Diabetes Mellitus (Pediatric)

What is diabetes mellitus?

Diabetes mellitus (DM) is increasingly common in children.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition where the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas stop functioning. Without insulin, glucose can't enter the cells and provide the body with life-sustaining energy. This condition is also known as juvenile-onset diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is caused by insulin resistance as well as declining insulin production. Insulin resistance means that the body can't use this substance effectively. This form of diabetes is linked to our national epidemic of childhood obesity. Previously known as adult-onset diabetes, type 2 diabetes mellitus now occurs more often in younger patients.

What are the symptoms of diabetes?

Signs of diabetes mellitus include a increased urination and thirst, increased appetite, blurry vision and weight loss. Alife-threatening condition called diabetic ketoacidosis may occur. When there isn't any glucose for the body to draw on for energy, the body's cells produce ketones or acidic fats resulting in ketoacidosis

How is diabetes treated?

Our physicians at the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center are experts in managing this condition.

Patients with type 1 DM are treated with insulin replacement therapy. This can be administered by a syringe or through an insulin pump. Glucose levels are closely monitored in order to determine if insulin dosing is appropriate. Children and adolescents with this condition can expect to live normal, healthy lives.

Patients with type 2 DM are treated with oral medication such as metformin and may also require insulin injections.