Guidelines For Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes

By Ishana Deb, Contributing Writer
February 8, 2017
Guidelines For The Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes, is a rare form of the disease that affects millions of people across the globe. As the name suggests, the condition is mostly diagnosed in children but is largely abundant in people of other age groups as well.

It is characterized by several symptoms, many of which are common to the other forms of diabetes as well. The cause of type 1 juvenile diabetes is not very clear to the medical community, though there are strong claims that it is actually an autoimmune disorder.

In a study published in the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, there are nearly 97,700 children suffering from juvenile diabetes in India. The peak age at diagnosis was found to be 12–years-old.

Causes and symptoms of type 1 diabetes

Diabetes is a disease where in your body is unable to convert the sugar in food to energy to be used. A hormone called insulin released by the pancreas does the work of processing the sugar that you consume. In type 1 diabetes, the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas are destroyed, resulting in the inability of the body to break down the carbohydrates in the food.

Causes and symptoms of 1 Diabetes

The onset of juvenile diabetes brings about several symptoms in the patient. The following is a short list of warning signs to look out for:

  • Increased thirst

    Since the body can no longer break down sugar, the excess of it in the blood is removed through urine. This leads to dehydration and resulting feelings of thirst.
    If you notice that you have recently started feeling much thirstier than usual over the span of a typical day, then it is important to consult a doctor. However, keep in mind that dehydration and increased thirst could also be associated with seasons of warm weather or an active lifestyle. Consult with your doctor to rule out these possibilities.
  • Increased urination

    Directly related to an increase in thirst is the increase in urination that patients with diabetes often experience. This is because unprocessed sugar is being removed through urine.
    The frequency of urination also depends upon the amount of water you drink throughout the day. If you observe a sudden change in how often you visit the restroom, then talk with your doctor right away.
  • Problems with vision

    Ophthalmological issues are generally the most common indicator of diabetes. Constant blurry vision accompanied by a headache can be an early symptom.
  • Fatigue

    A diabetic body cannot utilize the sugar supplied to it to form usable energy. This leads to a slow onset of lethargy and weakness.
    At times parents may interpret their child’s lack of participation in physical activities as laziness. A consistent pattern of fatigue should be considered in all seriousness as a sign of an underlying disorder.
  • Mood changes

    Frequent bouts of unusual behavior including aloofness, anger and sadness can signal a change in the energy levels of the body.

You can only come to a conclusion about the onset of type 1 juvenile diabetes if you observe a combination of at least three symptoms, as confirmed by your physician.

Food and exercise for juvenile type 1 diabetes

A few minor changes in one’s lifestyle and daily habits can help those with juvenile diabetes live a long and healthy life. If you are diagnosed with the disease, then talk to your doctor about your diet and exercise routine.

Food and Exercise guidelines for juvenile diabetes
  • Food

    When the body cannot produce insulin on its own, it can no longer utilize carbohydrates as a source of energy. It is often recommended that a person with diabetes get a healthy dose of protein and fat each day to make up for the deficiency in their diet.
    When creating a healthy meal plan for yourself, make sure to avoid processed sugar. Packaged foods usually display a nutrient list on the cover of the container. Add a sufficient amount of each food group to your meal keeping in mind the energy content per gram.
    Whole grains, fruit and vegetables should constitute a healthy portion of your diet.
  • Listed below is an example of a diabetes-friendly meal plan for a single day.

    1. Breakfast
      • A bowl of oatmeal (amount as recommended by nutritionist)
      • One or two whole eggs
      • A small helping of seeds, like Flax or Chia
      • Fruit (banana, apple or any other seasonal fruit)
      • Milk
      • Wholegrain toast
    2. Mid-morning snack
      • A fruit of choice (make sure it does not have a very high sugar content)
      • A handful of nuts (almonds, peanuts, walnuts, etc.)
      • Dried fruit (dried date, apricot, prunes, blueberries, cranberries, etc.)
      • Yogurt (preferably plain)
      • A few low calorie biscuits
    3. Lunch
      • A small helping of lean meat (chicken or beef)
      • A wholesome base meal, like quinoa or rice
      • Ample helping of salad
      • Boiled lentils
      • A wholegrain sandwich with meat or fish
    4. Afternoon snack
      • Energy bar (please consult your doctor before adopting)
      • Sprouts (boiled or raw, as per choice)
      • Fresh fruit juice
      • Yogurt
    5. Dinner
      • Wholegrain noodles
      • Curry
      • Roasted or boiled meat (chicken or beef)
      • Baked fish
      • Green salad
      • Rice
  • Exercise

    An ample amount of physical activity is extremely important for maintaining proper health. An article published in India Today stated that less than 10% of Indians get the recommended amount of physical exercise. It also stated that 1 in 2 Indians is inactive, leading to a variety of diseases like diabetes, cardiac issues, and obesity.

    It is recommended that people suffering from juvenile diabetes get at least 4 hours of moderate to intense physical activity every week. The type of exercise program to be followed varies from patient to patient with the intensity of the disease.

    A few examples of activities that can be pursued by a patient suffering from type 1 diabetes include-

    • Swimming
    • Jogging
    • Yoga
    • Pilates
    • Horseback riding
    • Brisk walking
    • Zumba
    • Salsa dancing

    Before getting involved in any kind of activity, it is extremely important to consult your doctor. After the diagnosis of your condition, the physician will suggest a particular exercise routine for you depending upon your blood sugar levels as well as the overall condition of your health. It is important to strictly adhere to the prescriptions of the doctor to obtain the best results

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