How To Control Diabetes in Babies?
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure for more info.
Diabetes is a type of chronic disease affecting the ability of one’s body to process the blood sugar. The problem may be of two different types i.e. type 1 and type 2. According to the experts associated with infant diabetes diagnosis, babies, infants, and toddlers often deal with the problem of Type 1 diabetes, known as juvenile diabetes. However, in some cases, babies may also deal with the problem of Type 2 diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes in Babies
Until now, none of the doctors has come to know the specific diabetes type 1 causes among children. However, they often perceived it as a condition when the body of an infant or a toddler destroys pancreas cells, which are responsible for the preparation of insulin, i.e. a hormone responsible to keep the levels of blood sugar normal.
Since the body fails to make insulin in adequate amount, glucose/sugar levels in the blood increase excessively causing severe damages to various organs of a human body. However, parents and caregivers may easily avoid such conditions by simply go for a regular checkup of the problem related to diabetes in babies and toddlers. If blood glucose of a child remains controlled, he/she will have less risk related to damage of body organs. A diabetic child consistently requires insulin tablets or shots to survive.
Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes in Children
According to pediatricians associated with analyzing children’s diabetes symptoms type 1, signs and symptoms of juvenile diabetes in babies or children often develop very quickly i.e. only a few weeks period. These include the following-
Increase in Thirst Feelings and Frequent Urination
Whether you have to know the signs of diabetes in 2 year old or higher, you will find that such children have excessive feelings of thirst and urinate almost for whole day. This is because; excessive formation of sugar in the bloodstream of a child pulls fluid from their tissues. This makes your baby thirsty and drink water, while urinate more numbers of times in a day than usual. Even in some cases, a toilet-trained child may experience the problem of bed-wetting suddenly.
Extreme Cravings or Hunger Feelings
Zero or inadequate amount of insulin prevents the movement of sugar within a child’s cells, because of which his/her organs and body muscles lack adequate amount of energy. This results in intensive hunger.
Excessive weight loss is one of the major infant diabetes symptoms found in diabetic toddlers and children. These children rapidly lose body weight even though they eat more than normal for relieving hunger. Without adequate supply of energy, muscular tissues and stored fat shrink simply. A few pediatricians even say that unexplained body weight loss is a perfect answer to the question how do you know if your child has diabetes, especially the type 1 diabetes.
Inadequate amount of sugar in the cells and tissues of children make them lethargic and tired for the entire day.
Behavioral Changes or Irritability Feelings
Your baby shows changes in the mood, become irritable and restless suddenly. In addition, a few children suddenly show decline in academic and sports’ performances at the school.
Breathe with a Fruity Smell
Burning of fat rather than sugar produces specific substances. This further resulting in fruity odor in breathes.
Blurred Vision of a Child
As blood sugar of a diabetic child is of too much high, because of which his/her body pulls the fluid from lenses towards the eyes. Because of this, a diabetic baby fails to focus in a clear way.
A baby girl suffering from type 1 diabetes often experience yeast infections in her genital areas. Moreover, in general, both baby boy and baby girl develop diaper rashes caused by the yeast.
Pathologists and child specialists use a large number of blood tests to identify diabetes in newborns or diabetes in toddlers warning signs. These are as follows-
Random Blood Sugar Test
What is a normal blood sugar level for a child is the most basic screening test to detect type 1 diabetes in newborns and children. In this case, pathologists collect a blood sample of a child randomly. Irrespective of the baby’s last diet, random level of blood sugar of about 200 millligrams in one deciliter or more than it indicates the problem of diabetes.
A1C or Glycated Hemoglobin Test
The answer to this question ‘what is a normal a1c level for a child’ determines average blood sugar/glucose level of a child for the last 2 to 3 months period. Indeed, this is one of the effective tests to detect diabetes in babies, including toddlers. This test especially measures the exact blood sugar percentage attached with the hemoglobin (protein presents in red blood corpuscles and is responsible to carry protein). A1C level equals 6.5% or higher than that on two different tests indicates the problem of diabetes.
Fasting Blood Sugar Test
Pathologists advice your child to fast for the nighttime and then collect a blood sample. Fasting glucose level of about 126 mg/dl or more indicates the problem of type 1 diabetes.
Treatment to Cure Type 1 Diabetes in Babies
Kids have to undergo with type 1 diabetes for lifetime and it involves monitoring of the blood sugar, insulin therapy, habit to eat healthy and involve in physical exercise on a regular basis. As your baby grows and body changes, plan associated with its diabetes treatment also changes.
Monitoring Blood Sugar
You have to check and record the blood sugar level of your baby at least for about 4 times in a day. This requires finger sticks frequently. A few blood glucose meters even help in testing at different sites, excluding the fingertips. Frequent testing is the single and the best way to assure about keeping the blood sugar level of your child within the mentioned blood glucose range.
CGM i.e. Continuous Monitoring of Glucose
CGM is an innovative way to monitor blood glucose levels in a kid. It is helpful for individuals, who do not experience warning symptoms related to hypoglycemia.
