When it comes to childhood illnesses, most parents are concerned with things like chickenpox, ear infections, allergies, strep throat, the flu, pinkeye as well as coughs and colds. While you are likely to have to deal with these common illnesses at some point, there are other issues that may impact your child's health. Diabetes is one of those health conditions that can be very dangerous if not caught in time. The amount of Americans under the age of 20 with diabetes is estimated to be around 193,000. Here's what you should know about your child and diabetes.
The Different Types Of Diabetes
The first thing that any parent should be aware of is that there is more than one type of diabetes. With Type 1 diabetes the body is unable to produce insulin due to the body's immune system destroying the cells that produce insulin. With Type 2 diabetes, the body still produces insulin but the insulin doesn't work as it should. Both forms cause high blood sugar levels. Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disorder and has a genetic component. Type 2 diabetes is often linked to lifestyle and is thought to be directly related to being overweight.
The Signs Of Diabetes
Another thing that you should be aware of are the signs and symptoms of childhood diabetes. Some signs of Type 1 diabetes in children include fatigue, frequent urination, increased thirst, weight loss, breath that smells fruity, blurred vision, yeast infections, and behavioral changes. The signs of Type 2 diabetes include weight loss, increased thirst, fatigue, frequent urination, heavy breathing, itchy skin, and numbness of the hands or feet. Staying alert to these symptoms is very important, especially if your children are very young and have not yet developed strong communication skills.
Testing And Cost
Another thing to be aware of is that it is possible to have your child tested for diabetes by their pediatrician if you suspect they are having symptoms. If they do have diabetes, the cost for medical care can be expensive. Children with diabetes require regular pediatric services, insulin, testing strips, insulin, and other medical supplies. A year's worth of care for a child with diabetes averages around $17,380 per year. While insurance may cover some portion of the costs, treating a child with diabetes can get pricey.
When it comes to your child and diabetes, it's important to be aware of the illness. Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are found in children. Both types of the illness have similar symptoms. If your child shows symptoms of either type, it's important to visit your pediatrician for testing immediately. The overall cost of treating diabetes can also be high, costing thousands of dollars each year.