Diabetes Children

Diabetes Symptoms in Children: Why Does Skin Turn Dark? Causes and Treatment of Diabetes in Children

In the past, childhood diabetes was mostly classified as type 1 diabetes. However, with the refined diet and lifestyle of less movement and more sitting, more and more children are obese. Type 2 diabetes, which is usually only found in adults, is now also appearing in children. in children and adolescents.

According to research, students under high school are about 6 times more likely to suffer from type 2 diabetes than type 1 diabetes, completely overturning the past belief that children will not suffer from type 2 diabetes.

How to prevent childhood diabetes? What are the symptoms of diabetes in children? This article will help you understand how to improve bad living habits as early as possible and safeguard your children’s health.

Causes of type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents

The pathological mechanism of type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents is the same as that in adults. Although the patient’s body still produces insulin, it cannot respond normally to the insulin produced by the body. Therefore, glucose cannot enter the cells smoothly and complete its job of providing energy. When glucose cannot enter cells in this way, doctors call it insulin resistance.

Even though there is a lot of insulin in the body, blood sugar levels remain high because the insulin is not functioning properly, which causes the pancreas to make more insulin. If the pancreas secretes too much insulin over a long period of time, the body will eventually no longer produce enough insulin to control blood sugar.

Symptoms of diabetes in children: Why does the skin turn dark?

Children or adolescents with type 2 diabetes have symptoms similar to those of adults with diabetes. In addition to high blood sugar, they also include the following symptoms:

  1. Thirsty
  2. Increased hunger
  3. Lethargy
  4. Frequent urination and heavy urine output
  5. The skin becomes darker and thicker (due to insulin resistance, causing melanin hyperplasia)

In addition, people with insulin resistance can usually look at their neck and armpits to see if they have darker skin. Under insulin resistance, the body must secrete more insulin, which causes the proliferation of keratinocytes in the epidermis and fibroblasts in the dermis, causing excessive skin hyperplasia and keratinization, and pigmentation of the skin on the neck or armpits. This is called acanthosis nigricans. Acanthosis Nigricans.

In addition, girls with insulin resistance may have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Menstrual periods are often more irregular and there is more hair on the face and body.

6 major causes of childhood diabetes

  1. Obesity
    There are many risk factors for type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents, with obesity being the most important risk factor. A US study on diabetes in young people (The SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth study) pointed out that among children and adolescents suffering from type 2 diabetes, all are over the standard weight range, and nearly 80% are overweight. Obese students are 18 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than ordinary students, and 50% of students with type 2 diabetes are obese.
  2. Exercise less
    Less exercise and obesity complement each other. If you don’t exercise, you will easily gain weight. If you gain weight, you will be less willing to move. The increase in fat will cause the body’s sensitivity to insulin to decrease, causing the pancreas to secrete more insulin to balance blood sugar.
  3. Family history of diabetes
    Type 2 diabetes is also affected by genetics. If a direct relative has a family history of diabetes, the child is at a higher risk of developing diabetes. Among them, the influence of parents is much higher than that of grandparents, and the influence of mothers is higher than that of fathers.
  4. Gestational diabetes
    In addition to a family history of diabetes, if a pregnant woman suffers from gestational diabetes during pregnancy, even if it recovers after delivery, the baby will still have a higher chance of developing diabetes when he grows up.
  5. Birth weight too high or too low
    Children whose birth weight is less than 2,000 grams or more than 4,000 grams will have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes when they grow up. Overweight people have a higher risk of developing diabetes, which is highly correlated with having more fat. Studies have shown that when a birth weight exceeds 4,000 grams, the chance of obesity in the future is twice that of a child with an average birth weight.

    However, the reason why low birth weight is more likely to cause type 2 diabetes is that when the fetus cannot absorb enough nutrients in the mother’s uterine environment, it will adjust its sensitivity to the mother’s endocrine system to facilitate survival. However, this may also affect the baby’s insulin sensitivity. It may cause defects in pancreatic islet cells and increase the risk of diabetes in the future. Another possible reason is the interaction between genetic genes and the mother’s uterine environment, which makes it easy to become obese when you grow up.
  6. High blood pressure
    Children may also have high blood pressure, and children with a history of childhood high blood pressure or a history of high blood pressure are twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

Diagnosis and treatment of childhood diabetes

Doctors will use blood tests to diagnose type 2 diabetes. In addition to blood sugar, they may also perform another blood test called a glycated hemoglobin (Hemoglobin A1c, or HbA1c) test to detect blood sugar levels in the past few months. The change. (For more detailed diagnosis methods, please read: Type 2 Diabetes | Diagnosis and Treatment, Differences between Type 1 and Type 2)

Treatment methods 1. Drugs and insulin treatment

According to the regulations of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the only two drugs currently approved for the treatment of diabetes in children and adolescents are Metformin and insulin.

Clinically, doctors may use insulin in the early stages of diabetes, and then treat it with Metformin after blood sugar control has stabilized. Metformin is a hypoglycemic drug, but it has a lower risk of causing hypoglycemia and requires less blood glucose monitoring. It also helps improve insulin sensitivity, so it is suitable for use in adolescents and children with type 2 diabetes.

Bracknell, England – January 14, 2014: A box of Metformin tablets produced by the pharmaceutical company Actavis, on a wooden shelf. Metformin is an oral treatment for type 2 Diabetes.

Treatment methods 2. Diet and exercise habits

A healthy diet is one of the best ways to control blood sugar and can also help with weight loss.

  1. Eat regular meals
  2. Eat more than 5 servings of vegetables and fruits every day
  3. Avoid fried foods or sugary processed foods
  4. Choose low GI (low glycemic index) foods for staple food, such as whole wheat, brown rice, etc.

Establishing a regular exercise routine can help eliminate excess fat, maintain a healthy weight and insulin sensitivity, improve blood sugar levels, and can help control diabetes with less or even no medication. Research shows that regular exercise combined with a high-fiber diet can increase the body’s insulin sensitivity by more than 20%.

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