Foundation, nearly more than 50% of the children suffering from juvenile diabetes are inhabitants of developed countries.

 

What is juvenile diabetes?

Juvenile diabetes is defined as the sharp rise in blood glucose level (hyperglycemia) in children due to pancreatic dysfunctions that leads to an acute shortage of insulin which is responsible for regulating blood glucose level. It is also called Type I diabetes, or a special case of Type I Diabetes Mellitus. Typically, a blood sugar concentration of 200 mg/dL of blood is an indicator of diabetes. The main reason behind excess glucose in the bloodstream is the inability of the body to transform glucose derived from the regular diet into usable energy. This happens when the immune system of the child’s body kills the cells in the pancreas which are responsible for the production of insulin (beta cells). This condition is common in children suffering from auto-immune disorders. The insulin deficiency in the child’s body has to be covered up by artificially injecting insulin substitutes.

 

Causes of juvenile diabetes

Juvenile diabetes is attributed to several dietary, environmental and genetic factors all of which cause the single condition responsible for the occurrence of diabetes, that is, dropped blood insulin level due to functional abnormalities of the pancreatic cells. The common aetiological factors behind juvenile diabetes are listed below-

  • Autoimmune disorders like Vitiligo and Graves disease which destroys pancreatic cells (beta cells) that are essential for the synthesis of insulin and releasing it into the bloodstream
  • Production of insulin which is rejected by the body and cannot be effectively utilized for regulating blood glucose concentration
  • A familial history of Type I diabetes that increases risks of juvenile diabetes in the future generations (due to the inherited IDDM1 gene)
  • Infection caused by few viruses like Epstein-Barr virus, Coxsackie virus, Rubella or Cytomegalovirus that may cause autoimmune destruction or infection of islet cells
  • A regular diet deficient in Vitamin D, which protects the child from Type I diabetes (exception: drinking cow milk from an early age)
  • Insulin resistance which causes the body to reject artificially injected insulin
  • High concentration of nitrates in regular drinking water (affects mainly children between 4-7 months)
  • Presence of antibodies of islet cells within the body that cause the destruction of the islet cells and interfere with insulin production
  • The gradual decline in the production of insulin by the pancreas
  • Insulin resistance in liver and skeletal muscles causing the liver to produce excess glucose
  • Production of excess free fatty acids by the fat cells, which causes insulin deficiency

 

Symptoms of juvenile diabetes

In most cases, juvenile diabetes symptoms are not identified in the early stages. This leads to the severity of the disease and may even cause extreme insulin resistance that exacerbates existing diabetic conditions. The following symptoms should be identified-

  • Excessive thirst (due to the extraction of fluid from body tissues under high glucose condition)
  • Dryness in mouth
  • Frequent need of urination
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Presence of glucose in urine (not visible to naked eye)
  • Vision impairments due to diabetic retinopathy and neovascular glaucoma
  • Abnormally increased appetite (due to energy shortfall in muscles and organs)
  • Abnormal weight loss (due to shrinkage of muscle tissue and stored fat)
  • Shortage of breath (Kussmaul respiration)
  • Sluggishness and extreme fatigue
  • Dizziness and occasional convulsions
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Genital yeast infection (in diabetic girls)
  • Increased infections of skin, genitals and urinary tract
  • The fruity smell in breath
  • Delayed recovery from injuries
  • Itchy and reddish skin, with the occasional rash formation

 

Diagnosis

Proper diagnosis of juvenile diabetes is essential for controlling the progress of the disease at a very early stage. The following diagnostic tests are usually performed-

  • Blood sugar test: In this case, the blood sample is collected at any time of the day, irrespective of the time of the meal. A random blood sugar level of 200 mg/dL of blood suggests juvenile diabetes.
  • Glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test: This test gives an idea of the average blood sugar level for the past 2-3 months. An A1C level of 6.5% or more (for two separate tests) suggests juvenile diabetes. A fasting blood glucose level of 126 mg/dL of blood or higher indicates diabetes.
  • Lipid test: This test checks for High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol, total cholesterol (HDL+LDL) and triglycerides.
  • Kidney function test: This test gives an idea of the presence of protein in urine and also does a check for creatinine.
  • Dilated eye examination
  • Dental examination

