Diabetes in Children: May Be Not Too Rampant here, But Parents Should Take Note

The importance of a healthy diet in children and adults cannot be over emphasized. We recently wrote on Mediterranean diet and how healthy it is. The origin of the diet can be compared to Africa early pattern of diet: full with natural products such as vegetables, bush meats (no Era of ebola then), fruits and so on; and not processed food products available during this present day. Diabetes used to be adult medical issues but in recent years it has turned into a pediatric medical condition.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a group of metabolic disease resulted from high blood sugar levels over a prolonged period. The Symptoms of high blood sugar include frequent urination, frequent thirst for water, and frequent hunger for food. An untreated, diabetes can cause many complications leading to acute  complications such as diabetics ketoacidosis, and non-ketotic hyperosmolar coma, where serious long term complications include cardiovascular disease, stroke, chronic kidney failure, foot ulcers and sight problem.

Diabetes is as a result of pancreas not producing enough insulin or failure of the body cell to respond properly to the produced insulin .There are three main types of diabetes mellitus:

  • Type 1 as a results of the pancreas’s failure to produce enough insulin. This form was previously referred to as “insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus” (IDDM) or “juvenile diabetes”. The cause is unknown.
  • Type 2 begins with insulin resistance, a condition in which cells fail to respond to insulin properly and as the disease progresses a lack of insulin may also develop. This form was previously referred to as “non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus” (NIDDM) or “adult-onset diabetes”. The primary cause is excessive body weight and inadequate enough exercise.
  • Gestational diabetes, is the third main form and it occurs in pregnant women and as such a woman without a previous history of diabetes may develop a high blood-sugar level due to her present state.


    Type 2 used to be strictly adult affair as obesity is the major factor while type 1 affects children causing an autoimmune disease. The causes remain unknown but researchers have attributed it to the sudden hit on the cell that produces insulin. It comes with complications such as nerve damage, kidney failure and heart disease. Researchers are still working to find out more detailed causes of Type 1 diabetes. A researcher has previously attributed it to lack of diversity in the gut microbiome found in the digestive system. The causes of declined microbiome are attributed to the use of antibiotics, processed foods and cesarean section. This however does not explain the recent increase of diabetes Type 1 in children.

The incidence of childhood obesity has increased globally leading to children having diabetes type 2. A study found out that between 2001 and 2009, pediatric type 2 cases of diabetes have increased by 30%.’We’ve seen a big rise in the rates of pediatric obesity. Children are coming in with diabetes in their teens’ says Jane Kim MD, pediatric endocrinologist at the University of California- San Diego School of Medicine. She was of the opinion that the kid’s parents might have been diagnosed at the age of 30 or 40 and possibly grandparents at the age 50s or 60s. The increase in type 2 diabetes in children re affirmed that not all people with type 2 are affected by complications such as kidney disease, eye disease and nerve damage.

The sad news however is not only the early occurrence of Type 2 in children but the aggression of the disease, leading to early complications. Response to treatment is very slow in children who developed type 2 says Jane Kim. American Association of diabetes explained the condition of the attacked cell, which is normally starved of energy right away. Diabetes can be controlled by reducing blood glucose with healthy eating habits and exercise in Type 2.

Prevention and treatment of diabetes involve maintaining a healthy diet, exercising, maintaining a normal body mass index, reduce alcohol consumption and the use of tobacco. Control of blood pressure and maintaining proper foot care are important for people with the disease. Type 1  must be managed with insulin injections. Type 2  may be treated with medications with or without insulin.

 

Sources

American Diabetes Association

Wilikipedia Encyclopedia

 

 



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