Type 1 diabetes in children is a condition in which your child’s body no longer produces an important hormone called insulin. Your Childs body needs insulin to survive, so you’ll have to replace the missing insulin.

Symptoms:

These can develop quickly, over a period of weeks. These signs and symptoms include:

Increased thirst and frequent urination. A young, toilet-trained child might suddenly experience bed-wetting. Extreme hunger due to not enough insulin to move sugar into your child’s cells, your child’s muscles and organs lack energy. Weight loss. Fatigue, lethargic, Irritability or behavior changes. In addition to mood problems, your child might suddenly have a decline in performance at school. Fruity-smelling breath is caused by the burning fat instead of sugar produces substances called ketones that can cause a fruity breath odor. Blurred vision. Yeast infection. Girls with type 1 diabetes may have a genital yeast infections. Babies can develop diaper rashes caused by yeast.

Causes:

The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown. Most people with type 1 diabetes find that their body’s immune system — which normally fights harmful bacteria and viruses — mistakenly destroys insulin-producing islet cells in the pancreas. Genetics and environmental factors appear to play a role in this process. Insulin performs the critical job of moving glucose from the bloodstream to the body’s cells. Sugar enters the bloodstream when food is digested. Once the islet cells of the pancreas are destroyed, your child produces little or no insulin. As a result, glucose builds up in your child’s bloodstream, where it can cause life-threatening complications.

Risk factors:

Family history. Anyone with a parent or siblings with type 1 diabetes has a slightly increased risk of developing the condition. Genetic susceptibility. The presence of certain genes indicates an increased risk of developing type 1 diabetes.

Race. In the United States, type 1 diabetes is more common among non-Hispanic white children than among other races.

Environmental risk factors might include:
Certain viruses may trigger the autoimmune destruction of the islet cells.

Diet. No specific dietary factor or nutrient in infancy has been shown to play a role in the development of type 1 diabetes. However, early intake of cow’s milk has been linked to an increased risk of type 1 diabetes, while breast-feeding might lower the risk. The timing of the introduction of cereal into a baby’s diet also may affect a child’s risk of type 1 diabetes.

Complications:

If blood sugar levels aren’t well-controlled over a prolonged period of time, diabetes complications can eventually be disabling or even life-threatening and develop over time.

Heart and blood vessel disease. Diabetes dramatically increases your child’s risk of developing conditions such as coronary artery disease with chest pain, heart attack, stroke, narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis) and high blood pressure later in life.

Nerve damage happens when Excess sugar injure the walls of the tiny blood vessels that nourish your child’s nerves, especially in the legs. This causes tingling, numbness, burning or pain. Nerve damage happens gradually over a long period of time.

Kidney damage can occur when there is damage to the numerous tiny blood vessel clusters that filter waste from your child’s blood. Severe damage can lead to kidney failure or irreversible end-stage kidney disease, requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant.

Eye damage can occur in the blood vessels of the retina, which may lead to poor vision and even possibly blindness. Diabetes can also lead to cataracts and a greater risk of glaucoma.

Skin conditions leave your child more prone to skin problems, including bacterial infections, fungal infections and itching.

Osteoporosis can occur when lower than normal bone mineral density occurs, increasing your child’s risk of osteoporosis as an adult.

Prevention:

No known way to prevent type 1 diabetes.

Children who have a high risk of developing type 1 diabetes can be tested for antibodies associated with the disorder. But the presence of these antibodies doesn’t make diabetes inevitable. And there’s currently no known way to prevent type 1 diabetes if the antibodies are found. Researchers are working on preventing type 1 diabetes in people who have a high risk of developing the disease. Other research focuses on preventing further destruction of the islet cells in people who are newly diagnosed.

While there’s nothing you could have done to prevent your child’s type 1 diabetes, you can help your child prevent its complications by:

Helping your child maintain good blood sugar control as much as possible

Teaching your child the importance of eating a healthy diet & participating in regular physical activity

Scheduling regular visits with your child’s diabetes doctor and a yearly eye exam beginning no more than five years after the initial diabetes diagnosis