Type 1 Diabetes
The symptoms of type 1 diabetes usually develop over a short period of time. They include:
- Increased thirst and urination
- Constant hunger
- Weight loss
- Blurred vision.
Children also may feel very tired.
If not diagnosed and treated with insulin, the individual with type 1 diabetes can lapse into a life-threatening diabetic coma, known as diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA. Often, children will suffer from continued vomiting, a sign of DKA, and mistakenly be diagnosed as having gastroenteritis. New-onset diabetes can be differentiated from a GI (gastrointestinal) infection by the frequent urination that accompanies continued vomiting, as opposed to decreased urination due to dehydration if the vomiting is caused by a GI "bug."
A type 1 diabetes treatment plan for young people includes:
- Insulin therapy
- Self-monitoring of blood glucose
- Healthy eating
- Physical activity.
The plan is designed to ensure proper growth and prevention of hypoglycemia. New management strategies are helping children with type 1 diabetes live long and healthy lives.
Type 1 diabetes accounts for 5 percent to 10 percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes, but is the leading cause of diabetes in children. Type 1 diabetes in U.S. children and adolescents may be increasing.
Type 1 diabetes occurs equally among males and females, but is more common in whites than in nonwhites. Data from the World Health Organization's Multinational Project for Childhood Diabetes indicates that type 1 diabetes is rare in most African, American Indian, and Asian populations. However, some northern European countries, including Finland and Sweden, have high rates of type 1 diabetes. The reasons for these differences are unknown.
In 2002, all diabetes types (type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes) cost the United States $132 billion. Indirect costs, including disability payments, time lost from work, and premature death, totaled $40 billion; direct medical costs for diabetes care, including hospitalizations, medical care, and treatment supplies, totaled $92 billion.