Jakarta, CNN Indonesia –
Diabetes occurs when the hormone insulin does not function properly. In fact, the insulin hormone the body needs to convert blood sugar into energy. As a result, there is a buildup of blood sugar.
Although it is more common in adults, this chronic disease also occurs in many groups of children. “Diabetes in children is also quite a worrying condition,” said pediatric endocrinologist, Dr. Novina, at the World Diabetes Day Media Meeting with the Ministry of Health, Tuesday (17/11).
In the world, as many as 1.1 million children have diabetes mellitus (DM). The increasing number of obesity is said to have contributed to the increase in DM cases.
Data from the Indonesian Pediatrician Association (IDAI) in 2018 recorded that 1,220 children in Indonesia have type-1 diabetes. IDAI also recorded significant jumps over the decade, from a prevalence of 3.88 in 2000 to 28.19 in 2010 per 100 million population.
Types and Causes of Diabetes in Children
There are several types of diabetes in children. Most of the cases were dominated by type-1 DM. Not only in children and adolescents, type-1 diabetes mellitus also sometimes attacks infants and toddlers.
Type-1 diabetes is triggered by an autoimmune disorder experienced by children. In this condition, the immune system damages or destroys the pancreas which is responsible for producing the hormone insulin.
Low levels of the hormone insulin can cause an increase in blood sugar levels and damage other organs and tissues.
“This type of diabetes can start very early,” said Novina. IDAI noted, type-1 diabetes can start from 6 months of age until young adults.
Type-1 DM, continued Novina, is generally acute and develops rapidly. For that, proper treatment must be obtained from an early age.
Until now, it is not certain the factors that cause the emergence of type-1 diabetes in children. It’s just that some children with risk factors such as family history, history of viral infections, and wrong diet, are said to be susceptible to type-1 diabetes.
Not only type-1 diabetes, some children were also reported to have type-2 diabetes, even though with a smaller population. Type 2 diabetes is triggered by insulin resistance or when the child’s body’s cells find it difficult to use insulin to use blood sugar as energy.
Illustration. Type-1 diabetes is a type of diabetes that is often experienced by children. (iStockphoto / Michail_Petrov-96)
However, type-2 DM generally starts in children from puberty. This type of diabetes generally develops slowly in children, sometimes it is not even seen or detected.
Just like adults, type 2 diabetes in children is generally caused by obesity, the habit of eating foods high in sugar and fat, and a sedentary lifestyle.
Novina suggested that parents start screening children who are known to have risk factors. Screening can be done when the child enters puberty or is more than 10 years old.
Symptoms of Diabetes in Children
DM in children is characterized by several obvious symptoms. Here are the symptoms:
– frequent urination, especially at night
– frequent bed-wetting
– Drink a lot, eat a lot
– lost weight
– behavioral disorders
– blurred vision
All these symptoms, said Novina, will affect the child’s growth process. “Children often become sick,” he said.