Diabetes and Children: Symptoms and Treatment

Pregnancy is such a wonderful thing.  I remember mine vividly, and consider it the best thing that ever happened to me.  But I could hardly believe my ears when my OB-gyne told me I had gestational diabetes.  It’s that kind of diabetes you get when you’re pregnant.  Luckily, mine disappeared right after I gave birth.

This has got me thinking about my daughter.  Could she be predisposed to getting diabetes at some point in her life?  Could your kid be showing signs of diabetes?

First off, it helps to know what diabetes is all about.  There are two main types of diabetes in children:  type 1 (also known as juvenile diabetes) and type 2 (adult-onset diabetes).  Diabetes happens when the body could not change blood glucose- sugar- into energy.  There is a deficiency in the production of insulin which is responsible for doing that.  But for Type 1 diabetes, the body doesn’t produce insulin at all.

Be on the lookout if your child is starting to show the following common symptoms of diabetes:  frequent urination and thirst, fatigue, weight loss, headaches, tummy aches, problems with behavior.  Don’t turn a blind eye, and do take your child to see a doctor quick.

If your child then becomes diagnosed with having diabetes, don’t lose hope, as it’s hardly the end of the world.  Thankfully, there are ways to deal with it.  Your child may be placed on a Type 2 diabetes diet to help control his blood sugar levels.  You may have to regularly watch his blood sugar levels using blood glucose monitors.

For those with Type 1 diabetes, they may need insulin shots to supply their bodies with the insulin they need.  This is going to be a lifelong process.

It is so important for us parents to catch the signs of diabetes in our children early on.  If it turns out that your kid does have diabetes, always follow your doctor’s orders, and practice living a healthy lifestyle.  This will prevent greater complications in the future.  It likewise helps to join diabetes education programs whenever possible.  Through it all, just always be there to support your kid.

About Pepper

I am a single working mom, trying to raise my kid the best way I know how. Join me as I navigate my way through the jungle that is Single Mom-hood, armed with rose-colored glasses and strength of spirit. As pepper adds spice to food, so does my daughter add spice to my life. She makes life no less than…PEPPERRIFIC!

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  1. Children’s diabetes experts see young patients at our Boston campus—and at several locations throughout Eastern Massachusetts.

    • Chuck Eichten has had type 1 diabetes for over 30 years. He has wreittn a book called, The Book of Better targeted at anyone with diabetes. The book’s all encompassing message to you: that perfect isn’t possible but improvement always is so why not strive for that?. Talk about hitting the nail on the head.The book is wreittn in an extremely straight forward style, suitable to those who respond to that and perhaps, most any man. It’s a really witty book, includes fun visual art and a lot of aesthetic appeal (with exception of some white font on yellow background-well at least it’s large white font). This comes as no surprise since Chuck Eichten is Nike’s creative director. In fact, Nike’s timeless Just Do It slogan totally relates to this book, which admittedly delighted me to no end.I have to say, I felt like boxing with the author a couple times. He says insulin pumps are the Best Available Treatment . I agree on the condition that it is actually what works best for someone. And someone isn’t equivalent to everyone. I haven’t had an A1c over 6.0% in over 5 years and I’ve never had a seizure or passed out from a low and I don’t use a pump. I did for seven years and it did not work for me. In Eichten’s opinion, you’re crazy if you have access to a pump but don’t have one. He talks about how pumps allow a person the flexibility to sleep in late, to skip meals or snack in between them, and to be more sexy on dates because it’s probably more of a turn on to be on a first date and hit some buttons on a gadget that’s mysteriously connected to you by tubing than to inject a needle at the table. I use Lantus and Humalog insulin and between the two I can sleep in and skip meals and frankly, I feel sexier when I’m not connected to the pump. It’s just easier to move around and wear dresses and door knobs don’t yank me back by two feet of tubing. And also, Chuck, how do you test your blood sugar? Because the only way I can do it is by bleeding. And I don’t know anyone who finds bleeding sexy. But I know of someone, who find me sexy whether I’m connected to a pump or injecting a shot or pricking my finger. So for me, the human element is the key. Though, many might agree with you and that’s the beauty of it I suppose. It would just be nice to have the other option properly acknowledged because it can and does work for some people.I can’t help but wonder if this hailing of the pump is partly one person’s way of supporting technology to continue advancing for our benefit. If that’s the case, then great and thank you. But I worry about those who can’t get access to a pump, who hear that they are the best thing, and then lose all hope in their MDI. And we all know how important it is that people have hope, right? In all essence it’s like we’re in the same league, playing on different teams, but with the same end goal of winning in mind.Enough about pumps! The book, for me, is an awesome dose of perspective. At least once every chapter I exclaimed, YES! out loud, prompting my husband to ask me what the commotion was all about. The author does a fantastic job of confronting the root issues that people have with certain aspects of life with diabetes and then he explains them in a way that makes a person realize he is right and our excuses are absolutely useless.For example, I have long been in an internal battle over the Yes I can eat that campaign. I feel like yes I can but, I want to be healthy so often, no I can’t You know what I mean? Well, the author reminds us that there are two conditions to the yes I can eat that . We’re empowered patients, after all. People with type 1 can eat anything but if they’re smart, they are going to be picky about when and how much they eat, not because they are strict and deny themselves pleasure, but because they know they deserve to take care of themselves. This is a really powerful message and there are many like this in the book regarding diet and exercise and one’s attitude. By the way, Chuck eats a totally unhealthy breakfast every day and impressively balances it out in real life way you will want to read about.This book does another fine thing by reasoning with our emotions and appealing to our genuine worries. For example he says, You are not boring, you are consistent . People think it’s fun and attractive to be spontaneous and diabetes tries to challenge us on that. And the author is reminding us that the fact of the matter is diabetes likes consistency and if we try to keep some things consistent, we’ll be better off.He also heavily promotes that all people with diabetes move each day. Instead of sounding like a doctor you’ll be healthier, your risk for heart disease will be lower , the author actually goes to the true places in all of us and mentions how, for example, if we move more, we’ll spark a chain of events that will ultimately