Insulin and Medicines
As mentioned before, babies born with diabetes type 1 or trap under it in later years require insulin for their survival. Insulin may be available in different types, which include-
Insulin therapies, like aspart, lispro and gluisine start their work within a period of 15 minutes, reaches at its peak in approximately one hour, while lasts for about four hours.
Therapies available in the form of human insulin require injecting it within only 20 minutes to 30 minutes before having a meal. Effect of this insulin goes to its peak within only 1.5 to 2 hours and last for a period of about 4 to 6 hours.
Therapies available in the form of NPH insulin starts its work within only one hour, reaches to its peak at approximately 6 hours and lasts for about 12 hours.
Insulin glargine and insulin detemir type of therapies do not have any peak, but they are able to give coverage for about 20 hours to 26 hours period.
Depending primarily on the age and other specific requirement of a baby or child, doctor may prescribe a combination of insulin types for using during both the day and the night.
Type 2 Diabetes in Newborn Babies and Toddlers
Type 2 type of diabetes in newborn babies and toddlers indicate a chronic condition affecting the way, in which the body of a child processes glucose or sugar present in the blood. Parents and caregivers should essentially take steps to manage signs of type 2 diabetes in toddlers, as long-term consequences of the respective problem may result in disability of a person or proves to be life threatening.
Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes problem develops in children gradually. Approximately 40 percent of total children do not experience any symptom; instead, doctors diagnose the problem during their regular physical examinations. However, in some cases, similar to type 1, there are some common symptoms of diabetes in babies infants and children in case of type 2 diabetes. These are as follows-
- Urinating for more numbers of times in a day or even bed-wetting in case of few children
- Feeling of thirsty and drinking huge amount of water for the whole day
- Without the adequate supply of sugar, stored fat and muscular tissues shrink resulting abnormal weight loss. However, weight loss is rare in type 2 diabetic babies than in type 1 diabetes.
- Lack of sugar/glucose supply in the cells of a baby makes it lethargic and tired.
- Similar to the case of type 1 diabetes, babies with type 2 diabetes often suffer from the problem of blurred vision and unclear focus.
- Feelings of tingling and numbness in feet or hands
- One of the major signs of diabetes in children under 5 for type 2 diabetes is that it affects the ability of a child to heal and/or resist any infection. Because of this, such kids often deal with the problem of frequent infections or slow-healing sores.
Who May Suffer from Type 2 Diabetes?
According to the child type 2 diabetes statistics, type 2 type of diabetes is common among following kids-
- Baby girls or female children
- Overweight kids
- Kids with a family history of type 2 diabetes
- Kids with the problem of resistance to insulin
Treatment to Cure Kids Type 2 Diabetes
Initial Examination on Overweight Condition
First step associated with curing of type 2 type of diabetes in children is to schedule the appointment of your kid with pediatricians. They can easily tell if your child is overweight according to the height, weight and age.
Blood Sugar Test
Pediatricians will recommend for the blood sugar test of any child if he or she is suffering from the problem of pre-diabetes or diabetes. In case of diabetes problem, parents have to take some additional steps to find out whether it is of type 2 or type 1 diabetes.
Once the doctor confirms about type 2 diabetes in your child, he ask parents and diabetic children to make some of the necessary lifestyle changes. Even the pediatrician may recommend taking some essential medicines (approved for children less than 18 years age) in combination with insulin.
Hemoglobin A1C Test
If your child suffers from type 2 diabetes, he or she should undergo with Hemoglobin A1C test after every 3 month. Main role of this test is to measure the average level of blood sugar for the specific period.
Conditions When Blood Sugar Test is Essential
According to the experts of toddlers and infant diabetes diagnosis, diabetic kids and infants should undergo for blood sugar test-
- Whenever they start with or change with the treatment
- Whenever children fail to meet the necessary treatment goals
- Whenever diabetic kids intake insulin or sulfonylurea drug
Common Health Plan for Diabetic Babies and Toddlers
Whether your loving kid suffers from type 1 or type 2 diabetes, it is essential for your child to follow the two common health plans to deal with the diabetic problem.
Diabetic children should have vegetables, fruits and whole grain foods in their diet. Reason for this is that such foods come with high nutrition, while at the same time incorporate low fat and calorie level. In addition, you should put a limit on the intake of sweets, sugary foods and animal products for your child. Ideally, as a parent, you have to make sure about keep carbohydrate intake of your child as consistent. If possible, you should schedule an appointment with a pediatric dietitian, who will recommend about healthy diet plan for not only your diabetic child. In fact, a dietician will help you in creating a meal plan directed towards health goals of your child, his/her food preferences and the lifestyle.
Children with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes require regular physical activities to manage their sugar levels. Hence, as parents, it is essential for you to encourage your kids to involve in walking, jogging and other physical exercises on a regular basis. However, physical activity among children often lowers their blood sugar levels and may affect for maximum 12 hours post workout. If your kid starts any new activity, you should make sure to check the blood sugar of your child for relatively more number of times to learn about the way, in which his/her body reacts with the respective activity.
Diabetes problem, irrespective of whether it is type 1 or type 2 diabetes, is manageable for infants and toddlers both. Only parents have to take some essential steps, such as regular blood glucose tests, A1C test, encourage physical activity and healthy eating habits to retain the good health of their children on a regular basis.