Diabetes caused either due to the lack of proper production of insulin by the pancreas or due to the improper use of insulin in the human body is a condition which is not only affecting adults but also a large number of teenagers and children across the world. The lack of insulin gives rise to the blood sugar level or the glucose level in the body since the hormone insulin is responsible for the essential breakdown of carbohydrates and fats which, in turn, help in maintaining the required level of sugar and glucose in the blood. There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Dealing with diabetes is a very difficult task as there are a lot of complications and one has to be really careful with one’s lifestyle, diet, physical activity, etc. after having diagnosed with the disease. The situation becomes so much trickier when you are a parent and your child has developed the condition. It is true that with the child suffering from diabetes, your life shall never be the same as before and there is a host of added responsibilities on you and your partner. However, with a few little steps to be followed, you shall get accustomed to the ways and methods the disease should be managed so that your diabetic kid is able to lead a life which is as normal like all the other healthy kids around. All it requires is patience, a little homework, determination, and a strong mental attitude.
In this article, we shall try to explore the various ways in which you, as a parent of a kid who is suffering from the disease can tackle the situation without letting the child feel left out and different as compared to the other children around him or her. We shall, in the following paragraphs explore the symptoms of diabetes in a child, the mistakes which the parents of a diabetic child tend to commit and finally a few expert advice which shall help the parents in better dealing with the tricky situation. Join in for the article ‘Diabetes and Children: 10 Best Advice to the Parents of the Children Who Suffer from Diabetes.’
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Diabetes and Children
In order to understand some of the things and habits which the parents of the children suffering from diabetes should adopt, it is imperative to understand how does diabetes occur and affect children in the first place.
Although the actual cause and onset of the disease are facts not known, it is much speculated in the medical community that amongst the few reasons which cause diabetes include genetic factors, the type of lifestyle led, food habits, and even the type and extent of physical exercise. Further, it is a known fact that type 2 diabetes is caused when the child is lacking a proper and a healthy diet from a very tender age and there is hardly any physical movement by the child.
When we are talking about diabetes in children, it is very important to understand that the children are majorly affected by type 1 diabetes, so much so that type 1 diabetes is also known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is a condition where the child’s body fails to produce the important hormone, insulin. As a result, it becomes essential that the hormone is injected in the child externally through injections. This often becomes a very daunting task as you suddenly need to give injections, keep track of the total amount of carbohydrates taken, while also monitoring the blood sugar level of the child.
Symptoms of Diabetes in Children
A child may not be able to communicate effectively and it might be too late before he or she is diagnosed with the disease and the treatment for the same has started. Hence, it is often important for the parents to be completely aware of the symptoms of the disease so that no time is wasted and the child is able to lead a normal, healthy life.
Following are a few listed symptoms which might hint the parents that there are chances of his or her child contracting diabetes:
- Stomach aches on a regular basis
- Feeling too thirsty
- The need of going to the washroom time and again
- Sudden weight loss
- Headaches caused on a frequent and regular basis
- The otherwise energetic child suddenly starts feeling too tired at all times
- The child has begun to suffer from various fevers and any of the above symptoms suddenly and very frequently
If you are the parent of a child who has suddenly started exhibiting any of the above behaviors all of a sudden, there are high chances that your child has contracted diabetes and you need to get it checked at the earliest possible time. The treatment of diabetes is quite tricky and complicated and the treatment should take very minimal or no time to start.
Some Mistakes the Parents Should Avoid if His or Her Child is Suffering from Diabetes
When your child is suffering from diabetes, more often than not you are struck with panic which makes you take a few steps which often should be avoided to help the child get a proper treatment and lead a normal life.
Following are a few mistakes which should totally be avoided by the parents:
- Parents often tend to blame themselves once their kids are diagnosed with something as huge as diabetes. This causes a lot of stress and panic. Such a situation should be avoided as the sooner you accept this fact, the better will be the care and treatment of the kid.
