Expert opinion: what you need to know about children’s diabetes

About how many children have diabetes, which should alert parents and how the diabetes in the child changes the life of the family.

How many children live with diabetes now?

There are children with type 1 diabetes. Diabetes type 2, unfortunately, occurs in children with a large body weight, but this is still a rarity.

The prevalence of diabetes in the world is 50 per 100 000 children, that is, every two thousandth child suffers from the disease. On average, the pediatrician needs to work for about 10 years to face in his practice with a child who has diabetes.

How is diabetes diagnosed in children? Can a doctor miss a disease?

Of course, the doctor more often meets completely different diseases – acute respiratory infections, intestinal infections, chickenpox, measles, appendicitis, and not pediatric diabetes. This is the situation not only in localized area, but throughout the world. When examining a child who has abdominal pain, weakness and vomiting, doctors will likely suspect appendicitis or intestinal infection than will take these symptoms for signs of diabetes.

In 50-70% of cases, diabetes is detected already when the child needs medical help, there are cases when small patients are already in a state of coma. This situation is not due to inattention of doctors, the main problem is that people as a whole are not aware of those symptoms that are typical for type 1 diabetes.

Parents often do not pay attention to the fact that the child has a feeling of constant thirst and he always asks for a drink, urination increases, fatigue increases. Even after noticing changes in the state of the child, they do not always report them to the doctor, often associating it with stress, stress in the school or sports section.

What should parents pay attention to?

The first signs of diabetes, which should alert – polyuria (frequent urination) and strong thirst. Their appearance is an occasion to check the blood sugar level.

They detect diabetes at any age, even in newborns – now it is possible to detect diabetes in them right in the hospital. However, diabetes is diagnosed more often in the period from 3 to 14 years. On the average, from the appearance of the first symptoms to the onset of a critical condition in which the child most often goes to the hospital, where the diagnosis is subsequently made, it takes about 4 weeks.

How does the child’s life change after the diagnosis?

After the detection of diabetes, the baby is prescribed insulin, and he and his relatives are taught to live with diabetes. This disease for life – there is no other disease, when you need to do a dozen injections every day to check the blood sugar level and introduce insulin.

Children, fortunately, get used to such a life. But science does not stand still. A real rescue for them, and for adults who are sick with diabetes and must constantly monitor blood sugar levels, is the appearance of the Freestyle Libre sensor, which is simply attached to the shoulder. You can count the testimony using a special device that can store data or send it to the treating doctor. The appearance of such innovative devices greatly facilitates the life of the child.

Diabetes is a disease or a way of life?

After the diagnosis of the child is made in the register, which contains information about all children with diabetes – this is necessary to get insulin. A child with diabetes needs to be provided not only with insulin, but also with a system for monitoring blood sugar, and also it is necessary to teach him the rules of life with diabetes.

All children are normally receive imported insulin for free, manufacturers supply small patients with glucometers. True, the number of test strips issued monthly is not enough – they, unfortunately, have to be bought separately.

Depending on the level of glucose in the blood, the amount of insulin should be increased or decreased. All this needs to be taught not only by the patient, and by his relatives. Some children and parents learn this science quickly, while others need it at this time.

Diabetes is, of course, a disease and quite severe. To cure diabetes it is impossible, with it it is necessary to live always, seriously having changed a habitual life. Living with diabetes is a big work for the whole family. Unfortunately, fathers often do not stand and go, but in recent years, fortunately, this is happening less and less.

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