 

Recommendations for juvenile diabetes

Rather than an overdose of medications for curing juvenile diabetes, doctors usually recommend the following strategies for a healthy lifestyle that helps regulate diabetic conditions in a child’s body-

  • Monitor the blood glucose level on a regular basis
  • Provide insulin according to doses recommended by the doctor
  • Maintain a balanced diet containing essential vitamins and minerals and low in sugar an starch
  • Check for arsenic and nitrate concentrations in regular drinking water
  • Perform physical activities such as swimming or work-outs on a daily basis
  • Identify symptoms of low and high blood glucose levels
  • Go for morning walks and jogging regularly
  • Engage in diabetes management programs

 

Treatment & Prevention

The primary method of treating juvenile diabetes includes medications to regulate insulin levels and dietary restrictions. Insulin injection is an important part of the treatment process. Every patient of juvenile diabetes has to be administered these. Depending on the requirement and urgency of the situation, any one of these 4 doses of insulin can be given:

  • Rapid-acting – action starts within 15 minutes.
  • Short-acting (regular dose of insulin)- 30 minutes.
  • Intermediate-acting – starts after 2 to 4 hours.
  • Long lasting – more than 4 hours.

There are no known ways of preventing the onset of juvenile diabetes. But, with healthy lifestyle choices, strict dietary restrictions, and regular medications & injections, the symptoms of juvenile diabetes can be largely managed.

 

 

Dos and Don'ts

Dos
  • Have a fixed eating schedule and eat at regular intervals.
  • Instead of consuming simple carbs ( white rice, bread, pasta), consume complex carbs (oatmeal and other whole grains).
  • Always have insulin injection with you all the time.
Don'ts
  • Get dehydrated. It is important to have adequate hydration to regulate blood sugar levels.
  • Indulge in binge-eating or snacking on healthy processed junk foods.
  • Consume anything that has the term “hydrogenated” in its food label.

 

 

 

