The more severe form of diabetes is type 1, or insulin dependent diabetes – also called juvenile diabetes. As it usually develops in children and teenagers, though it can develop at any age and equally affects both the sexes. It can cause some serious health complications like kidney failure, heart disease, and blindness. This form of diabetes requires daily dosage of insulin injections. Patients must therefore monitor their blood glucose levels and administer insulin injections number of times every day. Over 700,000 persons in the United States are affected with insulin dependent diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is developed when cells that make insulin are destroyed by the body’s own immune system. There is also a genetic peril to diabetes as it tends to run in the family and hence a greater risk of developing it.
Insulin dependent diabetes symptoms like frequent urination, tiredness, excessive thirst and hunger, and weight loss can develop all of a sudden or gradually over several years. Symptom such as Ketoacidosis, a condition caused by starvation or uncontrolled diabetes, is very common in insulin dependent diabetics. Such patients also have a sweet breath odor. If not treated properly it can lead to death.
There is no cure for insulin dependent diabetes, however the condition can be controlled and thus would enable the patients to live near normal lives provided the treatment focuses on keeping blood glucose levels within the normal range as also preventing long-term complications.
The amount and type of insulin required depends on the patient’s height, weight, age, food intake, and activity level. The physician may prescribe a single dose of one type of insulin once a day or multiple injections during the day. Patients requiring multiple injections during the day can use an insulin pump that administers small doses of insulin on demand. This small battery-operated pump is worn on the outside of the body and is connected to a needle inserted in the abdomen.
Another remedy is transplanting a healthy pancreas into a diabetic patient. However, this is recommended only when a kidney transplant is also needed.
Patients with diabetes need to eat a healthy diet that contains the right balance of foods. Type 1 diabetics would need daily injections of insulin for the remainder of their life.
Among all other chronic childhood diseases, the risk of Juvenile Diabetes is the maximum and when not treated or poorly controlled can cause number of serious and irreparable damage to the eyes, blood vessels, nervous systems, kidneys etc.
Based on the severity of the case, the symptoms of Juvenile Diabetes may vary but the common ones include intense thirst and carving for food, rapid weight loss, frequent urination, tiredness and weakness, tingling sensation and numbness of hands and feet.
Great care and meticulous treatment is vitally important. The treatment includes taking daily injections of insulin, eating a healthy diet low in carbohydrates, low in sugar and fats, regular physical exercises and regular monitoring of blood glucose levels.
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