Juvenile Diabetes

Complications And Treatment For Juvenile Diabetes

An estimated seven percent of the population in the United States has been diagnosed with diabetes. Diabetes is a medical condition characterized by the inability of the body to control or regulate blood glucose level. There are two major types of diabetes and these are type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. While the cause of type 1 or juvenile diabetes is not yet known, the development of type 2 diabetes can be delayed through proper diabetes management.

People diagnosed with juvenile diabetes

Type 1 or juvenile diabetes is usually diagnosed during childhood. This medical condition is also called insulin-dependent diabetes. This occurs when the immune system of the body destroys cells in the pancreas. This is a small organ located at the back of the lower part of the stomach. This is the organ responsible for producing a hormone called insulin. This hormone transports glucose into the cells for it to be converted into energy. These cells in the pancreas that are destroyed are called beta cells. Without these cells, no insulin can be produced. Because of this deficiency, people with juvenile diabetes have to inject insulin to remain alive. Multiple insulin injections may be done daily depending on the severity of the condition. For this, insulin pumps are usually used. Likewise, people diagnosed with juvenile diabetes also have to regularly check their blood glucose level by pricking their fingers for blood at least six times daily. Blood sugar levels should be regulated carefully to prevent either hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia from taking place.

Scientists have determined no specific cause for juvenile diabetes. However, studies suggest that autoimmune, genetic and environmental factors may lead to this medical condition. Some of the most common indicators of this type of diabetes are excessive thirst, frequent urination, drowsiness or fatigue, vision changes, sudden weight loss, sweet odor on breath and unconsciousness.

Insulin injections

While insulin injections may address the need of people with juvenile diabetes for insulin, it does not entirely prevent complications from taking place. Among the most common complications for type 1 diabetes are cardiovascular diseases, hypoglycemia, nephropathy, neuropathy and retinopathy.

Cardiovascular diseases include stroke and heart attack, the leading cause of death among diabetics. Researches conducted by scientists show that most diabetes are very likely to develop high cholesterol and hypertension. High blood glucose level is alleged to have an aggravating effect on these conditions. Another dangerous complication of type 1 diabetes is hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. This complication may lead to unconsciousness or death. Nephropathy refers to the damage to the kidneys and kidney function caused by diabetes. About one third of people with juvenile diabetes suffer from kidney failure, also known as end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Neuropathy, or nerve damage, on the other hand, affects more than half of people diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. This causes loss of sensation and in some cases, cause pain in the extremities. Retinopathy is another complication of this disease. This involves the destruction of small blood vessels in the retina which can eventually lead to vision problems.