Coping With Type One Diabetes
Diabetes is a serious problem all around the country. It is definitely one that we are learning to pay serious attention to-particularly now that we are becoming so conscious of the issue of obesity. But there is more than one kind of diabetes and the one that strikes our children is, perhaps, the hardest form of the disease to live with.
Type One Diabetes
Until recently, most children diagnosed with diabetes were found to have what was once called juvenile diabetes. Now we call it type one diabetes, but it is still the same disease. Type one diabetes is similar in many ways to type two diabetes because the effects of a lack of insulin on the body are similar, but where type two diabetes is triggered by a lessening sensitivity to the presence of insulin in the body, type one is the result of the body's destruction of its own insulin producing cells.
Type two patients may regain their sensitivity to insulin and their health. Type one patients must be treated with insulin for the duration of their lives.
The Effects of Type One Diabetes
This can be a heavy burden for a child, especially one who is otherwise healthy as most children and young adults with the disease are. Children with diabetes must learn to monitor and correct their blood sugar levels so that they have neither too much nor too little sugar in their system. The effects of erratic management are severe.
A build up of unprocessed sugar in the body can lead to the slow degradation of the body's systems. Over time, the side effects of type one diabetes can include blindness, skin infections, loss of limbs, heart disease, and the destruction of major bodily systems. Preventing these complications can be a heavy burden for a child to bear and it sometimes results in a harmful rebellion.
Supporting Children with Diabetes
If your child had been diagnosed with the disease, it is up to you to help your child share the burden. The good news is that technology has advanced a great deal. For many years now, children with the disease have been able to live very normal lives, thanks to sophisticated gadgets that help them manage their insulin dependence.
The danger of failure, ketoacidosis and death remains present, but a child with type one diabetes is much less likely to face these issues today. Now there are even blood glucose monitors being developed and marketed specifically to warn diabetics of dangerously high or low levels of glucose. This would allow a child in the danger zone to correct the issue before a trip to the hospital became necessary.
Lifelong treatment may remain a necessity for some time where diabetes is concerned, but science continues to look for ways to cure this disease. Experiments are currently in the works to attempt to successfully replace the missing insulin producing cells in the body. Though success remains elusive, our knowledge of diabetes continues to grow and change.