Diabetes is a disease that affects all ages, not just the elderly. This condition can also affect children. The Indonesian Pediatrician Association (IDAI) recently stated that diabetes cases in children have increased by 700% over a period of ten years.1,2

Diabetes mellitus (DM) or diabetes is a metabolic disorder caused by a chronic increase in blood sugar levels above normal levels. This is due to impaired production of the hormone insulin by the pancreas gland.2

Causes of Diabetes in Children

In general, there are two types of diabetes that occur in children, namely type 1 and 2 diabetes.  Type 1 diabetes is the type that most often occurs in children.  This condition occurs due to autoimmune disorders, in which the child's immune system attacks its own  pancreas so that  the function of the pancreas is impaired. 3

Factor risk of type 1 diabetes in children: 3

> Genetic

> Have parents or siblings with this type of diabetes.

The child has a viral infectious disease.

Type 2 diabetes is rare in children. This condition will increase along with the cases  of childhood obesity. In this condition, the insulin resistance will occur.4

The following factors are believed to increase the risk:4

> Family history of type 2 diabetes.

> Overweight or obese.

> Child born prematurely.

> Born to a mother with during pregnancy.

> Poor lifestyle, such as frequent consumption of fatty and high-calorie foods.

> Rarely do physical activity.



Here are the symptoms of diabetes in children:2

> Eat and drink a lot.

> Lots of peeing and wetting the bed.

> Drastic weight loss in the 2-6 weeks before diagnosis

> Fatigue and irritability

> Other signs of emergency to watch out for include shortness of breath, dehydration, shock and ketone-smelling breath.


Treatment in a child with diabetes

Diabetes is indeed incurable. However, children can lead a normal life like other children when blood sugar levels can be controlled. Here are some ways to treat a child with diabetes:5

1. Regularly checking blood sugar

Routinely do blood sugar  check are the main way to ensure your child's blood sugar levels remain controlled.

2. Monitor insulin use

Children with type 1 diabetes need insulin substitutes every day.

3. Pay attention to your little one's food intake

Just like other healthy children, food for diabetic children should also be diverse with  balanced child nutrition.

4. Invite the child to exercise regularly

Together with your child, do sports or physical activity regularly and make it part of the daily routine.


Hellosehat staff. Ketahui Semua Hal Seputar Diabetes pada Anak. Last reviewed on December 2021. Available at:


P2ptmkemkes staff. Anak juga bisa diabetes. Last accessed on February 2023. Available at:


Mayo Clinic Staff. Type 1 Diabetes in children. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Last reviewed on 11th January 2023. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/type-1-diabetes-in-children/symptoms-causes/syc-20355306

Mayo Clinic Staff. Type 2 Diabetes in children. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Last reviewed on 31st March 2022. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/type-2-diabetes-in-children/symptoms-causes/syc-20355318

Tal Grunwald, MD. Treating type 1 Diabetes. Kids Healthy Nemours. Last reviewed on January 2022. Available at: https://hellosehat.com/parenting/kesehatan-anak/penyakit-pada-anak/diabetes-pada-anak/


Image source: https://health.kompas.com/read/2021/11/14/060100368/penyebab-diabetes-pada-anak-dan-cara-mencegahnya