Diabetes is a lifelong disease that requires daily management to maintain normal blood sugar levels and prevent serious health complications. When diabetes is diagnosed in children and teens, Catherine Meli, MD and Naheed Rahmet, MD at Seashore Pediatrics offer intensive support for parents and their children, teaching them the skills they need to manage diabetes for the long run. If you have questions about your child’s health or you need help with their diabetes, call the office in Wall Township, New Jersey, or use online booking to schedule an appointment.
Normally, the hormone insulin escorts sugar out of the bloodstream and into cells that use it to produce energy. When your child has diabetes, sugar stays in their bloodstream because they don’t have enough insulin, can’t use it, or both.
The two most common forms of diabetes — type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes — can both appear in children and teens, but they’re more likely to have type 1 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is often diagnosed during two peak periods: around the ages of 5-6 and 11-13. Type 1 diabetes develops when your child’s immune system attacks their pancreas. As a result, the pancreas can’t produce insulin.
Type 2 diabetes used to be considered an adult’s disease, but its incidence is rising in children and adolescents, primarily because more kids are overweight. The risk for type 2 diabetes increases when a genetic tendency is combined with another factor like being overweight.
In people with type 2 diabetes, the pancreas produces insulin, but it may not make enough. In most cases, children and teens with the disease also can’t properly use the insulin that’s available.
Both types of diabetes cause the same symptoms:
One of the first signs parents notice, especially in younger children, is an increase in urination. For example, children who were potty trained may begin wetting themselves.
The doctors at Seashore Pediatrics work closely with you and your child to keep their blood sugar within acceptable limits. Following a healthy diet and staying active are essential for managing both types of diabetes.
You can count on support from the team at Seashore Pediatrics to help you learn about diet planning and monitoring the type and amount of carbohydrates.
Children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes must take daily insulin to restore the hormone to normal levels. If your child has type 2 diabetes, they may also need insulin or other medications to keep blood sugar normal, but diet and exercise alone are often enough to manage their diabetes.
If your child is unusually thirsty and tired or urinating more frequently, call Seashore Pediatrics or book an appointment online.