Juvenile diabetes (JD) is also known as type-1 diabetes or Insulin dependent diabetes (IDD), where there is abnormal sugar level in children or young adults due to lack of insulin.
In India, the incidence of type-1 diabetes is found to increase like type-2 diabetes, about 3-5% of increase per year. It is estimated about 97,700 children have JD with the peak age of diagnosis is 12 years.(Source: JD in India)
Causes of Juvenile Diabetes
Juvenile diabetes is caused due to the destruction of insulin-producing Islet of the pancreas by their own immune system. The cause of this destruction is not known clearly.
Even though the actual cause of JD is not known yet, following are considered as risk factors
- Exposure to certain viruses like mumps, cytomegalovirus, rotavirus, etc.
- Falling ill repeatedly during infancy.
- Start of weaning at very early stage before 4 months with cow’s milk, etc.
- Certain conditions like neonatal jaundice, vitamin D deficiency.
- Increased insulin demands due to intake of the food with high glycemic index.
- Being born to elderly mother or mother suffering from preeclampsia during pregnancy.
Signs and Symptoms of Juvenile Diabetes
- Weight loss.
- Increased hunger and thirst.
- Frequent urination and bedwetting.
- Easy fatigability.
- Abnormal vision.
- Slow wound healing.
Management of Juvenile Diabetes
- Insulin therapy through injections or insulin pump. Decide the dosage upon doctor’s advice. You may need to change the dosage depending on the growth of the child.
- Periodically record the blood sugar levels.
- Cultivate healthy eating habits and encourage them to choose healthy foods like whole grains and fresh vegetables.
- Make sure to include turmeric, pepper, garlic, bitter gourd, snake gourd, bottle gourd, drumstick, amla, barley, green gram, and wheat in regular diet.
- Encourage your child to carry a medical card.
- Inform the caretaker and school teacher for extra precautions during low sugar levels.
- If children are in their teens, start teaching them about the ill effects of smoking, alcohol consumption and other unhealthy habits.
- Make sure they are physically active. Involve them in any sports activity of their choice and yoga.
- Educate the child as well other family members about the disease and how to detect high or low sugar levels. Teach them how to act in such situations.
Ayurvedic Management of Juvenile Diabetes
According to modern medicine, there is no cure for Juvenile diabetes. But, there are few examples where the juvenile diabetes is cured and the dose of insulin is reduced through Ayurveda. (Ayurvedic cure takes juvenile patient off insulin)
Ayurvedic herbs like amalaki, haridra, asana, guduchi, gokshura, manjistha, nimba, khadira, triphala, Nisha Khadiradi, Katakakhadiradi kashayam, Nisha amalaki churna, Shilajit, etc are beneficial in maintaining sugar level.
Prevention of Juvenile Diabetes
- Breastfeed your baby till 1 year of age.
- Don’t start solid foods very early.
- Take all measures to have healthy pregnancy.
- Protect your child from exposure to infections at a very early age.