Diabetes, type 1 in children

Other names: Type 1 diabetes in children


Type 1 diabetes in children is a condition where the pancreas no longer produces the insulin needed for survival. Treatment involves replacing the missing insulin. Formerly known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, this condition requires consistent care.



The exact cause of Type 1 diabetes is unknown but involves the immune system mistakenly destroying insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Genetics and viral exposure may play a role.


Known risk factors include family history and genetic susceptibility. Possible risk factors include viral exposure, low vitamin D levels, and dietary factors.


Type 1 diabetes can affect major organs like the heart, kidneys, eyes, and nerves. Long-term complications can be life-threatening if blood sugar levels aren't well-controlled.


Be prepared to discuss concerns with your child's doctor, ask questions, and take notes during appointments. Discuss blood glucose monitoring, insulin therapy, nutrition, exercise, and dealing with diabetes at school.


Screening tests for Type 1 diabetes include random blood sugar tests and glycated hemoglobin tests. Additional tests may be done to differentiate between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.


Treatment involves lifelong blood sugar monitoring, insulin therapy, healthy eating, and regular exercise. Insulin delivery options include injections or pumps. Lifestyle adjustments are crucial for managing blood sugar levels effectively.


Living with Type 1 diabetes can be challenging emotionally. Support groups, counseling, and education are essential for coping with lifestyle changes and emotional impacts of the condition.


  1. What are the symptoms of Type 1 diabetes in children?

Increased thirst, frequent urination, extreme hunger, weight loss, fatigue, irritability or unusual behavior, blurred vision, yeast infection.

  1. What are the known risk factors for Type 1 diabetes?

Family history and genetic susceptibility.

  1. How is Type 1 diabetes diagnosed in children?

Through screening tests like random blood sugar tests and glycated hemoglobin tests.

  1. What are some complications of uncontrolled Type 1 diabetes?

Heart disease, nerve damage (neuropathy), kidney damage (nephropathy), eye damage (retinopathy), foot damage, skin conditions, osteoporosis.

  1. What lifestyle changes are recommended for managing Type 1 diabetes?

Blood sugar monitoring, insulin therapy, healthy eating habits, regular physical activity.

  1. How can parents prepare for appointments with their child's healthcare team?

By writing down concerns, bringing a family member or friend for support, taking notes during appointments.

  1. What is Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and how should it be managed?

It is a serious condition where the body produces toxic acids called ketones due to energy deprivation. Immediate medical attention is required if suspected.

  1. What are some alternative treatments for Type 1 diabetes?

There is no alternative treatment that can replace insulin for Type 1 diabetes management.

  1. Why is mental health support important for children with Type 1 diabetes?

Children with Diabetes have an increased risk of depression and anxiety which can impact their overall well-being.

  1. How can parents help prevent complications in children with Type 1 diabetes?

By ensuring good blood sugar control through regular monitoring and following healthcare recommendations closely.