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Type 1 Diabetes in Children

After 22 years as an RN, I now write about medical issues and new medical advances. Diet, exercise, treatment, and lifestyle are important.

Diabetes Symptoms


Type 1 Diabetes in Children

As of 2015, there were 30.3 million US citizens diagnosed with diabetes, which is 9.4% of the population. Type 1 diabetes affects has been diagnosed in 208,000 children under the age of 20.

The rates of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes has increased globally. Only 5% of the people with diabetes have Type 1 diabetes (T1D).

What is Type I Diabetes?

Scientist believe that this disease is a combination of genetic and environmental components, but this is still a subject of ongoing research. There is no known cure, and no know prevention.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. When an individual’s pancreas does not produce insulin, then the control of blood sugar levels is lost. The pancreatic beta cells that produce insulin are mistakenly destroyed by the immune system. Obviously, an area of intense research is involved with a way to prevent Type 1 diabetes.

T1D is sometimes referred to a juvenile diabetes, but it can affect adults as well, since people can be diagnosed at any age with T1D.

Type 1 Diabeles Blood Glucose Check


How Type 1 Diabetes is Treated

Typically, there is a quick onset of T1D and that requires insulin for immediate management. The insulin is given via an injection or with an insulin pump for T1D. People who are insulin dependent may be able to use artificial pancreas systems to automatically administer their insulin. These cells provide insulin around the clock.

JDRF is also developing implantation of beta cells, which are shielded from the body’s immune system. Insulin will not be necessary for months, or maybe years as these beta cells can produce insulin and release insulin as required by the body.

A glucose responsive insulin is being produced that will prevent high and low blood sugar episodes. It is capable of turning on and off as required. Other new drugs are currently being studied to take in conjunction with insulin.

Additionally, researchers are working to prevent T1D from ever occurring by using a universal vaccine for children that would totally prevent the the autoimmune cell attack.

Diabetes Challenge


T1D Warning Signs

The warning signs of T1D may suddenly appear. These signs include:

  • Frequent urination
  • Drowsiness or lethargy
  • Increased hunger
  • Irritability
  • Extreme thirst
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Labored or heavy breathing
  • Sudden vision changes
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Fruity smell on breath
  • Sugar in the urine
  • Stupor or unconsciousness

T1D Challenges

T1D is a difficult disease requiring long term management to allow a child to have a long life. JDRF is researching some amazing treatments and preventions for T1D. Insulin therapy can control the disease, but if higher glucose levels occur with any frequency the results are not good. Since insulin is simply a treatment and not a cure, the side effects can be serious.

Eating, exercise and insulin each have to be balanced to maintain control. Finger pricks and injections occur at least six times daily in T1D patients. Even when a patient adheres to a strict regimen of control they can still experience dangerous low or high glucose level that are life threatening. Eventually a child becomes involved with managing their illness eventually.

What is Type 1 Diabetes?

Possible Ultimate Fate

The seventh leading cause of death is diabetes in the USA as of 2015. This includes Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is not always listed on the death certificate, but it is often the underlying cause. In 2015, diabetes was the cause of death for 252,806 people.


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T1D Possible Complications

There are some possible T1d complications, which include:

  • Diabetic retinopathy - when the walls of the retina weaken
  • Nerve damage - nerve damage that cause loss of feeling in the hands or feet
  • Kidney disease - diabetic nephropathy causing loss of kidney function
  • Heart disease - blood vessel disease that cause both strokes and heart disease


Diabetes Type 1 is a serious disease for those people under 20 years of age. Thankfully, there is a great deal of research happening to treat and actually prevent this disease, which deprives children of a normal childhood. We hope for these advances to happen sooner than later.



Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 20, 2020:

Hi Peggy,

Type 1 for children is certainly a seItrious disease. It is important for parents to watch that child carefully.

I appreciate your comments, Peggy.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on March 20, 2020:

One of my first cousins was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes as a child. No one else on either side of the family could be found who had diabetes. It is a serious disease that can damage so much of the body. People with it have to be vigilant to do all that they can to remain as healthy as possible.

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on October 19, 2018:

Hello, Pamela, not at all, and I appreciated your comments. Thank you,and have a nic time.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on October 19, 2018:

Miebakagh, It was my pleasure as it was a good article. Thank you for stopping by also.

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on October 18, 2018:

Hello, Pamela, I appreciated your comments, and it is commendable. Thanks, for stopping by. Enjoy the day.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on October 18, 2018:

Miebakagh, I am so glad you are putting the information out there for people with diabetes. I am also glad you have found a way to treat your diabetes in a healthy way.

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on October 18, 2018:

Hello, Pamela, I appreciate you. I am equally concern about helping persons with diabetes challenges. Iwas once a diabetic, and I know how the pain, agony and suffering goes.

For exmple, just early this year, I visitmy doctor because of a foot pain. I was very surprised that instead of going on to the foot problem, she is asking me whether I have. It nearly break me to for her to take such a silly thoght at me. But Iwent to domore study on diabetes to discovered that comlications in type2 can led to the leg being amputated.

Hence, I am sounding the alarm regularly. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on October 18, 2018:

Miebakagh, I appreciate your very positive commets about this article. I want to help people who might have diabetes Type 1.

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on October 18, 2018:

Hi, Pamela, I read your story and realized it is informative and educating. What a seriously researched article. Thanks for sharing, and have a nice time.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on August 27, 2018:

Linda, It is sad for young people to get this disease, and some seem to have more difficulty then others. I was encouraged about the about of different types of research to treat T1D. I appreciate your comments.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on August 26, 2018:

Thank you for sharing the information, Pamela. Type 1 diabetes can be difficult for a patient. It's sad when it develops at any age, but I think this is especially true when the person is a child. I had a student with the disease. It's hard to be a young teenager and have to deal with diet and exercise control as well as insulin levels. I hope treatment for the disease improves rapidly.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on August 26, 2018:


I am sorry to hear about your mother. People can be diagnosed at any age, but the children are the more common victims of this disease.

I appreciate your comments.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on August 26, 2018:

Bill, I was surprised at what I learned in my research. I hope this article will help even one family to recognize the signs if they appear for a quick diagnoses. Thanks for your comments.

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on August 26, 2018:

My mother acquired diabetes -- Type I -- by the time she reached her 60's. (She began with Type II, which accelerated to Type I.) This resulted in a strict and daily regime of diet, exercise, finger-prick tests and insulin shots. I can't imagine what our children have to endure in coping with this disease. Thank you for this article.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on August 26, 2018:

The percentages mentioned at the beginning are staggering. I had no idea!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on August 26, 2018:

Fourish, A vaccine would be wonderful. Your comments are much appreciated.

FlourishAnyway from USA on August 25, 2018:

If a vaccine could be developed that would be truly remarkable! This is an excellent, succinct and information article on the disease.

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