Juvenile diabetes is the onset of type 1 diabetes mellitus in children. Very much the same as the disease in adults, when a child has diabetes their bodies are unable to make enough insulin or they cannot make proper use of the insulin that is made. When a child has type 1 diabetes, daily insulin injections are necessary for the rest of their lives.
Children are diagnosed with juvenile diabetes when their pancreas (the organ that produces insulin) does not make enough insulin on its own or not enough to process the food that is eaten into glucose. Glucose is how our bodies get energy from the food we eat. If a child’s body is not processing the food the sugar (glucose) is spilled into the urine without being used for energy. Juvenile diabetes is also known as an autoimmune disease. The child’s cells destroy the cells in the pancreas that are needed to make insulin.
There are greater risks and complications associated with diabetes when it exists in young children. A good health care team and due diligence on the parents’ part is going to be needed to ensure the child receives the best care possible. As a parent you will have to check your child’s blood sugar levels regularly using a blood glucose monitor. It will also be your responsibility to ensure that a proper diet and regular physical activity are part of your child’s life.
It is important that other people who care for your child when you are not around know that he or she has diabetes. They need to know what to do in case of an emergency and the special dietary requirements your child requires. It is recommended to get a bracelet or other form of identification that your child can wear that advises they have juvenile diabetes.