Type I Diabetes: what is the treatment for children and teenager

Insulin-dependent diabetes (Type I Diabetes), is generally diagnosed in childhood. Without a good management, it can have very severe consequences such as microangiopathy for example.

Here is a short guide based on recommendations from International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes (ISPAD).

Initial check-up

When Type I Diabetes is diagnosed in a child, an initial check-up must be carried out. Here are the recommended actions:
  • To inform the parents and the children on the disease such as for example on:
    • The probable causes of the diabetes
    • The role of insulin and why is it essential
    • Basic dietary recommendations
    • Insulin injections, examinations of blood or urine
    • What is hypoglycemia
    • Diabetes in the event of disease
    • Diabetes at school and diabetes at home
    • Its effects on physical efforts
    • The cards "I have a diabetes" or the diabetic card
    • Associations and support groups
    • Emergency services phone contacts
  • To seek the risk factors such as cardiovascular risk factors or an overweight even an obesity, sedentariness, a growth delay, etc
  • To seek affected target organ(s)
  • To seek associated diseases, indeed children and adolescents suffering from Type 1 Diabetes have many more risks to develop autoimmune diseases. It is thus recommended to test:
    • The thyroid function and search for antithyroid antibodies
    • And to search for clinical symptoms indicating a celiac disease.

Therapeutic management

Modification of the lifestyle of the patient

The modification of the lifestyle of the patient goes through therapeutic education. It should include the training and the evaluation of knowledge of the child and his close entourage:
  • Intelligibility of oneself and one's disease,
  • Master the technical gestures of self-monitoring and self treatment,
  • Competence in self-diagnosis, self-management of a crisis, self-adaptation of one's framework and one's lifestyle to one's disease, self-adaptation to a modification of the living conditions and the evolution of the therapy,
  • Results of tracking complications,
  • Planning of the next screening

The recognition of the early signs of hypoglycemia and ketoacidosis holds a very significant part in the education program.

Pharmacological treatments

Type I Diabetes is treated by insulin. It requires on behalf of the patient a frequent and systematic glycemic monitoring.

Weight-control is essential, the BMI must be lower than 95% of the curves of reference for the child. For that, hygiene-dietetic measures must be taken.

Teenagers must give up smoking. Helping them to give up may be necessary. All infections must be dealt with.


A diabetic child must be vaccinated as other children. It is recommended to vaccinate diabetics children against influenza.


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