Children with Type 1 diabetes not on insulin may go blind, expert warns – TrendyNewsReporters

Children with Type 1 diabetes not on insulin may go blind, expert warns

A Paediatric Endocrinologist at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Dr. Elizabeth Oyenusi, has advised parents that have children living with Type 1 diabetes to ensure they take their insulin regularly.

She warned that if they fail to take the insulin medication as recommended, they could come down with complications such as blindness and kidney problem.

Dr. Oyenusi, who is also a consultant paediatrician said insulin, is a hormone that helps to regulate the amount of sugar, or glucose, in the blood, noted that lack of effective insulin plays a key role in the development of diabetes.

According to Mayo Clinic, an online health portal, Insulin therapy is often an important part of diabetes treatment.

It emphasised that those with Type 1 diabetes need to “Understand the key role insulin plays in managing your blood sugar and preventing diabetes complications”, it added..

Speaking in an interview with PUNCH Healthwise, the endocrinologist said parents should worry when their children are consuming excessive food and also losing weight, revealing that those are the symptoms of diabetes in children.

According to her, Type 1 diabetes is not hereditary, but that Type 2 diabetes is inherited.

Dr. Oyenusi explained, “Type 1 diabetes happens because of something that went wrong in the person’s gene.

“It is not inherited, it’s just that it is in the gene and somehow the body starts attacking its own cells. That is what we call autoimmune. In children that have Type 1 diabetes, the body attacks the pancreas— the organ that produces the insulin because insulin is what helps us take glucose into the cells.”

The endocrinologist says it is risky for diabetic children not to take their insulin as recommended, warning that they could come down with complications that could lead to death.

“If they don’t take their insulin, they could come down with complications. They will be breathing fast and could fall into a coma. They will be urinating too much. They could have blindness and kidney problem”, she said.

The paediatrician noted that excessive urination, drinking too much of water, excessive food consumption and weight loss are some of the symptoms of diabetes in children.

On the issue of food and drink consumption, Dr. Oyenusi pointed out that parents tend to treat their children with Type 1 diabetes as if they have Type 2 diabetes, urging them to stop being too restrictive.

“But it is all about portion control. If they are managed well, they can be fine”, she added.

The endocrinologist urged the government to make the treatment of Type 1 diabetes for children free, stressing that in many other countries, it is free.

She counselled family members with diabetic children to show empathy and support and not to stigmatise them.

According to another online health news portal, Medical News Today, although it is not possible to prevent type 1 diabetes, there are available measures to help lower the risk.

“Breastfeeding infants until the age of six months minimises exposure to infections during childhood by receiving recommended vaccinations on time and practicing good hygiene, such as handwashing”, the site added.

It pointed out that anyone with a family history of any type of diabetes should be aware of the symptoms of high blood sugar, which include exhaustion and excessive thirst and urination and to get medical attention.

According to the World Health Organisation, Type 1 diabetes (previously known as insulin-dependent, juvenile or childhood-onset) is characterised by deficient insulin production and requires daily administration of insulin.

“In 2017 there were nine million people with type 1 diabetes; the majority of them live in high-income countries. Neither its cause nor the means to prevent it are known.

“Symptoms include excessive excretion of urine (polyuria), thirst (polydipsia), constant hunger, weight loss, vision changes, and fatigue. These symptoms may occur suddenly”, the WHO stated.


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