As the name suggests, juvenile diabetes is a type of chronic health problem that affects children. Although diabetes is one of the most common diseases these days, there are still a lot of things that are misunderstood about this health problem. So what is the difference of juvenile diabetes from type 2 diabetes mellitus? If we try to analyze things one by one, we can say that most of their symptoms are similar to each other – but the cause as well as treatment methods are somewhat different. Below are some of the most common symptoms.
Symptoms of Diabetes
When a child suffers juvenile diabetes, he or she tends to experience different kinds of symptoms such as increased thirst or drinking (polydipsia), increased urination (polyuria), increased hunger (polyphagia), weight loss, fatigue, flu like symptoms, confusion, fruity breath odor and bed wetting. It is believed that juvenile diabetes is a type of an autoimmune disorder. In addition to this, juvenile diabetes also has a strong hereditary component to it, which means it can be passed from one generation to another. Some researchers believed that environmental factors or viruses can cause the attack of the body to the beta cells of the pancreas. This causes the destruction of the cells wherein the body can no longer produce insulin. So what is insulin?
Function of the Insulin in the Body
Insulin is considered important in the body since it is recognized as the main transport of glucose from the blood towards the cells of the body. Glucose is said to be the primary or main source of fuel of the body. This can be seen in all plant based foods, which must be delivered to the cells in order for it to be consumed as energy. However, if the body lacks insulin, then the glucose will remain in the blood thus causing hyperglycemia or increased blood sugar and the starvation of the body.
More about the Symptoms
As mentioned above, juvenile diabetes can cause the body to increase its urination. This symptom is medically known as polyuria. When the glucose fails to reach the cells of the body, the sugar in the blood will significantly increase. This is the reason why the kidneys will try to respond by increasing its urine output in order to reduce the glucose in the blood. This is basically the reason why polyuria is present in juvenile diabetes. Aside from increased urination, increased thirst or drinking of water is also evident. This is called polydipsia. Polydipsia is actually a side effect of polyuria. As the body increases it urine output, the body will also increase its thirst drive thus causing the increase in water intake. Some parents may think that their children urinate more because they drink more. However, this is actually the other way around since children drink more because they urinate more. Increased hunger or polyphagia is also seen in many diabetic patients. This is simply because the glucose coming from the food fails to reach its destination, which are the cells of the body. Because of this, the body will remain hungry despite eating a heavy meal. These are the common 3 P’s of diabetes.
In addition to these symptoms, weight loss is also common in juvenile diabetic patients. Most of us think that weight gain is associated with diabetes, which is actually true in type 2 diabetes. However, in juvenile diabetes, weight loss is common especially if the health problem is left untreated. This is due to the lack of glucose received by the body causing rapid weight loss in children to occur.
Treatment for Juvenile Diabetes
Unfortunately, there is still no cure for diabetes. The only treatment associated with juvenile diabetes is the regular injections or administrations of insulin in the body. This can also be done through the use of an insulin pump. Nevertheless, insulin should never be taken as a pill. Patients with juvenile diabetes required daily blood sugar checks at least 4 times a day. Aside from insulin medications, diet and regular exercise is also very important in the treatment of this disease.
These are just some of the details with regards to the cause and symptoms of the juvenile diabetes. Understanding the important facts about diseases such as diabetes can help us manage the various symptoms and prevent the condition or the situation from worsening.