Know the Risks of Diabetes in Children
We would not want to believe that growing kids can develop medical conditions like diabetes. Yet, this is a true fact. There has been a lot of discussion about Juvenile diabetes, which is type-1 diabetes, in recent years. A study by the Canada Journal of Diabetes says that the occurrence of type-2 diabetes in children across the globe, including India, has grown in recent two decades. The number of Indian kids prone to type-1 diabetes mellitus has also increased in the recent past.
For parents, it is a serious concern.
Diabetes is a chronic disease and treatment could be expensive without the support of health insurance plans. Moreover, kids with diabetes require specialized medical care as compared to older adults.
In children, unhealthy eating habits and lack of exercises is the leading cause of diabetes. Early detection helps a lot in tackling the condition and prevents damaging complications.
Here are some more details about Diabetes in children.
What is Diabetes in Children?
It is a metabolic disorder seen in kids and teenagers wherein their body is unable to breakdown foods and process glucose. This leads to high blood sugar levels. If the condition is not treated, it can lead to severe complications involving damage to the heart, blood vessels, and kidneys.
Types of Diabetes in Children
The common form of diabetes in Children is type-1 diabetes mellitus. It may be caused due to genetic factors, environmental factors, and disorder of the immune-regulatory functions. Type-1 diabetes has affected children as small as 5 years old.
However, children can also be affected by type-2 diabetes which occurs when the body is unable to produce sufficient insulin or properly utilize it. It is a lifestyle disease caused by obesity and poor diet. Family medical history is another factor. Moreover, studies have shown that children of a certain ethnicity, including Asia, are prone to developing diabetes.
Symptoms of Diabetes in Children
Type-1 Diabetes in children can be detected if they show the following conditions:
- Fatigue: The unusual sugar level may make them feel excessively exhausted or sleepy.
- Frequent urination: They may show an urge to go to the bathroom frequently owing to high sugar levels. In toddlers, there could be repeated bedwetting.
- Excess Thirst: This is another symptom caused by high blood sugar levels.
- Increase in appetite: Since insulin production is insufficient, they may lack the required energy and thus may feel hungry often.
- Loss of Weight: Weight loss to a significant extent may be caused due to diabetes.
Other symptoms include drowsiness, blurry vision, heavy breathing, belly pain, vomiting, bad breath, and fainting.
The symptoms of type-2 diabetes are similar. In some people, the skin surface gets darkened, especially around the neck or armpits. Also, slowly healing sores is another sign.
What Should Parents do to treat Diabetes in Children?
Parents need to be watchful to check if their children are showing any of the symptoms mentioned above. In fact, adolescent girls are at greater risk compared to boys.
Diagnosing diabetes in children requires a blood test to check for high blood sugar levels. The tests usually include Fasting blood sugar test and Random blood sugar test. Urine tests may also be done to check the presence of high sugar levels.
The treatment would usually include medications to regulate insulin levels. In severe cases, there could be the need for insulin injections or insulin therapy.
However, it is the responsibility of the parents to control the risk factors at an early stage. They must encourage their kids to follow a healthy lifestyle that would eliminate the need for medications and prevent complications.
Some habits can encourage their school-going kids to follow:
- Eating healthy foods which are low on fat and calories and rich in fiber and nutrients
- Choosing nutritious snacks instead of junk food
- Reducing sedentary activity such as watching television or playing video games
- Increasing physical activity like walking, swimming, walking the dog, etc.
They must also consult a pediatric endocrinologist who is a specialist in the treatment of diabetes and growth disorders in children.
Getting quality treatment for ailments suffered by any family member is a challenge especially when there are kids. Buying Health Insurance Plans is a stress-free option to protect your finances.
Care Health Insurance (Formerly Religare Health Insurance) offers ‘Care Freedom’ which is a diabetes health insurance policy that will safeguard you in times of emergencies.