Diabetes Basics

Juvenile Diabetes

Diabetes in general is caused by the body's inability to break down glucose and store it properly. When an individual's system is unable to process glucose efficiently, most of it gets stored in the person's bloodstream thereby creating all sorts of health problems.

Juvenile Diabetes is also known as Type 1 diabetes or childhood diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes. In juvenile diabetes, the pancreas does not create any insulin. Insulin, a hormone that moves sugar from the bloodstream to the cells after digestion, so that it can be used as energy. Since individuals with juvenile diabetes produce no insulin at all, they need to receive injections of it to keep their blood sugar at appropriate levels. The beginning of juvenile diabetes usually comes in childhood and adolescents as opposed to Type 2 Diabetes.

Children diagnosed with juvenile diabetes are insulin dependent. Current research indicates that juvenile diabetes is an auto-immune disorder, similar to other disorders such as, rheumatoid arthritis or multiple sclerosis. A small percentage of individuals may also develop thyroid conditions.

Kids suffering from juvenile diabetes look like everyone else, the only difference is that their bodies do not make insulin anymore. As such, juvenile diabetes can be treated only with insulin either injected or inhaled with careful monitoring of blood glucose levels. Emphasis is also placed on lifestyle adjustments such as diet and exercise. The treatment for juvenile diabetes must be continued indefinitely. Treatments does not clash with normal activities, if carried out with care and discipline. The average glucose level for the type 1 patient should be as close to normal (80–120 mg/dl, 4–6 mmol/l) as possible. In severe cases of juvenile diabetes, values above 300 mg/dl (15 mmol/l) usually require immediate treatment and may lead to ketoacidosis.

It is estimated that over one hundred and twenty million individuals worldwide have diabetes. And people suffering from Juvenile diabetes or Type 1 diabetes form about 30 % to 40 % of the lot.