Diabetes unfortunately, is not an uncommon problem in children. As per statistics, approximately 13000 children, in the United States alone, are diagnosed with this condition every year. This is a chronic condition which requires a lot of care and attention. Diabetes in toddlers requires medical attention; if it is ignored the child could become very ill.
Diabetes can be defined as a medical condition, which affects the manner in which glucose is utilized by the body. Glucose is a type of sugar that is present in our blood stream. Glucose is important as it provides the body with energy, to perform a large number of functions. After every meal, the body breaks down food into glucose and various other nutrients.
This is then absorbed into a person’s bloodstream. After a meal, glucose levels in the body rise, the pancreases then produces a hormone called insulin, which is released into the blood stream. Insulin plays a very important role in metabolic activities. The body requires insulin in order to use glucose for energy. It carries the sugar or glucose to the cells from the blood, where it is then used for energy. In the absence of insulin, the glucose fails to reach the cells, and thus begins to accumulate in the blood. When a person suffers from diabetes, the body is either unable to respond to insulin, or it is unable to produce insulin properly.
Type 1 diabetes also formerly referred to as juvenile diabetes, occurs when the person’s pancreases is unable to produce insulin.
This is the result of an autoimmune attack, wherein the individuals own immune system starts attacking and destroying the insulin producing cells in the pancreas. These cells, once destroyed, will never produce insulin again. What causes type 1 diabetes in toddlers is yet to be determined, although some theories link it to genetics. Toddlers with diabetes will display one or more of the following symptoms; frequent need to urinate, constant thirst, an abnormal loss of weight, sleepiness and or tiredness and dehydration. Toddlers that have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes require a lot of care and attention. Their glucose levels will have to be monitored and controlled regularly. Some toddlers may be required to take insulin injections, as a part of their treatment. Living with this condition is a challenge, irrespective of what the child’s age is. However, proper treatment and the right kind of care can go a long way in allowing them to lead a normal life.