Throughout the world, incidences of diabetes are on
the rise, and consequently so is diabetes amongst
children. Most children are affected by type 1
diabetes, although the number of children and young
adults affected by type 2 diabetes is beginning to
rise, particularly in America. Approximately 90 per
cent of young people with diabetes suffer from type
1 and the number of patients who are children varies
from place to place.
figure of 17 per 100,000 children developing
diabetes each year has been reported. As metabolic
syndrome, obesity and bad diets spread, so too have
the first incidences of type 2 diabetes, previously
Diabetes Caused in Children?
The actual causes
of the diabetic condition are little understood, in
both children and adults. It is widely speculated
that diabetes occurred when inherited genetic
characteristics are triggered by environmental
factors such as diet or exercise. Many type 1
diabetic children do not have diabetes in their
families however, so the exact cause remains a
Type 2 diabetes amongst children is usually caused
by an extremely bad diet from a very young age,
coupled with a sedentary lifestyle without exercise.
Do Children With Diabetes Exhibit?
Like adults, a number of symptoms may give early
warning that diabetes has developed. One or more of
the following symptoms may be associated with
diabetes: Thirst, tiredness, weight loss, frequent
urination. Amongst children, specific symptoms may
include stomachaches, headaches and behavioral
problems. Recurrent tummy pains and an unexplainable
history of illness should be treated as possible
heralds of diabetes.
What Can The
Parents of Children With Diabetes Do?
Keeping a strict eye on the blood glucose levels of
your child, avoiding lows and highs, can be a large
part of being a parent of a child with diabetes.
Parents must be aware that children with diabetes
have diet restrictions, and that their activity
levels need to be closely monitored. Initially, and
throughout the lifetime of the disease, diabetes can
be a serious strain. Patients and their families
alike should know that support is available.
Initially, the procedure for management and
treatment of the disease can seem very complicated.
Understanding how the disease affects your child,
being adaptable and patient, are essential to
successfully managing diabetes.
Some things to bear in mind include:
You should become familiar with
the symptoms of low blood glucose, and also
diabetic acidosis. As well as recognising these
conditions, you should know what to do if they
Monitor your child’s blood sugar
levels, and as soon as they are old enough teach
them how to do this. Similarly, as children
become older they need to learn how to
administer their own insulin injections.
Make sure that people know your
son or daughter is diabetic, and that they also
know what to do if the symptoms of low blood
glucose manifest themselves.
Ensure that glucose is always
What Sort of
Diet Should Children With Diabetes Eat?
Diabetics can eat exactly the same food as normal
people: it is a myth that they can only eat food
with no sugar for instance. However, diet is an
extremely important consideration for any diabetic,
particularly young diabetics. A dietician will be
able to advise you further, but it is certainly
essential that your child has a balanced and healthy
diet, high in complex carbohydrates and fibre.
Although you will have to build your family meals
around your diabetic relation, there is no reason
why this has to be a problem. A healthy diet
benefits anyone. The quantities of food that your
child can enjoy depend entirely on his or her size
and age, and will be established by the dietician
is up to both you and your child to understand how
their body copes with different foods, avoiding the
ones that are negative. It is necessary to be
careful with sweet food, but it need not be 100 per
cent off the menu.
What Kind of
Exercise Should Children With Diabetes Do?
Exercise is the second major factor in controlling
type 2 diabetes, and it is incredibly important for
all children suffering from diabetes.
Recommendations stand that children with diabetes
should try to exercise every day. However, parents
should be aware that physical activity lowers blood
may be necessary for your child to reduce their dose
of insulin, as in conjunction with exercise it can
significantly lower blood sugar levels and result in
hypos. When carrying out physical exercise your
child should be near sugar. Physical activity also
governs how much your child can eat.
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