Type I Diabetes: Causes, Complications, and Disease Management

Type 1 diabetes Information | Mount Sinai - New York
It can be distressing for a parent to get a diabetes diagnosis for their child. The young patient has to contend with tracking calorie intake and insulin injections. But you can avoid complications with far-reaching health implications with early
Farmers Branch diabetes management; Read on to discover factors causing diabetes and how to manage the condition.

What causes type 1 diabetes?

Type I diabetes is prevalent in children and young adults. Statistics show one in 350 children may develop symptoms by age 18. While it occurs at any age, it is most likely to appear in children between four and ten.

The precise factors causing diabetes are yet to be identified by scientists. However, the primary mechanism for type I diabetes is the destruction of insulin-producing beta cells. In most instances, the immune system is responsible for pancreatic tissue damage.

Months before type I diabetes symptoms emerge, your body releases antibodies to attack insulin-producing cells. Genetic factors may predispose your pancreas to antibody attacks. 

Complications of type I diabetes in children

The destruction of insulin-producing cells means the body cannot effectively regulate sugar. If untreated, type I diabetes can cause various health issues.

The most common type I diabetes complications include:

  • Hyperglycemia: Type I diabetes patients tend to have elevated blood sugar levels due to insulin anomalies. A surge in insulin may occur in the morning before you wake up. High blood sugar for a prolonged duration may cause diabetic ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis is the breakdown of fat cells to produce energy. The condition can lead to a coma and, in severe cases, death.
  • Hypoglycemia: Patients can register a considerable drop in sugar levels after taking more insulin than necessary. As a result, the patient experiences persistent fatigue, excessive sweating, numbness, and tingling sensations. In severe cases, it may lead to poor concentration, loss of coordination, and fainting.
  • Vascular and nerve damage: Diabetes can damage blood vessels and weaken nerve system function. Patients are susceptible to heart disease and kidney problems. Vascular and neuropathic issues may also lead to vision problems in children with diabetes.
  • Diminishing bone density: Diabetes patients often have a vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D facilitates calcium synthesis. Additionally, high sugar levels make the body susceptible to inflammation. These factors affect bone density and increase the risk of osteoporosis in the future.
  • Mental distress and depression: Statistics suggest half of the children with diabetes experience psychological challenges. Most issues like anxiety or depression are associated with diet and medication management.

Type I diabetes prevention and management

You can help your child manage diabetes by adopting a healthy lifestyle. Exercise and dietary adjustments will improve sugar regulation and alleviate symptoms.

While there is no way to prevent diabetes, the latest diagnostic tests can detect antibodies months before symptoms appear. Therefore, it is critical to schedule visits to your doctor whenever you notice diabetes symptoms in your child.

A diabetes specialist will share crucial tips to help your child deal with diabetes. With timely disease management, you can enhance your child’s quality of life and avoid health problems.

To book a consultation, call Redwood Family Health Center from your location today.