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GGT – Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase Test GGT or gammaglutamyl transferase test is a liver function test that is used to detect the extent of…
blood elements analysis
Blood Element Analysis Test A blood element analysis is a blood test performed to measure the level of toxic elements such as…
fructosamine test
Fructosamine Test A fructosamine test measures blood sugar glucose content. Fructosamine level can indicate blood sugar level in past 2-3…
anoscopy
Anoscopy Anoscopy is an invasive diagnostic procedure where a small device known as anoscope will be inserted in the…
iron deficiency profile
Iron Deficiency Profile An iron deficiency profile is a battery of blood tests which are performed in order to determine the…
Diabetes blood test
Diabetic Profile The diabetic profile is a set of tests used for testing and monitoring the various kinds of Diabetes…
oral hygiene tips
6 shocking consequences of bad oral hygiene (and how to avoid them) Did you know bad breath is not just turning off, but also harms your body in ways you…
Dragon Fruit – Blessing from Nature’s Basket Dragon fruit is packed with nutrients but low on calories. It is the dream food that can help…
xylitol gum
Xylitol : Is this the right sugar substitute for you? Discovered during World War 2 owing to sugar shortage, xylitol has become a common name in pharamaceutical industry.…
avocado benefits
Avocado: 15 reasons why this fruit should be a staple in your diet Did you know that the word avocado literally means "testicles". Don't get grossed out as this power-packed fruit…
ashwagandha brain
Ashwagandha: The best-kept secret of Ayurveda now revealed! Ashwagandha literally means "smell of horse". Don't get bogged down by that one tiny detail because this ayurveduic…
black seed oil benefits
Black Seed Oil: What secret benefits could it bestow on your health? Black seeds or nigella seeds are tiny packets of health brimming with amazing benefits. Find out why should…
Cayenne: The remarkable benefits of these red hot chili peppers These may make you rush for a glass of water, but cayenne pepper is actually a healthy additive…
Kava: Is it the healthy substitute for alcohol you have been waiting for? Native to the beautiful South Pacific islands, Kava is a famous beverage rooted in the local culture. It…
glucose-tolerance
Oral Glucose Tolerance Test – GTT Glucose tolerance test (or Oral GTT) is used to detect the onset of diabetes or prediabetes conditions. It…
ASTtest-liver
AST- Aspartate Aminotransferase Test AST test is a blood test that is used to measure the level of a particular liver enzyme…
ANTIPHOSPHOLIPIDANTIBODY(APL)_IgG
Antiphospholipid (APL) antibody-IgG The Antiphospholipid Antibody testing is a blood test used to determine an autoimmune disorder called Antiphospholipid syndrome linked…
vdrl test syphilis
VDRL Test The VDRL test is a blood test that is used to diagnose sexually transmitted or venereal diseases, primarily…
malarial antigen test
Malaria Antigen Test A malaria antigen test is a rapid diagnostic test (RDT) that can detect malarial antigens (proteins) in your…
Okra: How can this nutrient-dense vegetable help you fight diabetes? Okra is a food which is rich in nutrients and minerals which are extremely essential for a healthy…
Hepatitis A virus infected liver
Hepatitis A Virus (HAV) Total Blood test to look for IgM antibodies to know if you are infected with Hepatitis A virus (HAV),…
stress depressed anxiety
Are you depressed or just stressed? Know when to see a doctor Why are some people more anxious than others? Is being depressed the same as feeling sad? Have you…
sugar toxic health
Sugar: 7 new shocking truths revealed about the sweet poison Can drinking soda bring you closer to death? Is sugar slowly poisoning you and your family? You would…
L-theanine attention
L-Theanine: Better sleep, higher focus, and many other benefits Did you know that L-theanine found in green tea can make you sleep better and be focused at…
aspartame or sugar
Aspartame – Hidden truths about this storm in a teacup Aspartame, the artificial sweetener, has gone under the scanner on several occasions for allegedly doing more harm than…
High Fiber Diet – Fire up your fiber intake for these health benefits! Regular bowels, healthy detox, higher immunity, and guaranteed weight loss - a high fiber diet can bring all…
gallbladder diet tomato
Gallbladder surgery :Tips on post-operative care and diet What to eat post a gallbladder surgery? What are the key things to avoid if you had a…
DHEA wrinkles
DHEA: Now get unbelievable age defiance with this wonder hormone! DHEA is known popularly as the age-defying hormone. This supplement is widely used to slow down aging and…
Oil of Oregano: The one-stop essential oil you’ve been looking for Are you plagued by a weak immune system? High body inflammation accompanied by pain and infections? Why not…
Love tea, hate tannins? Rooibos tea is just what you need The market is brimming with a multitude of herbal teas. But what makes rooibos tea (or red bush)…
How seitan proved to be a blessing in disguise for vegans worldwide Can only meat-eaters enjoy delicious juicy steaks and burgers? With seitan, the best meat substitute available today,even vegans…
How can berberine supplements help you live longer and healthier? Berberine is a turmeric look-alike herbal extract that is credited with numerous health benefits ranging from diabetes cure…
Pescatarian Diet 101: What are the inherent health advantages of this diet? People opt to become a pescatarian in order to enrich their bodies with the essential health benefits that…
Mood swings
The real reasons for your mood swings and how to overcome them Are you prone to heated moods frequently? Do you also feel bouts of depressive feeling creeping up on…
shakeology woman
Meal replacement or protein drink? Learn all about Shakeology and its claims Shakeology from Beachbody claims to be the most suitable shake that can aid in weight loss, regulate blood…
hemoglobin variant analysis
Hemoglobin Variant Analysis Hemoglobin variant analysis is a blood test that is used to detect the presence of hemoglobin variants which…
cystatin C
Cystatin C Test Cystatin C is a specific single-chain protein that is found in body fluids and is a biomarker for…
piles fissure fistula
Allopathy vs homeopathy vs ayurveda treatment for piles, fissures, and fistula Read to know the best form of treatment among allopathy, homeopathy,or ayurveda for piles, fissures, and fistula
liver detox facts
7 liver detox facts and why ignoring these could kill you! Are you taking care of this organ that handles over 500 different vital functions in your body? Your…

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