Pediatric Diabetes Care

The Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes at Saint Barnabas Medical Center treats all endocrine disorders in children, with its Diabetes Program, recognized by the American Diabetes Association, offering team-centered evaluation and management of Juvenile Diabetes and endocrine-related diagnosis. We offer state-of-the-art care to patients from birth to age 21 with diabetes and other endocrine disorders. Our medical teams include certified pediatric endocrinologists and advance practice nurses who work closely with patients and families to educate them and make referrals when necessary. Nutritionists and social workers specially trained in endocrine disorders round out the team, which provides treatment of:

  • Diabetes
  • Growth disorders
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Pubertal disorders

Our Centers are comprehensive, multidisciplinary, family-centered and culturally sensitive program to prevent and treat childhood obesity, type 1 and 2 Diabetes Mellitus, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, short stature, failure to thrive and precocious, delayed puberty, dyslipidemia and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Our programs use a multidisciplinary approach including social support and nutritional counseling and involve the entire family to effectuate lasting change in the home environment. Our Centers have and continue to develop specialized methods to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate care, support, education and treatment.

What is type 1 diabetes?

The most common type of diabetes in children is type 1 diabetes. In fact, according to the American Diabetes Association, type 1 diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases in children. Type 1 diabetes accounts for 5 percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes in the U.S.Type 1 diabetes may also be known by a variety of other names, including:

  • Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM)
  • Juvenile diabetes
  • Brittle diabetes
  • Sugar diabetes

There are two forms of type 1 diabetes:

  • Idiopathic type 1. This refers to rare forms of the disease with no known cause.
  • Immune-mediated diabetes. An autoimmune disorder in which the body's immune system destroys, or attempts to destroy, the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. Immune-mediated diabetes is the most common form of type 1 diabetes and is generally referred to as type 1 diabetes.

The cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown. However, it is believed that people inherit a tendency to develop diabetes, and that some outside trigger may be involved. Type 1 diabetes is the result of the body's failure to produce insulin, the hormone that allows glucose to enter the cells of the body to provide fuel. This is the result of an autoimmune process in which the body's immune system attacks and destroys the insulin producing cells of the pancreas. When glucose cannot enter the cells, it builds up in the blood, depriving the cells of nutrition. People with type 1 diabetes must take daily insulin injections and regularly monitor their blood sugar levels.

What is type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder resulting from the body's inability to produce enough, or to properly use, insulin. It has previously been called non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). Without enough insulin, the body cannot move blood sugar into the cells. It is a chronic disease with no known cure.

The exact cause of type 2 diabetes is unknown. However, there is an inherited susceptibility which causes it to run in families. Although a person can inherit a tendency to develop type 2 diabetes, it usually takes another factor, such as obesity, to bring on the disease. There is an increase in the number of cases of type 2 diabetes in children and teens. The rise may be due to obesity and decreased physical activity among children. The risk for type 2 diabetes increases with age. Type 2 diabetes may be prevented or delayed by following a program to eliminate or reduce risk factors, particularly losing weight and increasing exercise.

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