Edit ModuleShow Tags

Childhood Diabetes

What to do if you see signs of diabetes in your children.



(page 1 of 2)

According to the American Diabetes Association, 1 in every 400 children has diabetes, and that number’s on the rise. “We’re seeing more Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes than ever before,” says Claresa Levetan, MD, chief of endocrinology at Philadelphia’s Chestnut Hill Hospital. She goes on to quote a sobering statistic: “If you were born after the year 2000, you have a 1-in-3 chance of developing Type 2 in your lifetime.” And over the past 20 years, Type 1 has increased 70 percent in children younger than 5.  

Diabetes Defined
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease in which the pancreas stops producing insulin. Though this condition, formerly known
as juvenile diabetes, is far more common in children, “It can affect anyone at any stage of life,” says Nanette Gerst, executive director of the South Jersey chapter of JDRF, a national nonprofit that focuses on T1D. 

Type 2 diabetes (T2D), unlike T1D, is influenced by lifestyle habits (think diet and exercise) and closely correlates with obesity rates. In Type 2 diabetics, the pancreas produces insulin yet the body develops a resistance to the peptide hormone, explains Kimberly Shoe.

Childhood diabetes symptoms

Terri Lipman, PhD., assistant dean and professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, spells out the three classic symptoms for diabetes:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive urination
  • Excessive hunger

Scott Kasper of Mt. Laurel, NJ, is a father of three, including two boys with Type 1 diabetes. His red flag went up when his oldest son, then 10, needed his water glass refilled over and over at a restaurant. Because this occurred after a sports practice, Kasper and his wife weren’t unduly concerned, but they eventually took the now-16-year-old to see the doctor when he became uncharacteristically irritable over a period of weeks. Kasper’s youngest son was diagnosed at just 13 months old; the telltale sign in this case was that the baby’s newly changed diapers quickly became so wet, they hung around his knees.

Neither Kasper nor his wife have T1D, and in general a genetic predisposition to the disease is much more prevalent in people who develop T2D. Family history and a BMI percentile greater than 86 are prime diabetes risk factors, as is the presence of prediabetes. Patients with prediabetes have elevated blood sugar levels that aren’t yet high enough to be classified as T2D, though they are at greater risk of developing Type 2 if they don’t make changes to their diet and exercise habits, says Kimberly A. Shoe, nurse practitioner and certified diabetes educator at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, DE. However, this group is also in a position to prevent diabetes. “With lifestyle modifications you could reduce your risk by 70 percent,” says Dr. Levetan.

Next page: all about insulin

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Content

Winter Fun, February 25: Enter to Win!

Get creative with this giveaway.

How to Savor the Moments as Your Child Grows

Learn how to slow down and enjoy each phase of childhood as your child grows.

Winter Fun, February 24: Enter to Win!

Today’s giveaway is perfect for Minecraft fans.

Add your comment:

Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Edit ModuleShow Tags


MK Memo

MK Memo: Moms Know
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Coming to Philadephia

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Coming to Philadephia

Get all the details about the area's newest attraction and its grand opening!

Comments

Tips for Great Dental Hygiene

Tips for Great Dental Hygiene

Follow these helpful guidelines to ensure healthy teeth and proper dental hygiene practices for your kids.

Comments

Create Healthier Tech Habits for Kids

Create Healthier Tech Habits for Kids

Get your kids' tech use under control and teach them to to police it better themselves

Comments

Cirque du Soleil’s New Avatar-based Show Comes to Philly

Cirque du Soleil’s New Avatar-based Show Comes to Philly

The world of Pandora comes to life on stage!

Comments

Mom Com Comeback

Mom Com Comeback

Adult coloring books are all the rage. Harried moms will appreciate the humor in this new coloring book from a former MetroKids cartoonist!

Comments

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags


MomSpeak

The voices of local moms
You're The Reason Mommy Drinks

You're The Reason Mommy Drinks

Are we giving our kids the wrong impression about alcohol by joking about its role in parenting?

Comments


MomSpeak

The voices of local moms
Fun With FAFSA

Fun With FAFSA

If you have a student who's preparing for college, and you're applying for financial aid, this post may sound eerily familiar.

Comments


MomSpeak

The voices of local moms
31 Daily Habits to Get and Stay Organized

31 Daily Habits to Get and Stay Organized

Gradually add one or two tips to your routine for a more organized home and life!

Comments

{/if}