Nashville, TN

Vanderbilt University Medical Center shares how Diabetes affects kids

Dex Walker

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NASHVILLE, TN – Sugar plays an important part in the human body. Our blood contains a certain amount of sugar—known as blood glucose—regulated by insulin. When a person’s body fails to control its blood glucose level, that person likely has diabetes.

There are several types of diabetes—type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes—and every type is a bit different. In this article, we'll discuss type 1 and type 2 diabetes, as well as how each affects children.

Type 1 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes in children. It is considered an autoimmune disease. According to Jennifer Kelley, assistant professor of pediatrics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, the immune system of patients who have type 1 diabetes recognizes the cells in the pancreas as something bad. As a result, it attacks and gets rid the cell.

Without insulin, the body cannot regulate the blood glucose level and sugar cannot get into the organs for energy, as a result, it stays in the blood and piles up.

In type 2 diabetes, the body has difficulties responding to insulin. The pancreas may still produce insulin, but your body is resistant to it. The body will then fail to control blood sugar level and it will lead to type 2 diabetes.

According to Kelley, diabetes in kids is different from diabetes in adults. Uncontrolled high blood sugar starts to damage blood vessels and nerves over time. It can cause problems to the organs, as blood circulation is essential and nerve signals are essential for them.

This can lead to permanent damage such as loss of vision, kidney failure, an increased risk of infection, and so on. It can also raise the risk of cardiovascular disease, which raises the risk of things like heart attacks or heart disease later in life.

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