What is Juvenile Diabetes and What Causes it?

Juvenile diabetes is Type 1 Diabetes which happens when the immune system of an individual damages beta cells which are found in the pancreas. Beta cells make the hormone called insulin. Insulin supplies cells with energy to supply sugar and glucose to the rest of the body. When juvenile diabetes destroys beta cells responsible for fueling cells, glucose and sugar pile up in the body and thus leads to high blood sugar.

Who Gets Juvenile Diabetes?

Despite the fact that juvenile diabetes is a very rare type of diabetes and only 5% of the people with diabetes have it, it mostly affects children aged between 4-7 years and also those aged between 10-14 years. However juvenile diabetes does not affect children only but also adults.


The symptoms of juvenile diabetes are mild and become worse if not treated. Such symptoms include;

  1. Pain in the bellystomach pain
  2. Nausea and vomiting
  3. Increased hunger and especially after eating
  4. Frequent skin and urinary tract infections
  5. Dry mouth
  6. Heavy thirst
  7. Weight loss
  8. Having a blurred vision

Causes of juvenile diabetes

  • Family history

Even though doctors don’t know all the things that cause type one diabetes, they strongly believe that a person who has a person with juvenile diabetes in their family are most likely to develop the condition. The person could either be the sibling or the parent.

  • Geographical position from the equator

Juvenile diabetes tends to affect people who live far away from the equator. This is because it increases as one travels away from the equator. The highest number of people with juvenile diabetes is from Finland and Sardinia. This is three times more the number of people living with juvenile diabetes in the US and 400 times the number of people with this type of diabetes in Venezuela.

  • Genetics

There are some certain genes that are more prone to juvenile diabetes as compared to other genes. Juvenile diabetes can be passed from one generation to the other.

  • Autoantibodies

This is an attack that causes the immune system to destroy or go after the pancreas. This takes place as a result of one’s immune system responding to a threat to the immune system. An example of such threat is when the immune system detects a virus in the environment. Such viruses include mumps virus, Epstein- Barr virus and also cytomegalovirus.

  • Pregnancy preeclampsia

Children whose mothers had preeclampsia are more susceptible to develop juvenile diabetes. Preeclampsia is a disorder characterized by high blood pressure and having a significant amount of protein in the urine.

  • cow's milkEarly consumption of cow’s milk

Children who are exposed to cow’s milk at early stages before they finish their breastfeeding are also susceptible to suffer from juvenile diabetes.

  • Infant jaundice

Children born with jaundice tend to suffer juvenile diabetes more than those who are born without. Jaundice is a yellow or greenish discoloration of the skin and eyes.

People with juvenile diabetes live long lives if they regulate their blood sugar levels.

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