Treatment of juvenile diabetes starts first in the identification of the disease process, its signs and symptoms, as well as its cause. Since juvenile diabetes is a metabolic disorder wherein there is a lack of insulin in the body, it makes the cells of the body unable to digest glucose or carbohydrates for energy. If this happens, glucose storage as glucagon will also not be possible and glucose circulating in the blood will then increase rapidly and lead to several health problems.
Juvenile diabetes is the first type of diabetes mellitus, also known as insulin dependent diabetes. It frequently starts during childhood, hence the name juvenile. Insulin is a hormone found in the pancreas, which is released when there is hyperglycemia, a condition of high blood glucose. Glucose is a large molecule that needs help in entering the cell for its utilization. It is here where insulin comes in. Insulin acts on the cell membranes of the cells to open wide enough for the glucose to pass through to the inside of the cell and get broken down into energy. Without insulin, or a lack of it somehow inhibits glucose from entering the cell, thus causing a buildup to occur in the blood. This build up of glucose in the blood is the responsible for causing a lot of damage to key parts of the body, leading to complications such as neuropathies and gangrene.
There are three major symptoms that may possibly be conclusive of diabetes. First is polydipsia, or excessive thirst leading to the intake of too much water, causing stress on the kidneys. Second is polyuria, or excessive urination, more pronouncedly seen during the evening and night when one goes to urinate as frequently as four to five times, also disturbing one's sleep. Thirdly is polyphagia, or excessive hunger and food intake but concurrent with the loss of energy and weight. Other symptoms that may occur are irritability, nausea, vomiting, chronic fatigue, weakness, and vision problems such as cataract and blurring.
There is no actual cure for juvenile diabetes. Some have been pondering on the possibility of replacing the pancreas, but until now this hasn't been feasible. What can be done right now is to alleviate the symptoms and try to lower the extremely high blood glucose which make cause major damage on the body. Having increased blood glucose for a long period of time may slowly destroy the peripheral nerves and even affect the transparency of the eyes, making vision blurred.
Since this type of diabetes has a lack of insulin, treatment is to give insulin injections intramuscularly at least four to five times a day to an adult patient and for kids, about two to three, depending on the energy level and metabolism of the patient. This may be very traumatic for the child because of the pain of the needle pricks as well as the frequency it is done. A new gadget is now being introduced in the market wherein insulin can be continuously via a small pump (insulin pump) that they wear. Then, blood glucose should also be monitored several times daily to see if the dosage of insulin given makes a dent on its level and if the levels may be going down too fast.
The daily intake of food should also be monitored so as to come up with the actual amount of food needed to consume to keep the body functioning right and not cause an unnecessary increase in blood glucose. It is also important to observe the type of food that is consumed. The type of food that you eat dictates the level of glucose in your blood. For juvenile diabetics, this means junk foods and sweets are restricted since this can greatly affect glucose levels in the blood. This can be very hard for the children emotionally. Having a healthy food diet does not need to be less palatable. Parents whose kids are diabetic tend to sympathize with them and join them in whatever food they are allowed to eat. This is to prevent any emotional distress and insecurity with the children. And it may also help in promoting a healthy lifestyle for the family.
Eating the right kind of food is also a way to treat and manage your diabetes aside from the amount. Dieticians and doctors usually compute the amount of carbohydrates needed by the patient, be it a child or an adult, for each meal, including snacks, taking in consideration the amount of insulin that he uses and the amount of strenuous activity that they undergoe. The more activity, the more carbohydrates needed.
Exercise and other forms of physical activity to set the heart pumping are beneficial to all, and not only to control blood sugar levels in juvenile diabetics. It helps the body release the bad toxins through sweat and keeps the body healthy and the blood circulation moving. Just do not exercise excessively that the blood sugar levels might go to low and lead to a hypoglycemic attack.
Having a healthy lifestyle is also a key point in the treatment of juvenile diabetes. A sedentary lifestyle, like one would get from watching the television day in and day out, air pollution from vehicular belching and cigarette smoking from adults can further aggravate this condition. The best treatment for juvenile diabetes is to take charge of your diet, and lifestyle, so as to live healthy and vibrant.
Having juvenile diabetes is not the end of the world. You can still do the things you want to do, and more, that a normal person doesn't do regularly. You are more in control of yourself and your body, more in sync with its needs and its condition. You don't have to sulk at home, feeling depressed because of this condition that is not your fault that you have it. Research even shows that children who develop diabetes are more able to control them rather than those who develop them later in life. Why? It is because they know and understand and accept their body's condition and would like to help improve it, if not find the cure for it.