Type 1 Diabetes - Juvenile Diabetes
Learn About Diabetes And Know The Signs
It seems that the diagnosis of diabetes is becoming more and more prevalent these days. It isn't uncommon to hear people saying that one of their older relatives has diabetes. There are even commercials on television all the time advertising free blood glucose meters to people with diabetes. But, not everyone knows a lot about how diabetes actually works and that there are actually different types of diabetes.
My son was diagnosed with Type 1, formerly known as juvenile diabetes, at the young age of 3. In this lens, I am going to attempt to explain what diabetes is, the different types of diabetes, the symptoms of diabetes, my personal experience with diabetes, and much more.
My source of knowledge and information comes from my first-hand personal experience caring for a child with juvenile diabetes for since 1996, educational material received from hospital staff and the endocrinology department, research through the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the American Diabetes Association, sciencedaily.com, and caldiabetes.org.
Photo is of my son Dustin when he was about 3.
The Different Types Of Diabetes
There are a couple different forms of diabetes: Diabetes Mellitus and Diabetes Insipidus. The first form mentioned, Diabetes insipidus, is fairly uncommon and was once known as water diabetes. Diabetes Mellitus, once known as sugar diabetes, is the type of diabetes that people are commonly diagnosed with and which is what this lens will focus on.
The form of diabetes called Diabetes Mellitus affects people of all ages. There are two forms of Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 (formerly known as Juvenile Diabetes) and Type 2 (formerly known as Adult Diabetes). Even though they are both forms of diabetes, they are very different in many ways. It's just that they both affect the production of insulin in the same way; however, people with Type 2 Diabetes generally don't need insulin injections because their pancreas is still functioning, but not correctly. In contrast to this, people with Type 1 Diabetes must take insulin because their pancreas is no longer working; the cells are essentially dying.
Symptoms Of Diabetes
Diabetes is a metabolic condition wherein the body does not produce enough insulin or does not respond to the insulin being produced by the pancreas to manage the glucose (sugar) in the blood. Therefore, at least in Type 1 Diabetes, insulin must be put into the body or the body cannot function properly. Lack of insulin can lead to death at the worst, but high blood sugar is also not good for the organs of the body. It's actually better to have low blood sugar than high blood sugar. It's easier on the organs.
- Needs to pee all the time.
- Extremely Thirsty
- Feeling tired and fatigued for no reason.
- Unexplained weight loss.
- Blurry eyesight.
- Numbness or tingling in feet.
Remember This: If your child suddenly begins wetting the bed after being potty trained or is a child who doesn't wet the bed, don't get upset with her/him, it could be a symptom of diabetes.
IF your child is using the bathroom more often than usual, is EXTREMELY thirsty AND wetting the bed, IT IS URGENT THAT YOU CALL THE PEDIATRICIAN or medical provider.
Differences In Type 1 And Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes Mellitus comes in two forms - Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 is insulin dependent and Type 2 is is non-insulin dependent. Type 1 Diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and was formerly known as juvenile diabetes.
In Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas produces little if any insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. Only 5-10% of people with diabetes have this form of the disease. In Type 1 as well as Type 2, the pancreas is not functioning properly. However, according to my son's doctor, with Type 1 Diabetes, the cells of the pancreas are moving from improperly functioning to non-functioning; the pancreas is essentially dying. Which means that eventually, the pancreas in people with Type 1 Diabetes will stop working entirely. Therefore, in Type 1 Diabetes, the use of insulin cannot ever be discontinued because the pancreas can no longer provide the insulin. It must be provided to the body by injection or pump.
Type 1 Diabetes is not caused by poor diet, lack of exercise, sugar, or anything except genetics and there is some possibility too that a virus that may cause it. That is not known for sure however. Adults can be diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and children are now being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.
The second type of diabetes mellitus, Type 2 Diabetes, can be genetic, but is generally brought on due to a person's lifestyle. Once a person is diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, they can make certain changes in their lives to reduce or diminish the Type 2 Diabetes. This is done by modification to the diet by staying away from certain foods and beverages and replacing that with more nutritious, lower carbohydrate foods and getting adequate amounts of proper exercise. The pancreas in people with Type 2 Diabetes is still functioning, the cells are still being produced, it's just that, in my own analogy, the pancreas just kind of got lazy or forgot it's job. Insulin is still being produced, but because of certain factors, the system became "out of whack". Because Type 2 Diabetes is the type of diabetes that is not insulin dependent, people with Type 2 Diabetes do not have to have insulin injections, but sometimes they must take insulin pills. If a person with Type 2 Diabetes begins to require insulin, they have become insulin dependent diabetic.
Links To Learn More About Diabetes
- Type 1 Diabetes: Dedicated to Finding a Cure : Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International
Information about the organization and its ongoing research to find a cure for Juvenile Diabetes.
- American Diabetes Association Information
Read more about type 1 diabetes and how it affects the body.
- American Diabetes Association Information
Help young diabetics manage their care and stay healthy.
- Who Has Diabetes
A narrative of the initial findings of a study on diabetes in youth.
If your child suddenly begins wetting the bed on a nightly basis for more than a couple of nights in a row, PLEASE take him or her to the doctor.
Take A Poll - Earn Some Points
My son was diagnosed with Type 1 DIabetes when he was only 3 years old. It was very difficult for all of us to deal with, especially the insulin shots and blood glucose level checking so frequently. He's 19 now and has an insulin pump, it's been many years since he was first diagnosed, but he will have to live with it for the rest of his life.
Do You Know A Child With Type 1 Diabetes?
Thanks For Reading
Thanks for reading my lens. Please remember, if you notice any of these symptoms in a child or an adult, you should really contact your doctor as soon as you possibly can. If it is your child, even sooner. If your child is wetting the bed suddenly, along with being really thirsty, it is IMPERATIVE that you contact your child's doctor.