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Part 4: Keeping Your Child Healthy  >  The A-Z of Childhood Illnesses  >  Diabetes Mellitus

DIABETES MELLITUS

This disease in children is also called juvenile diabetes. A few points relating to it need to be stressed:

  • Children often have Type 1 diabetes, inherited from both parents. If either of them do not have the disease or do not carry the genes for diabetes (as seen in the family history), then their children are not likely to get the disease. On the other hand, if one child has juvenile diabetes, there is a possibility that your other child may also get it.
  • This type of diabetes is almost always treated with insulin injections.
  • With proper management, almost normal growth and activity of the diabetic child can be assured.
  • If not properly managed, the child can go into coma and later in life develop complications affecting his eyes, kidney, heart and nerves.
  • The disease is less common in breastfed children. 


SYMPTOMS: Although it can affect even infants, generally the onset of the disease is around 5 years of age. The child drinks a lot more water, passes urine more often, may start wetting his bed or clothes, eats more than usual but still does not gain weight, or even starts losing weight. There may be a history of vomiting, pain in the abdomen, dehydration and the need to admit the child to a hospital.

In some children, the disease presents for the first time with severe pain in the abdomen, vomiting and drowsiness. If not treated, the child may lapse into unconsciousness. A family history of diabetes in a brother or sister of the child or a history of diabetes in both the parents or their elders should further make one suspect diabetes. If there are such symptoms, your doctor will ask for a urine and blood test to confirm the diagnosis.

TREATMENT: Depending on the condition of your child, the doctor may decide if the child needs hospitalisation. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, he will start with injections of insulin.

It is important to keep a check on your child’s sugar levels because less sugar (due to an excessive dose of insulin) as well as high blood sugar can lead to unconsciousness. Your doctor will teach you what to do if such a situation arises. 

Diet as well as exercise are important. The diet should not vary too much in amount on different days. Your doctor will advise you on a healthy diet, as well as healthy snacks like peanuts and other nuts, chuna and fruits. 

Your child can take part in competitive sports as well, under your doctor’s advice.

Mood disturbances are not uncommon in this condition. A child may suddenly become withdrawn or depressed. Do not hesitate to seek expert help in such a situation.
 




7 March, 2016

 
Part 4
The A-Z of Childhood Illnesses

Abdominal Pain
Abrasions or Scratches
Acute Glomerulonephritis
Acute Nephritis
Acute Watery Diarrhoea
Addictions
Adenoids
AIDS
Allergies
Anaemia
Anorexia (Poor Appetite)
Asthma
ADHD
Autism
Backache
Bed-Wetting (Enuresis)
Birth Deformities
Bites and Stings
Bleeding
Bone, Joint and Muscle Injuries
Bowlegs and Knock-Knees
Breathlessness
Bronchiolitis
Burns
Calcium Deficiency
Cancer
Cardiac Pulmonary Resuscitation
Cerebral Palsy (CP)
Chickenpox
Choking
Circumcision
Cleft Lip and Palate
Common Cold
Congenital Heart Disease
Constipation
Convulsions or Fits or Seizures
Cough
Croup
Crying
Cuts
Dengue Fever
Diabetes Mellitus
Diarrhoea, Dysentery ...
Diphtheria
Down's Syndrome
Earache, Ear Infections ...
Electric Shock
Encephalitis
Eye Problems
Fears
Foot Problems
German Measles (Rubella)
Glands in the Neck ...
Headache
Head Injury
Hepatitis
Hydrocephalus
Hypertension
Hypospadias
Influenza (Flu)
Jaundice
Joint Disorders
Kala-Azar
Leptospirosis
Limp and Pain in the Legs
Malaria
Malnutrition (Undernutrition)
Measles
Meningitis
Meningomyelocele
Menstrual Problems
Mental Retardation (MR)
Mouth To Mouth Breathing
Mumps
Nephrotic Syndrome
Nose-Related Problems
Obesity
Pneumonia
Poisoning
Poliomyelitis
Premature Baby
Prolapse of the Rectum
Rabies
Rheumatic Fever
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rickets
Short Child
Skin Conditions
Sleep and Sleep Problems
Sore Throat (Pharyngitis)
Splinters
Stammering
Stridor (Noisy Breathing)
Teething and Care of Teeth
Tetanus (Lock Jaw)
Thrush
Thumb-Sucking
Tics
Torticollis
Tracheoesophageal Fistula
Tropical Eosinophilia
Tuberculosis (TB)
Typhoid
Umbilical Problems
Undescended Testis
Urinary Infection
Vaginal Discharge
Vomiting
Wheezing
Whooping Cough (Pertusis)



Part 4
Keeping Your Child Healthy
Choosing A Paediatrician
Proper Use of Medicines
Home Remedies
A First Aid Kit
The A-Z of Childhood Illnesses
Psychological Concerns
Managing A Hospital Stay
Emergencies
Prayer And Your Child's Health
The Role of Nature Cure
Homoeopathy
Ayurveda and Child Care
Congenital Heart Disease FAQ
 
Guide to Child Care
Home
Introduction
1 Pregnancy, Childbirth ...
2 The Growing Years
3 Feeding Infants, ...
4 Keeping Your Child Healthy
5 Keeping Your Child Happy
About Dr. R. K. Anand
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