A Child With Sugar Diabetes. What Happens Without Insulin?
Insulin and sugar diabetes are very much intertwined. Let’s see what happens in children with sugar diabetes who aren’t making or taking any insulin. It shall give us a clear picture to understand sugar diabetes in children much better. Parents and family should pay very close attention for any signs of this disease because in most cases children by themselve can’t say right from wrong and can completely miss dangerous symptoms.
Whet a child has sugar diabetes, the fodd she or he eats still digested as usual and releases glucose into the bloodstream. Sugar is carried in blood trough the body to every cell to become energy inside the cells. But crucial link is missing in child with sugar diabetes! The pancreas doesn’t respond to the high level of glucose in the bloodstream, no insulin being released to take care of glucose. None. Zero. Nada. Sugar can’t pass into the cells and whole mechanism stumbles. The cells are deprived of energy and starving, the child can become tired very fast. Because sugar is locked out of the cells it has nowhere to go. The blood glucose level builds up and blood can become thick to the point of being unable to flow through the veins. This is a very dangerous condition which can bring shock and death.
But thank God for the kidneys! High level of glucose triggers kidneys reaction. The kidneys start eliminating extra glucose through urine. But this process commands big ammount of water, so the child urinates more often and in larger ammounts just to purge that excess sugar from the bloodstream.
This can lead to dehydration which brings extreme thirst. Excessive urination and thirst are flag-rising indications of possible sugar diabetes problem. As the symptoms develop, children often feel tired very fast. It should be noticed and addressed. The earlier sugar diabetes can be diagnosed, the faster diabetes management can be implemented.
When the pancreas of a child with sugar diabetes doesn’t make insulin anymore and the body’s cells can’t get energy, the body switch to alternative energy source – fats or proteins. The body can break down fat and proteins to get energy, but it will lead to weight loss. More to that, a very dangerous waste byproduct being released during this process called ketones, or acetone (yes, we use it to remove nailpolish all the time). To some extent, the kidneys can filter ketones out from the body through the urine. But if this process go unnoticed for long ammount of time, kidneys can’t filter ketones as fast as they are being made. Ketones begin to build up in the child’s blood leading to sugar diabetes complications. This build up of ketones in the bloodstream is called diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA. Ketoacidosis is a serious condition in sugar diabetes that can lead to death! This condition can be efficiently dealt with by giving intravenous fluid and insulin injection. Parents should look for symptoms and act upon them. Here is early symptoms of untreated or undiagnosed sugar diabetes in children: a child feel tired, can feel thirsty very often, may urinate a lot and often, may lose weight despite eating well.
Now that we know what happens without insulin, we can monitor our children for early signs of sugar diabetes!