  2. Ask your doctor for a diet gnilediue. You can eat just about anything but have to remember that a good share of what you eat that is not good for you is empty nutrition. Follow the Diabetic Pyramid which you can get on line. Cut down on portions and you will be surprised at how much you really do NOT need to eat. Good luck. If you can control it by diet alone you will be way ahead of the game! It is your life and your health and it is up to you!Here is the pyramid in case you can’t find it. The bottom is breads, grains and other starches. This includes beans, peas, and corn which are really veggies but are too starchy to eat as veggies. You get to have 6-11 servings a day. The servings are small. That is a 1/2 c potatoes, yams, peas, corn, beans (not french fries!), 1/3 c of rice or pasta (if you smash it gently down into the cup it is way more than you think it will be), one slice of bread. I/4 of a large bagel. So, if you want a sandwich for lunch that is 2 servings.The next step up is half veggies and half fruits. For the veggies you get 3-5 servings a day. That is 1 c raw and 1/2 c cooked. Just about any veggie not listed with the starches is okay but dark leafy green veggies are really good for you. And so are carrots.Fruits you get 2-4 servings a day. That is 1/2 canned fruit (in it’s own juice, NOT heavy syrup. Lite fruit is okay. One small fresh fruit is a serving. If you get bananas get the smallest regular ones you can. If you get huge ones it is 2 servings. Good fruits are melons cuz you can have 1 cut cut up, raspberries you can have 1c and strawberries whole (w/o sugar or add some Equal) you can have 1 1/4-1 1/2 cups! I measure them, cut them up and sprinkle a packet of Equal on if they are not in season.The next level up is about 1/4-1/3 milk and the rest meat. Milk means milk not all dairy. You get 2-3 servings a day. Use low fat or fat free. Start with the low fat if you hate Skim MIlk and you will get used to the watered down taste. Also you can have 1 c of yogurt but get fat free. You can get flavors but watch the sugar content. 15 grams or under should be okay and don’t get the fruit on the bottom stuff. If you don’t really like yogurt (I don’t) try getting a plain flavor like lemon or peach in the fat free and freeze it and eat it like a frozen treat. it is yummy.Meats you get 4-6 small servings a day. You can have any kind of meat as long as you blot fat , don’t eat the fat that is attached and the serving is the size of a deck of cards. Obviously meat like skinless chicken breast and unbreaded fish will have less fat. I rely on spices to make it taste better. 1/4 c of cottage cheese, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter or 1/2 cup of tofu (yuck) is also considered meat. As well as a small handful of unsalted nuts like walnuts, pecans or almonds.The top of the pyramid is the tiny point of it and that is fats. oils, and sweets. You can have a small portion of cake or pie every once in awhile. Try to stay away from oils (olove oil is the best or corn oil) and fats but it is inevitable you will have some. Don’t add a lot of butter to your food and try to use reduced fat margarine (I Can’t Beleive It’s Not Butter is good). Cook with Pam cooking spray (I acutally get the Meijer store brand which works the same but it way cheaper.)Once you get used to THINKING about what you are eating it gets easier. Make a game out of it. You won’t really feel hungry with all that food you can use but you may feel deprived from what you used to eat. You will get over that eventually and once in awhile you can have the sweets or fries. Just remember that if you cheat you are only cheating yourself.If you are married your family will benefit, too, and you will more than likely lose weight and that can’t be a bad thing, right?Good luck and good health!!PS While some doctors still do call it borderline Diabetic usually now they say pre-Diabetic .

  3. Aidan Bertie says

    There are so many USA campus which is help for children’s diabetes problem.
    Your article is such very informative.
    Thanks for sharing


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