Every year, many children are diagnosed with diabetes, and this number is growing alarmingly high. It is the most commonly observed metabolic disease in children and adolescents. Until recently, type 1 diabetes was the one most commonly observed form of diabetes in children, but with the changes in lifestyles and obesity even type 2 diabetes has started affecting children.
Type 1 diabetes makes children dependent on insulin, whereas type 2 diabetes can be controlled by lifestyle modifications and exercises. As a parent, it’s important to ensure that your diabetic child receives proper treatment and is given lot of love and understanding.
It is important to introduce proper lifestyle changes and ensure your child gets the necessary medical treatments. This helps improve the quality of the life of a child with diabetes and can help prevent many complications due to this life-threatening condition. Given here are some of the complications of childhood diabetes that you should be aware of.
Major Complications Of Childhood Diabetes
Hypoglycemia And Hyperglycemia
Hypoglycemia is a condition in which blood sugar levels drop drastically in children with diabetes. It happens due to eating less food, too much insulin, or due to over exertion. This complication can be a very dangerous condition, so it is necessary to follow precautions.
Another complication of childhood diabetes is hyperglycemia in which blood sugar levels become very high due to certain factors. This can cause serious damage to the body. These two complications are short-term and can be avoided by taking precautions.
Diabetic children have higher chances of vision problems. The high levels of glucose can cause harm to the eye capillaries, which can even result in blindness if proper precautions are not taken.
It is necessary to get your child see an ophthalmologist regularly in order to prevent serious complications like retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy development can cause blindness in the child suffering from type 1 diabetes.
Another serious and common complication of childhood diabetes is kidney disease, also called diabetic nephropathy. In the long term, the kidneys get affected badly due to childhood diabetes and stop functioning normally, if proper precautions are not taken.
This can result in complete kidney failure in the long term. Almost one third of people who have had childhood type 1 diabetes develop this complication in adulthood.
This is another very serious long term complication of childhood diabetes. High blood glucose levels are said to contribute to conditions like hypertension and high cholesterol levels, due to which the arterial walls get damaged.
This can result in cardiovascular disease which can lead to stroke and heart attack eventually if proper precautionary measures are not taken.
Nerve damage, or neuropathy, is another long term complication of childhood diabetes that is observed in almost 60 percent of those affected with type 1 diabetes. Nerve damage depends on the extent to which the nerves have been affected.
It can cause slight inconvenience if the damage is less, but in cases of severe neuropathy, it can lead to many complications and may require amputation of the affected parts. If Left untreated, it can even lead to death.