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Got kids under the age of 16? Here's what you need to know about diabetes in children

by , 24 April 2015

Type 1 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes in children. This disease is characterised by the pancreas' inability to produce insulin.

And in 90% of cases with children under the age of 16 who have diabetes, this is the type they have.

Worried about your child developing diabetes? Then keep reading for all the information you need on type 1 diabetes.

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What causes childhood diabetes?

Doctors believe that the increase in diabetes is a direct result of the increase in obesity in society. However, obesity doesn’t explain the number of children who suffer from type 1 diabetes.
In fact, doctors don’t understand the cause of childhood diabetes yet. They do, however, link it to genes (although the majority don’t have a family history of diabetes) and environmental triggers. 


What symptoms should I look out for in my child to know if he’s at risk of type 1 diabetes?

The main symptoms are the same as in adults. They tend to come on over a few weeks and include the following:
Drinking more than usual, including overnight;
Frequent urination, including overnight;
Weight loss and

Symptoms that are more typical for children include...

Tummy pains;
Headaches and
Behaviour problems.

How do doctors treat diabetes in children?

The specialised nature of managing childhood diabetes means that most children are cared for by the hospital rather than by their doctor.
However, most children with diabetes need insulin treatment. If this is the case, your child will need an individual insulin routine that a diabetes team plans.

What can parents of a child with diabetes do?

If you’re worried about your child developing diabetes, make sure you monitor his or her diet, activity levels and blood sugar levels. 
Living with diabetes can put families under considerable strain, so access to backup support is crucial.  This may be from your doctor, family or social services.

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