Diabetes mellitus, commonly referred to simply as diabetes, is a metabolic disease that causes high blood sugar.
The hormone insulin moves sugar from the blood into your cells to be stored or used for energy. With diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t effectively use the insulin it does make.
Untreated high blood sugar from diabetes can damage your nerves, eyes, kidneys, and other organs. But educating yourself about diabetes and taking steps to prevent or manage it can help you protect your health.
Children who suffer from diabetes usually have type 1 diabetes, also called paediatric type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes among children may require long term care and management.
The risk of getting type 1 diabetes is higher if the following factors are present:
If you notice the following type 1 diabetes symptoms in your child, you should consult a doctor:
Foot problems are common in people with diabetes. You might be afraid you will lose a toe, foot, or leg to diabetes, or know someone who has, but you can lower your chances of having diabetes-related foot problems by taking care of your feet every day. Managing your blood glucose levels, also called blood sugar, can also help keep your feet healthy.
Diabetes also can lower the amount of blood flow in your feet. Not having enough blood flowing to your legs and feet can make it hard for a sore or an infection to heal. Sometimes, a bad infection never heals. The infection might lead to gangrene.
Diabetic nephropathy is a common complication of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Over time, poorly controlled diabetes can cause damage to blood vessel clusters in your kidneys that filter waste from your blood. This can lead to kidney damage and cause high blood pressure.
Diabetic neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that can occur if you have diabetes. High blood sugar (glucose) can injure nerves throughout the body. Diabetic neuropathy most often damages nerves in the legs and feet.
Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes, caused by high blood sugar levels damaging the back of the eye (retina). It can cause blindness if left undiagnosed and untreated. However, it usually takes several years for diabetic retinopathy to reach a stage where it could threaten your sight.