Around 193,000 children and adolescents younger than age 20 years (0.24% of the total U.S. population younger than age 20 years) are diabetic. It is further estimated that India is housing about 97,700 children with type 1 diabetes. Undoubtedly, across the globe the figures are alarming.

What is Type 1 Diabetes?

When you have Type 1 diabetes, your body attacks the cells in your pancreas that make insulin, so you can't produce any insulin at all. And we all need insulin to live. It does an essential job. It allows the glucose in our blood to enter our cells and fuel our bodies. When the glucose enters your bloodstream, there's no insulin to allow it into your body's cells. More and more glucose then builds up in your bloodstream.

On the occasion of children’s day with an aim of spreading awareness, here we are shedding light on the basic symptoms of Type 1 diabetes in children and causes.

What are the early signs of diabetes?

  • Increased thirst and urge to urinate – Excess sugar building up in your child's bloodstream pulls fluid from tissues. As a result your child might be thirsty — and drink and urinate more than usual. A young, toilet-trained child might suddenly experience bed-wetting.
  • Weight loss – Observe if you see your kid losing weight suddenly. It is a clear sign. Without the energy sugar supplies, muscle tissues and fat stores simply shrink. At times despite of eating more, weight gain just doesn’t happen. 
  • Fatigue – Type 1 diabetes would keep your kid extremely exhausted all the time. Watch it out if your kid constantly complains about being tired. This could be one of the signs of type 1 diabetes. 
  • Blurred vision - If your child's blood sugar is too high, fluid may be pulled from the lenses of your child's eyes. Your child might be unable to focus clearly. 

What is the treatment for diabetes?

It is important to visit the doctor and take a prescription. After thorough analysis, the doctor can prescribe medications that would help in keeping the blood sugar level under control. Moreover, one should take good care of diet every single day. Over indulgence of glucose or carbohydrate can cause problem further.  As a caretaker, one must be careful while deciding the diet for a diabetic kid. Regular exercising and physical activities to help in keeping the blood sugar level under control. Activities like daily jogging or cycling can not only keep your child mentally fit but also physically active.

What causes type 1 diabetes in children?

The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown. But in most people with type 1 diabetes, the body's immune system — which normally fights harmful bacteria and viruses — mistakenly destroys insulin-producing (islet) cells in the pancreas. Genetics and environmental factors appear to play a role in this process.It is found out that usually early intake of cow's milk has been linked to an increased risk of type 1 diabetes, while breastfeeding might lower the risk. The timing of the introduction of cereal into a baby's diet also may affect a child's risk of type 1 diabetes. If blood sugar levels aren't well-controlled over a prolonged period of time, diabetes complications can eventually be disabling or even life-threatening. Thus, diabetes shouldn’t be taken lightly especially amongst children. As soon as you come across the symptoms, it is advisable to visit the doctor and get a diagnosis done.With proper mediation, on point diet, patience, care and regular exercise a child can easily triumph over diabetes. 

Remember, diabetes might be a part of life and not the child’s entire life.