House Call: Type 1 Diabetes in Children
Approximately one in between 300 and 350 children have type 1 diabetes, and the incidence of new cases continues to rapidly increase. The increasing prevalence of type 1 diabetes is evident here in the community, with Cone Health Pediatric Sub-Specialists seeing between 40 and 45 new cases each year.
Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease in which the body destroys the cells in the pancreas that make insulin, and is often diagnosed between the ages of six months to eighteen years.
Signs of type 1 diabetes include weight loss, increased thirst and/or drinking, increased urination, increased appetite, and in some cases, vomiting, stomachaches, headaches and fatigue. Classically, children with type 1 diabetes tended to be thin, and had to be put on insulin immediately.
However, the medical field is now seeing a trend known as the obese type 1 diabetes phenomenon. This is being discovered in children who are initially evaluated for obesity and developing insulin resistance, similar to type 2 diabetes, yet when they actually develop the condition, their immune markers and diabetic complications more closely resemble those associated with type 1 diabetes.
Fortunately, advancements in the treatment of type 1 diabetes are allowing children who are diagnosed with the disease to live much more normal and high quality lifestyles. Type 1 diabetics no longer have to adhere to extremely strict daily regimens because insulin medications can now be adjusted to what and when you eat.
The main focus of treating diabetes in children, both type 1 and 2, is normalizing their blood sugar levels to reduce risk of long-term complications and ensuring proper growth and development.
The team of pediatric endocrinologists and medical support staff at Cone Health Pediatric Sub-Specialists of Greensboro is dedicated to educating children and families about diabetes and providing exceptional treatment for children with the condition here in our community.
Dr. Jennifer Badik is a pediatric endocrinologist at Cone Health Pediatric Sub-Specialists of Greensboro. Dr. Badik earned her Doctor of Medicine at Temple University in 2006. She completed her residency in pediatrics at University of Arizona in 2009, and completed a fellowship in pediatric endocrinology and diabetes at Emory University in 2012.