Kids and teens with type 1 diabetes have a greater risk for other health problems, many of which also are autoimmune disorders. The diabetes health care team will watch kids for signs of these problems. But parents also should know what to look for so that they can alert doctors and get treatment, if necessary.
What Are Autoimmune Disorders?
In autoimmune disorders, the immune system attacks the body''t make insulin because the immune system attacks it and destroys the cells that produce insulin. Kids and teens with type 1 diabetes are at risk for other autoimmune problems, but these aren''t exactly sure why autoimmune diseases happen. But genetics probably play an important role because relatives of people with type 1 diabetes are more likely to have autoimmune diseases.
Most kids with type 1 diabetes never need treatment for any other autoimmune disorder. But those who do might develop:
- thyroid disorders
- celiac disease
- Addison''s not always visible.
Hyperthyroidism can cause nervousness, irritability, increased sweating, intolerance to heat, tiredness, sleep problems, a fast heartbeat, irregular menstrual periods in girls, and muscle weakness. People also might lose weight even though they''re staring. Sometimes the tissues around the eyes become inflamed and swollen, and the eyes appear to bulge out.
Someone with mild hypothyroidism may feel just fine and have no symptoms. But symptoms can become more obvious if the condition gets worse. People with underactive thyroids might feel depressed and sluggish, or gain weight even though they''s neck for an enlargement of the thyroid gland or order blood tests.
Kids with thyroid problems might take prescription medicine to bring their thyroid hormone levels back to normal.
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Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects about 1 in 20 people with type 1 diabetes. It affects the intestine''t getting enough nutrients. If not treated, celiac disease can lead to hypoglycemia, osteoporosis (a disease that causes brittle, fragile bones), and some types of cancer.
If your child has type 1 diabetes, your doctor may do a blood test to check for celiac disease, even if there are no symptoms. If the doctor suspects celiac disease, your child might undergo a small-bowel biopsy (the removal of a piece of tissue from the small intestine for examination) to confirm the diagnosis.
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Addison''s response to insulin, metabolism, and a person''s disease, the adrenal glands don''s disease start slowly. They include tiredness, muscle weakness, appetite loss, or weight loss. Some people have nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness and low blood pressure, skin discoloration (especially in skin creases, like the elbows), irritability, depression, or irregular periods.
For about 1 in 4 people with Addison''t appear until they''s important to get medical help immediately.
When doctors suspect Addison''ll run tests, including urine (pee) and blood tests, to diagnose it. The condition is treated with medicine to bring adrenal hormone levels back to normal.
How Can I Help My Child?
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Knowing which signs and symptoms to watch for and making sure your child gets regular checkups will help reduce or prevent the effects of these disorders.Date reviewed: February 2018