If your doctor diagnoses your child with juvenile diabetes, remember that it is not a death sentence. Although there is no cure, research has made large strides in the treatment and management of this disease. With your help and the proper medication, a heart-healthy diet and consistent physical activity, your child can lead a long and normal life.
Causes of Diabetes
Diabetes is a disease characterized by high levels of glucose in the bloodstream. Although its precise cause is unknown, the medical community believes it is the result of a combination of genetic and other environmental factors.
Blood Glucose and Insulin
The carbohydrates that you consume become glucose. When your blood glucose levels rise, the pancreas reacts by secreting a hormone called insulin that allows the body’s cells and organs to use the glucose for energy. In a person with diabetes, either the pancreas does not secrete enough insulin or the body is unable to utilize it effectively, resulting in elevated blood glucose levels. If not managed properly, the high levels of glucose in the bloodstream, called hyperglycemia, can cause long-term serious health complications.