Diabetes is a very difficult medical condition for anyone to contend with, but the effects can be especially difficult on children. Understanding what juvenile diabetes is and how it comes about is often an important part of the learning and management process.
What Is Juvenile Diabetes?
Juvenile diabetes is essentially another term for type 1 diabetes, which involves the pancreas no longer functioning due to being attacked by immune cells. Without a functioning pancreas, insulin production becomes impossible, which in turn makes it difficult to control blood sugar levels. Blood sugar that’s not properly controlled can cause a litany of health problems.
Type 1 diabetes is the primary cause of diabetes in individuals younger than 18, with 77% of children with diabetes being classified as type 1. Although the term type 1 diabetes would suggest that it can only occur in children, its development can occur in anyone at any age.
What Are The Root Causes of The Condition?
The exact cause of type 1 diabetes remains a bit of a mystery as there aren’t any obvious telltale signs it’s going to develop in someone and its development appears random for the most part. Although the reasons can’t be directly pinpointed, there are some pretty good indications of why it develops.
Genetic factors are the most obvious thing to look at when it comes to type 1 diabetes. The condition is markedly more common in children with Northern European ancestry than children of different backgrounds. There are a significant number of genetic markers related to autoimmune function associated with people who have type 1 diabetes.
Although there’s no specific set of genes that cause the immune system to attack the pancreas, it’s been noted that individuals that have a family history of autoimmune disorders are more likely to develop type 1 diabetes, suggesting that there is an underlying predisposition to having overactive immune systems in some people. This is especially true if someone has a relative with type 1 diabetes, as diabetes has been shown to run in certain families.
Similarly, unrelated viral infections and toxin ingestion have been associated with type 1 diabetes. In certain cases, the presence of a viral infection can cause the immune system to jump into overdrive as the body seeks a way to eliminate it; this overreaction can result in immune cells attacking perfectly benign pancreatic tissue. If unknown toxins are present in the body and there is some issue expelling them, it’s possible for the immune system to become overactive in an attempt to deal with it.
Making The Best
Type 1 diabetes is a very difficult medical condition to deal with and requires a long list of lifestyle changes to accommodate. However, possessing a good amount of knowledge about the disease can make the whole process easier to deal with and it’s important to know there are a lot of resources designed to help. Beyond just support by medical professionals, organizations like Tandem Diabetes Care have a large number of products designed to help with diabetes management.