Juvenile diabetes mellitus, commonly known as Type 1 diabetes, is a syndrome with disordered metabolism and inappropriately high blood glucose levels due to a deficiency of insulin secretion in the pancreas.
Juvenile diabetes is a cause by autoimmune destruction of the B cells of the pancreas which normally secrete insulin. An estimated 1.4 million people have Type 1 diabetes in the United States.
The exact cause of juvenile diabetes is still unclear. However, it is believed that juvenile diabetes results from an infectious or toxic insult to persons whose immune system is genetically predisposed to develop an aggressive autoimmune response either against altered pancreatic B antigens or against molecules of the B cell resembling a viral protein. Juvenile Diabetes is NOT caused by obesity or by eating excessive sugar.
What are some of the symptoms of juvenile diabetes?
There are many symptoms of juvenile diabetes. If your child has the above symptoms, he or she must be seen by a physician as soon as possible. The following symptoms may occur suddenly. They include:
- Frequent urination
- Increased thirst and hunger; unexplained weight loss
- Extreme weakness and fatigue
- Blurred vision
- Numbness and tingling in the hands and feet
- Drowsiness and labored breathing
- Fruity odor on the breath.
Why should parents worry about juvenile diabetes?
Consequences of unmanaged Juvenile Diabetes may do permanent damage if not caught in a timely fashion. These consequences include:
- Eyes: leading to diabetic retinopathy and possible blindness
- Blood vessels: increasing risk of heart attack, stroke, and peripheral artery obstruction.
- Nerve: leading to foot ulcers, impotence, and digestive problems
- Kidneys: leading to kidney failure.
What are the treatments of juvenile diabetes?
- Self monitoring of blood glucose
If you have questions or concerns about this topic, please do not hesitate to contact our firm. I would like to thank John Shaw, our law clerk, for helping me research this important topic.