The Pediatric Service Quirónsalud Valencia has recently signed a collaboration agreement with the Valencia Diabetes Association, thanks to which parents of children diagnosed with diabetes in this hospital receive assistance from volunteers in their first days, as well as support upon receiving medical discharge.

In Spain there is no national registry of all cases of diabetes mellitustipo 1, which is the most frequent affecting the population of pediatric age. But, according to current estimates, this disease affects about 10,000 children under the age of 15 and each year 1,200 new cases are diagnosed. Regarding the most affected age groups, Dr. Almudena Navarro, endocrinologist of the Pediatric Service of the Hospital Quirónsalud Valencia states that "although it may manifest itself at any time during childhood or adolescence, in the last years the age of debut has advanced, especially in children under 5 years of age ".

In recent years more cases of diabetes are being diagnosed and at younger ages. "Among the causes," Dr. Navarro explains, "are health personnel and a more sensitized general population, which allows for earlier diagnosis and treatment, facts that are of vital importance since it greatly reduces the risk of future complications. " For its diagnosis, it is enough to perform a capillary blood glucose test for the child, which consists of measuring the blood glucose by means of a simple test by means of the extraction of a simple drop of blood from the finger.

The origin of the disease is multifactorial: "On the one hand there is the genetic predisposition of each person and on the other hand the environmental factors, which can sometimes be triggers, such as the presence of viral infections," clarifies Dr. Navarro. Its initial symptoms are usually polyuria, which manifests when the child urinates many times and even in bed at night; polydipsia, when the child is very thirsty and is constantly drinking water; and an obvious loss of weight. It is the triad known as the 3P, "says the doctor.

Offer support from the first moment

For proper management of the disease Dr. Navarro advises adequate learning from the beginning, by the child and the family, of the different aspects that influence the patient, such as diet, exercise and insulin to obtain a good self-control and avoid, as far as possible, the appearance of complications in the future.

"Thanks to this initiative", declares Concha Aguilar, volunteer coordinator of the Valencia Diabetes Association, "we can offer tranquility, empathy, understanding and emotional support from the volunteers who have already started this path a long time ago. From a perspective as patients and having experience in day to day with diabetes, we collaborate with health professionals in the approach to this disease, given that emotionally, at the beginning, it can be very hard. "