Diabetes is a prevalent health condition in the United States. By 2018, more than 10% of the population had been diagnosed with it — and it is estimated that more than seven million have not been diagnosed. When it comes to children, about 210,000 people under the age of 20 have been diagnosed. This includes both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. The problem with these numbers is that diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. Therefore, it’s crucial to be aware of the signs of diabetes and risk factors, so that you can be proactive in keeping your child as healthy as possible. What are the symptoms? What are the risk factors? And what are healthy snack ideas to keep children happy?
Diabetes in Children
To understand diabetes, it’s important to point out the differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Doing so will give you a better idea of signs to look for and lifestyle options.
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition that causes the pancreas to produce little to no insulin. This is the hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. It occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy insulin-producing cells. The condition develops most often in children and teens. One of the differentiating factors of this type of diabetes from Type 2 diabetes is that the causes of Type 1 are unknown. Therefore, it’s not necessarily caused by a child’s sugar intake.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes also occurs when the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin. One of the biggest problems with this condition is that it increases the risk of kidney damage, fatty liver disease, impaired vision, and heart disease. Its main contributing factors are unhealthy eating habits, being overweight, and leading a sedentary lifestyle. The risk is higher in children who store fat mainly in the abdominal area.
Symptoms of Diabetes in Children
The symptoms of diabetes depend on whether a child has Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. While the symptoms of Type 1 diabetes can appear suddenly and are severe, in the early stages of Type 2 diabetes, children often do not have any symptoms. However, they will begin to experience them as the disease progresses. The most common signs are:
Type 1 Diabetes Symptoms
Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms
Tingling sensation at the tips of the fingers and toes
Darkened skin in the neck and armpits
Complications of Diabetes in Children
Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can have life-threatening complications. Specifically with Type 1 diabetes, a child could end up with hypoglycemia — which could in turn lead to kidney damage or heart attack. Meanwhile, children with Type 2 diabetes could develop high blood pressure, kidney damage, heart attack, or stroke.
12 Healthy Snacks for Diabetic Children
Even though Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are caused by different reasons, eating a healthy diet ensures blood sugar levels remain at a healthy range — which is crucial to avoid complications. The good news is that there are plenty of healthy snacks that are appealing to children. These include:
Contact Care Options for Kids for Home Health Care
It can be hard to balance your time between work, home, and caring for a child. That’s why our team of skilled professionals at Care Options for Kids is here to help. We have been enforcing precautionary measures and following the Center For Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for COVID-19 to ensure the safety and health of our clients and employees.
Our home health care services offer support in the comfort of your home. We refer loving and competent nurses to provide customized care for families — from a few hours a day to around-the-clock supervision. Contact us directly to speak with a home health care professional or request a free in-home assessment. Together we can determine the best plan of action to keep your loved ones happy and healthy.
If you or a loved one are considering pediatric home health care services, contact the caring staff at Care Options for Kids. Call today at (888) 592-5855.