Diabetes in Children Increasing

Posted by: BeneFIT Corporate Wellness
Date: May 12, 2016

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) reports that as many as three million Americans have Type 1 diabetes and an alarming number of them are children.

Type 1 diabetes occurs when, as a result of genetic and environmental factors, the body’s immune system destroys the insulin producing cells in the pancreas. Insulin is an important hormone in our body that enables us to get energy from food. In Type 2 diabetes, insulin is produced, but the body is resistant to using it. While Type 2 diabetes is usually seen in adults, the obesity epidemic in children is causing more children to develop Type 2 diabetes.

The warning signs of both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are:

  • extreme thirst
  • frequent urination
  • weight loss
  • behavior changes
  • increased appetite
  • fatigue

Children diagnosed with diabetes often see a diabetes education specialist to learn important ways to control their blood sugar. Along with eating right and exercising, children with Type 1 diabetes and their parents are taught to balance their blood sugar levels through a combination of carbohydrate counting, blood sugar checks, and insulin injections or insulin pump therapy. They also learn the everyday factors that can upset the blood sugar balance, such as illness and stress.

Treatment of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can be a challenge, but treatment options are constantly improving. Lehigh Valley Health Network offers quality medical care, education, and support

through a partnership between Pediatric Endocrinology, and Helwig Health and Diabetes Center. Services such as Camp Red Jacket, a free day camp for children with

Type 1 diabetes and Sugar Free Kids, a support group for children, help families and children learn to manage their diabetes and live a healthy lifestyle.

To learn more about diabetes in children, please contact us.


By Carolyn Lamparella, LPC, Social Worker, Pediatric Endocrinology, Lehigh Valley Health Network 

Disclaimer: The information presented is for your general knowledge and does not replace the advice of a physician.

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