New Delhi: The incidence of Type 1 diabetes is on the rise among children today with about 97,000 of them affected in India alone.
About 32 per lakh children are affected in Delhi alone. Type 1 diabetes is also called juvenile diabetes as it affects children primarily.
Type 1 diabetes is caused when the immunity of a person turns against the body killing insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Life can be traumatic for children with this condition as they need to regularly take insulin injections, which can become a reason for their stigmatization.
Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr KK Aggarwal, President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Immediate Past National President Indian Medical Association (IMA), said, “There are many myths surrounding Type 1 diabetes which can hinder effective treatment. For instance, there is lack of awareness about better ways to track and manage glucose levels, such as that by a Glucometer or insulin pumps. It is imperative to educate the society that children with this condition can lead very normal lives and be as active as others. Type 1 diabetes is not caused due to high intake of sugar.
Although diet, activity level, and weight have not been found as a causative factor for the onset of Type 1 diabetes, it is always better to exercise and eat a balanced diet as a precaution. Parents have a large role to play in leading by example.”
Some symptoms of Type 1 diabetes include excessive thirst, frequent urination, hunger and tiredness, weight loss, slow-healing sores, dry and itchy skin, tingling sensation in the feet, and blurry eyesight.
Adding further, Dr Aggarwal who is also the Vice President of CMAAO, said, “Type-1 diabetes cannot be cured. Insulin helps to control blood sugar levels and is key to lifelong management of this condition, along with regular blood sugar monitoring. It is important for parents to teach and help their children take their insulin and educate teachers and caregivers about it too, especially when children are at school or away from home. With proper treatment and care, they can have a normal childhood and a full adult life.”
Dr Aggarwal gave certain tips for Type 1 diabetes. He said, Make a commitment to manage your diabetes, Take your medications as recommended, Learn all you can about type 1 diabetes, Make healthy eating and physical activity part of your daily routine, Keep a glucagon kit nearby in case of a low blood sugar emergency and make sure your friends and loved ones know how to use it, Schedule a yearly physical exam and regular eye exams. Your regular diabetes checkups aren’t meant to replace yearly physicals or routine eye exams, Keep your vaccinations up to date. High blood sugar can weaken your immune system. Get a flu shot every year.