What Is Diabetes Type 1 (Juvenile Diabetes)?
Juvenile diabetes is the old name for Type 1 diabetes. Since it is generally diagnosed in children and young adults, it is called Juvenile diabetes. But this condition may occur at any age. This is a severe form of diabetes and only 5% of people suffering from diabetes have this form. It is an auto immune, chronic condition in which the pancreas produce very little or no insulin.
What Are The Symptoms Of Diabetes Type 1 (Juvenile Diabetes)?
Symptoms of juvenile diabetes may come on suddenly even though it’s a gradual disease. Symptoms include:
- Excessive thirst.
- Excessive hunger.
- Urge to urinate very frequently.
- Pain in the abdomen.
- Vision gets blurry.
- Slow healing of wounds.
- Mood changes.
- Change in pattern of menstruation.
- Weight loss (unexplained).
- Breathing is heavy.
- Frequent skin infections.
What Are The Causes Of Diabetes Type 1 (Juvenile Diabetes)?
In Juvenile diabetes, the immune system of the body attacks the pancreatic cells (beta cells) and stops them from producing insulin. Insulin is a hormone which regulates the amount of sugar in the body. When there is less or no insulin, blood sugar level goes up giving rise to complications.
The gradual destruction of pancreatic cells results in the onset of juvenile diabetes. The factors which trigger the immune system of the body to attack the beta cells may be:
- Genetics: Genes play a role in transmitting this disease. Around 90% of patients with diabetes carry and pass on the genes to the family.
- Environmental factors: It is an observation that diabetes is more commonly diagnosed or aggravated during winter. Hence specialists believe that certain viruses may also be a triggering factor.
What Are The Things One Should Do To Manage Diabetes Type 1 (Juvenile Diabetes)?
- If you, your child, teen or any family member has been diagnosed with juvenile diabetes, you should first understand that it is not a curable disease. You have to manage it so that your routine does not get affected and the symptoms are addressed.
- First and foremost, you must know the facts about diabetes, because this disease is all about caring at home. Get first-hand information of the disease from a health worker and know all about the blood glucose levels and how to monitor them.
- Monitor your blood sugar levels and keep track of eating patterns and exercise routine. Draw a pattern and see what time of the day sugar level is highest. Share these details with your doctor. This will help the doctor to decide on the insulin dose.
- Eating food at regular intervals is very important to maintain balance in blood glucose levels and to prevent hypoglycaemia.
- Women should keep track of sugar level pattern around the time of their menstrual cycle for 5-6 months and report the findings to the doctor.
- Do exercise. A 45-minute walk daily helps in lowering blood sugar levels. Muscles play a major role in utilising and storing sugar. Hence strength training should be incorporated in the exercise regimen.
- Be active. Studies show that long periods of sitting increases the probability of acquiring diseases, including diabetes.
What Are The Things One Should Avoid To Manage Diabetes Type 1 (Juvenile Diabetes)?
- Do not skip meals.
- Do not adopt extreme diet plans. Blood sugar levels may go haywire with an unbalanced diet and that could be dangerous.
- Do not be afraid of needles. One of the major fears of diabetes patients is the fear of needles used to administer insulin on a daily basis. Nowadays, micro fine needles are used which are not painful.
- Do not be afraid to travel. Since diabetes patients require insulin injections every day, some people resist travel. With proper planning and practice, insulin can be administered anywhere.
What Are The Best Foods For Diabetes Type 1 (Juvenile Diabetes)?
Diet is one of the key factors in the effective management of diabetes.
A well-balanced diet will not only keep sugar level in check, but it will also help the doctor to decide on the appropriate dose of insulin for you.
- Blood sugar levels are directly affected by carbohydrates. So, choose those carbohydrates which are gradually absorbed. Replace simple carbohydrates from your meals with the more complex ones. That means substitute rice, white flour and processed grains with oatmeal, millets, quinoa and rye bread.
- Kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils and pulses should be a part of the diabetics’ diet as they are low in calories and full of fibre. They do not alter the sugar level and keep it stable.
- Dark green leafy vegetables must find a place on the diabetics’ plate because they are loaded with nutrients and are low in calories. Other vegetables which are non-starchy and good for diabetics are asparagus, cucumber, tomatoes, celery, carrots, beets, onions and peppers.
- Fruits are the power house of vitamins and minerals. Regular intake of fruits like apples, peaches, bananas, apricots, oranges, pears and plums ensure that body is getting its regular dose of vitamins.
- Sweet potatoes contain a natural compound called chlorogenic acid which is known to help the body reduce insulin resistance. They also contain carotenoids which assist the body to respond to insulin. Sweet potatoes are full of nutrients which are helpful in lowering cholesterol and aid digestion.
- Protein does not directly affect blood sugar level but is required for strengthening muscles and repair of tissues. Eating excess protein food will lead to higher fat intake and can cause weight take.
- Lean meat, low-fat milk, yoghurt and cheese can be added to the diabetics’ diet.
- Fat is needed by the body but in small quantities. Mono unsaturated and poly unsaturated fats are good for the heart. They help in lowering cholesterol. This type of fat is found in vegetable oils such as sunflower oil, canola oil, safflower oil and olive oil. It is also found in nuts, seeds, avocado and fish oil.
What Are The Worst Foods For Diabetes Type 1 (Juvenile Diabetes)?
- Avoid carbohydrates with high Glycemic Index. Foods with high GI are absorbed quickly into the blood and this gives rise to a sugar rush in the body. White rice, white bread, potatoes and fruits like cantaloupe and watermelon have high GI and have to be avoided.
- Saturated fat is bad for our health. They increase blood cholesterol, lower insulin effectiveness and cause cardiac problems. Saturated fat is found in tropical oils like palm oil and coconut oil. It is also found in butter, cheese, meat and refined food. A diabetic should either eliminate or limit the use of these foods.
- Avoid sugary foods like sweets, candies, pastries, ice creams, etc. These foods increase the sugar level in the body. If you have a sugar craving, consider foods sweetened with artificial sweeteners. They will be able to satisfy the craving without adding carbohydrates or calories.
What Are The Medicines For Diabetes Type 1 (Juvenile Diabetes)?
What Are The Tips To Manage Diabetes Type 1 (Juvenile Diabetes)?
- The key to effective management of juvenile diabetes is proper nutrition and an active, healthy lifestyle. The kind of food you eat directly affects the functioning of the body. Hence, you have to know what you are eating. Take the help of a nutritionist who can prepare a diet chart. Moderation in whatever you eat is important.
- Eating at regular intervals throughout the day makes it easy to manage sugar level in blood and prevent it from peaking or lowering too much.
- Regular exercise is known to keep blood sugar under control.