A new US based study titled 'Search for Diabetes in Youth' has highlighted the alarming rate of incidence of juvenile diabetes . It further points out to the importance of keeping a constant vigil on the sugar level, which is the only way to prevent the associated complications. The results of the study have been published in the spring 2006 issue of Countdown, an official journal of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
In another similar Pune based study, conducted by the Diabetes Care and Research Foundation reveals that diabetes is prevalent in 14% of the Pune population. Even more alarming is the fact that majority of these are children, who suffer from Type 1 diabetes.
Diabetes Mellitus sets in when the body loses its ability to convert the glucose into energy. This is characterized by an elevation in the blood glucose level. In insulin dependent diabetes, also referred to as Type 1 diabetes, the insulin producing cells of the pancreas get destroyed. As a consequence, there is a severe lack of insulin. Such people are dependent on insulin injections to enable glucose metabolism. A strict adherence to the prescribed diabetic diet prevent further rising of the blood glucose level.
Type 2 diabetes is also called as non-insulin dependent diabetes. In this condition, although some amount of insulin is being produced, this quantity is insufficient to meet the demand.
The problem associated with diabetes, which is rightly called the slow poison, is that if left unattended, it can lead to a number of diabetic complications, increasing an individual's susceptibility to heart disease, stroke, kidney damage, eye disease and amputations. The only sure way to prevent these complications is to perform regular blood glucose check ups remarked Dr. Abhay Mutha, Director, Diabetes Care and Research Foundation.
The foundation has been helping diabetic children through adoption and provision of appropriate diabetic care. 100 such diabetic children have been adopted by the organization so far. Children from regions of Mahad, Chiplun and Parbhani have been absorbed.
Apart from medical care, the role of psychosocial factors in the upbringing of diabetic children has to be emphasized. As children with chronic diseases tend to aloof themselves from their peers, they are more likely to experience adjustment disorders and develop behavioral problems. They are particularly more susceptible to anxiety, depression and social withdrawal. 'It is thereby essential to treat the child— rather than just the blood glucose values — and give him/her a sense of complete well-being,' Dr. Mutha.
The role of the family in the provision of emotional support to the child and fulfillment of health care responsibilities should not be ignored. The take home message therefore is to strictly adhere to the recommended diet and exercise regime.