TYPE 1 DIABETES
What is it?
If your child is diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes it is likely to be a life changing event. But with a little bit of research and preparation, your child will be able to live a full and normal life.
Diabetes occurs when the pancreas can’t produce enough insulin. Without it, glucose levels build up in the blood which can lead to dehydration, vomiting and unconsciousness. This can lead to a coma and is life threatening.
Signs and symptoms
It is common for children to show the following symptoms prior to a diagnosis:
- Excessive thirst
- Constantly hungry
- Unexpected weight loss
- Frequent urination
If you think that your child might be at risk, visit a GP immediately.
How to manage Diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes is a chronic disease that cannot be cured but can be effectively managed through the frequent monitoring and testing of blood sugar levels.
Blood sugar levels rise as food is consumed and lower as the body uses the energy source. In non-diabetic patients, sugars that are not used as energy are further regulated by insulin in the body. Type 1 Diabetics, however, are unable to regulate this process themselves.
A glucometer helps to measure sugar levels and helps to calculate the required doses of insulin. These readings can be taken multiple times per day but should be specifically taken after meals.
If sugar levels are too high, Type 1 Diabetic patients will need to administer insulin which the body has been unable to produce.
If sugar levels are too low, patients can ingest food to bring levels back up.
It is important that children use the correct amount of insulin, otherwise they can experience hypoglycaemia – where their blood sugar levels fall too low. Extreme instances of hypoglycaemia can cause the patient to pass out.
If a diabetic patient becomes unconscious, an ambulance should be called. If available, a glucose injection should be given immediately. It is important friends and family are trained for this in case they’re required to help.
Talk to your GP and local Guardian pharmacist about glucose injections and usage.