In the past, type 1 diabetes was also known as juvenile diabetes. This was because it was believed that type 1 diabetes was the only kind of diabetes that children had, except in rare instances. Now, in light of recent findings, anywhere from 8 to 45% of children who are newly diagnosed with diabetes may have type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes is actually a group of related diseases that are characterized by your body not being able to regulate the amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood. The energy to do the physical activities of daily life comes from glucose in your blood. The level of glucose in your blood is regulated by several hormones. One of the most important hormones is insulin. A child who has diabetes is either not able to use insulin in the right way or their body does not make enough insulin, or both.
Juvenile diabetes that is type 1 diabetes is when a child’s body does not produce enough insulin. Researchers believe that type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease is one in which your immune system, for some unknown reason, attacks the cells of your own body. In the case of type 1 diabetes, your child’s immune system attacks the cells that make insulin in your child’s pancreas.
Runs in families
Juvenile diabetes that is type 2 diabetes is marked by your child’s body not being able to properly use the insulin that their body in producing. Type 2 diabetes seems to run in families. What this means is that genetics are a major factor in bringing about this type of diabetes.
If your child has type 1 juvenile diabetes, here are some signs and symptoms that may be an indication of this. These include:
Extreme hunger, especially a craving for sweet snacks
Unintentional weight loss
Fatigue and tiredness
Refusing to play and being sleepy all the time
Vomiting, nausea, giddiness
Irritability and refusing to be around anyone
Extreme thirst, always wanting juice to drink
Falling into a coma.
If your child has type 2 juvenile diabetes, these are some signs and symptoms to watch for. They are:
Obesity, which is the hallmark sign or symptom of type 2 diabetes
Little or no thirst
No increase in urination
The presence of sugar in the urine
Strong family history of diabetes with 45 to 80% having at least one parent with diabetes
About 90% of children with type 2 diabetes have acanthosis nigricans ( dark shiny patches of skin that are located most of the time between the fingers and toes and on the back of the neck.
If your child has been diagnosed with either type 1 or type 2 juvenile diabetes, they may be entitled to get Supplemental Security Income benefits (SSI). This is based on how badly they are disabled by their juvenile diabetes and the fact that you, as their parent, have little income or resources.
The right thing to do is to consult a disability attorney who will evaluate your child’s case. A disability attorney may be able to help you get the SSI benefits that your child is entitled to.
- Social Security Administration Disability and Diabetes (disabilitybenefitshome.com)