Diabetes in children


Type 1 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes in children: 90-95 per cent of under 16s with diabetes have this type. It is caused by the inability of the pancreas to produce insulin. Type 1 diabetes is classified as an autoimmune disease, a condition in which the bodys immune system attacks one of the bodys own tissues or organs. In Type 1 diabetes it is the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas that are destroyed.

As in the case of adults, the cause of childhood diabetes is not understood. It probably involves a combination of genes and environmental triggers. The majority of children who develop Type 1 diabetes dont have a family history of diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes used to occur mainly in adults who were overweight and older than 40 years. Now, as more children and adolescents become overweight or obese and inactive, especially in countries like the United States, type 2 diabetes is occurring more often in young people aged 10 or older. Most children and adolescents diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are also insulin resistant, and have a family history of type 2 diabetes.
General symptoms that are also found in adults include: thirst, weight loss, tiredness, frequent urination. Symptoms that are more typical for children include: tummy pains, headaches, behaviour problems.

Doctors should consider the possibility of diabetes in any child who has an otherwise unexplained history of illness or tummy pains for a few weeks....

In general, non-medical approaches encompass a variety of disciplines that include everything from diet and exercise to mental conditioning and lifestyle changes. However, there is no treatment that can replace insulin for anyone with type 1 diabetes. People who have type 1 diabetes must use injected insulin every day to survive.

Its been suggested that some substances may help with blood sugar control, but none have been proved to effectively manage or prevent type 1 diabetes. Some of the substances that have been tested and found ineffective for blood sugar control include nicotinamide, vitamin D, cinnamon, zinc and alpha-lipoic acid.

There isnt yet enough evidence on vitamin E or chromium to assess whether or not these substances might be helpful in lowering blood sugar levels....