Diabetes mellitus is a very serious disease that has a detrimental effect on almost all metabolic processes in the human body. Today, diabetes is a fairly significant global problem and, unfortunately, our country is no exception. There is a tendency associated with an increase in the incidence of diabetes in not only adults, but also children. This disease causes a particular problem in children, since the child’s body is still incomplete, and cannot independently compensate for the high level of hyperglycemia. In this article we will examine the causes of diabetes in children.
How does the disease develop
The nature of this disease has long been known to mankind, it develops as a result of a violation of the synthesis, production of the hormone insulin, as well as the sensitivity of cells and tissues to it. Thus, diabetes is an endocrine disease that can have multiple negative effects on the body of a child with diabetes.
There are many forms of diabetes, but only two of them are considered the main and most common:
- insulin-dependent type 1 diabetes;
- insulin resistant type 2 diabetes, over time it can turn into an insulin-dependent form.
Each form develops in its own pathogenetic variant. Accordingly, the causes of diabetes are different.
The causes of diabetes can be divided as well as the form of the disease into 2 groups.
This form of diabetes is autoimmune in nature and develops as a result of the impairment of the immune mechanisms of activation of cytotoxic immunocompetent cells. This means that the cells of their own immune system begin to produce special substances that have a toxic effect on some tissues of their own body. In the case of diabetes mellitus of the first type, the immune system is aggressive towards the beta cells of the islets of Langerhans, which are located in the pancreas and are responsible for the synthesis and secretion of insulin.
Why is this form more common in children? The answer lies in the high incidence of viral and bacterial diseases in children. Acute respiratory diseases or flu can trigger the development of this autoimmune disease. The reason for the development of such a reaction is the high similarity of some infectious agents with the patient's own tissues, which increases the risk of the formation of immune error.
Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus develops quickly and proceeds in an acute severe form, and the treatment of the disease should be carried out for life using hormone replacement therapy. Fortunately, autoimmune diabetes in children is quite rare.
The mechanism of development of type 1 diabetes
Insulin resistant form
The most common worldwide form, but less common in children, although recently there has been a bad tendency to increase the proportion of children with diabetes. The second type of serious endocrinological disease, diabetes mellitus, develops as a result of the inconsistency of energy received from food and its needs.
The most common cause of the disease in young children and middle age are the following factors:
- overeating - high caloric intake of food leads to a significant predominance of energy entering the body of a child with food;
- hypodynamia - the lack of activity of the child only aggravates the situation, since the difference associated with an excess of energy increases.
All this leads to a change in the lipid profile in the blood of the child, which leads to the development of overweight, and then obesity. Increased amount of adipose tissue in the body of a child leads to changes in the hormonal background and its imbalance. As a result, the rest of the tissues begin to decrease insulin sensitivity. The number of receptors responsible for contact with insulin and activating transmembrane carbohydrate transfer proteins is reduced.
The result of this pathogenetic mechanism is an increase in the concentration of glucose in the peripheral blood, which eventually leads to the accumulation of carbohydrates in the body and the disruption of the functions of many organs and systems.
Hypodynamia is one of the most common risk factors for obesity and endocrine disorders.
Factors that increase the risk of developing the disease
If for the insulin-dependent form the main factor is a congenital anomaly or a predisposition to autoimmune diseases, then with type 2 diabetes, things are a little different. In the case of type 2, there is no single factor that can unambiguously lead to the development of the disease. Since this form is multifactorial. Among the most important factors that significantly increase the risk of such endocrine pathology can be identified:
- Burdened family history. Heredity is an important component in shaping the risk of developing diabetes. So, if one of the parents is ill, then the risk of development rises to 20%. If both parents suffer from this endocrine pathology, the risk of the disease increases to 50%.
- Wrong way of life. Just as mentioned above, namely, high caloric intake with a predominance of fast-absorbing carbohydrates and low physical activity of the child.
- Prematurity during pregnancy or, conversely, a large weight of the child in late pregnancy. All deviations in the development of the child, starting from the antenatal and neonatal period, reduce the compensatory-adaptive mechanisms of the child's body.
Summing up, it is important to note once again that only attentive attitude to the child, rationally planned time for rest and employment, as well as proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle reduce the risk of diabetes. Such a large number of risk factors constantly surrounding us, and especially our children, endangers even the most healthy children. Be attentive not only to your own health, but also to the health of your children.