(KTIV)- Type 1 diabetes in children, also called juvenile diabetes, is a condition in which your child’s body, specifically their pancreas, no longer produces an important hormone called insulin.
Insulin enables blood sugar to enter the cells in your body where it can be used for energy.
A child needs insulin to survive, so replacing that insulin is crucial.
That includes giving injections, counting carbohydrates, and monitoring blood sugar levels.
“In children for Type 1 diabetes, they can still live a fully active childhood,” said Jackie Kuchta, Endocrinology Nurse Practitioner, MercyOne Siouxland Medical Center.
According to beyondtype1.org, approximately 1.25 million Americans have Type 1 diabetes– 200,000 of which are under the age of 20 years old.
If your child has type 1 diabetes, you’ll be involved in diabetes care on a day-to-day basis.
“There is extra monitoring that goes into playing sports, making sure they’re not getting low during the sporting activities,” said Kuchta. “Paying attention to blood sugars, making sure they’re getting the insulin.”
Jackie Kuchta, an Endocrinology Nurse Practitioner, says that the symptoms of Type 1 can be tough to detect in children–
“Unfortunately the symptoms- the increased thirst, tiredness, abdominal pain, hunger- that goes along with almost every other condition out there,” said Kuchta. “And just being a child!”
Kuchta says that if you notice these symptoms are long term- you should contact your local physician.
The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown, and there is no cure.
But, there are treatments.
“Most parents choose to add insulin pump therapy to their regimen,” said Kuchta. “The continuous glucose monitoring addition allows parents to see what the blood sugar trends are doing.”
MercyOne Siouxland Medical Center has a support group for people with diabetes and their families.
The new group just started this month.
It is a collaboration with all of the regional health systems in the area.
And you are invited to take part. You do not have to pre-register you can just show up.
They meet on the first Wednesday of every month from 5:30-6:30 p.m.
It is in the Lieter Room at the hospital, and anyone is welcome.