What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a disorder in which the sugar formed inside the body is not taken up by the cells for the production of energy. This causes increased sugar  level  in the blood. Diabetes is also called “diabetes mellitus.”

There are 2 types of Diabetes-Type 1 and Type 2.Insulin is a hormone that enables the sugar to enter inside the cells .In Type 1 DM, there is little or no Insulin produced by the body. In Type 2 DM, there is either too little Insulin formed or the body does not respond to the Insulin present.

Most children with diabetes have “type 1 diabetes.” But some children, especially overweight teenagers, have “type 2 diabetes.” This article

discusses type 1 diabetes.

Who will take care of my child’s diabetes?

 Your child’s diabetes team will probably include a doctor, diabetes nurse, dietitian (food expert), and sometimes a mental health counselor and a pharmacist. They will train you how to take care of your child both at home and at school. Eventually as your child grows he/she will learn to control his/her own blood sugar level.

Will my child need to take medicine?

 Yes. Children with type 1 diabetes need to take a medicine called insulin every day. Insulin works to lower a person’s blood sugar level .Insulin usually comes in the form of an injection or a pump. There are different types of insulin. Your child will need several insulin doses each day. Your child’s diabetes team will teach you how and when to administer the Insulin injections.

Will my child need tests?  

Yes. You will need to check your child’s blood sugar level 3-4 times each day depending on the blood sugar control. To do this, you will use a device called a “blood glucose meter.” Your child’s doctor or nurse will show you how to use your child’s blood glucose meter. Your child’s doctor or nurse will also do a blood test called an “A1C” on a regular basis. This test shows what your child’s average blood sugar level

has been over the past 2 to 3 months .Dose adjustments are then made to bring the sugar under control. 

Do I have to change my child’s diet?

 You might need to prepare a certain diet plan to monitor when,what and how much your child eats so as to bring his/her sugar levels within the normal range.

Your diabetes team will work with you to:

  • Help you plan healthy meals and snacks for your child ?Help you make a schedule for meals and snacks
  • Teach you how to choose the correct insulin dose based on what your child eats and how much exercise he or she gets

What else can I do to help my child?

 You can:

  • Learn to keep your child’s blood sugar levels under control – Levels that are very low or very high can cause serious problems. They need to be treated right away. Also, having high blood sugar levels over many years can damage the kidneys, eyes, nerves, and blood vessels.

 Learn the symptoms that could mean that your child’s blood sugar level is too low or too high These symptoms can be different, depending on a child’s age.

Learn what to do when your child’s blood sugar level is too low or too high

  Know when to treat it at home and when to go to the hospital or call for an ambulance.

Have your child wear a medical bracelet or necklace so that others will know about their diabetes in case of an emergency 

What will my child’s life be like? Most children with diabetes lead healthy and active lives. Over time, they learn how to take care of their diabetes on their own.But having diabetes can make children feel sad or worried. If your child is sad or worried, have him or her talk to the doctor, nurse, or mental health counselor.