- One of the other mistakes committed by the parents is that they simply fail to accept the fact that something as huge as diabetes has affected their child or Parents in such a scenario do need to remember, however, that is something which can affect anybody.
- In case you have more than one child and one of them is diagnosed with the disease, you have to divide your time in such a way that the other children do not feel left out. this situation is not healthy for maintaining a long-term relationship with your kids.
- It is very difficult for the child to handle a disease like diabetes. A lot of care and attention is needed for the same. Avoid categorizing your child as “special” if he or she is suffering from diabetes. It is true that this child needs a lot more attention than the other normal children, but there are other ways of doing the same rather than labeling him or her as “special” or “different.”
- Although it is of utmost importance to regularly check the blood sugar level and the type of diet a diabetes patient should have, it is imperative for you to not overindulge and devoid your diabetic kid with all types of food he or she loves. This might lead to overindulgence of such food in the long term, which is utterly dangerous if your child already suffers from diabetes.
- As your child begins to grow old with the disease, you should gradually stop taking control of his or her condition, and once a while should remain open to your diabetic child’s decision as well with regards to the treatment, food to be eaten, etc.
Hence, avoid the above mistakes and give the best possible treatments to your young ones enabling them to lead a healthy life even while they face a situation like diabetes which could come with other related complications.
Top 10 Advice to the Parents Whose Kids Suffer from Diabetes
In the following paragraph, we will see what are the top 10 advice given by the experts to those parents who have one or more of their children suffering from diabetes or its related complications.
Following is the recommended list:
1. When you are the parent of a child who is suffering from a situation which is as critical as diabetes, you need to be well prepared about the disease and should do your homework first. For example, you need to understand from the doctor how does the disease work, what can be the complications, and what are the critical things that should be kept in mind. Also, you might need to learn how to give medications to your young ones like insulin injections, how to maintain the level of required blood glucose in case the same goes critically down, etc.
2. Maintaining a healthy level of blood glucose and sugar in the blood is of utmost importance and is something on which you cannot comprise. Hence, as a parent you need to carefully monitor that there are no exceptions: either high or low, as far as the blood glucose level is concerned- you need to get the same regularly checked.
3. Besides the above knowledge, as a parent, you will need to understand that diabetes comes along with different complications such as diabetic eye, kidney related issues, cardiovascular diseases, diabetic ketoacidosis, amongst others. You have to do a proper homework when it comes to even these related complications.
4. Since diet plays such an important role in dealing with the disease, you can take a few steps to control and count the calorie intake of your child. You can also take simple steps to make the simple and the seemingly boring food delicious and healthy for your diabetic child. Besides, to the maximum possible extent, try to feed the whole family with the same food and do not prepare anything extra or special for your diabetic child. This shall help the kid to feel as normal and healthy as possible.
5. As a parent, it is necessary for you to understand how the onset of diabetes has affected your child in every possible way. You need to adapt to the situation carefully and also remain patient with the treatment. Only then can your diabetic child lead a life as normal and healthy as the other children around.
6. Treatment of diabetes often involves a strict diet, particular lifestyle, and a well- balanced life and exercise. As a parent, you need to be more organized and sorted when it comes to planning things out. It becomes very difficult to keep track of every little thing such as insulin injections, checking the level of sugar, etc. Hence, as a parent, you could use very simple organizational techniques such as keeping reminders, alarm clocks, a checklist of the things needed, etc. These small steps often prove to be extremely useful in dealing with the adverse situation.
7. When you son or daughter are around other people like their friends and families, as a parent, it is advisable that you inform these people of your child’s health condition and also educate them on certain matters like what are the signs of the blood sugar going low, what do you do in such a situation, how to take insulin injections, etc. You might have children going to school and is such a situation it becomes extremely important that you educate the teachers as to how to take care of your diabetic child.
8. If one of your children is suffering from diabetes, and you are planning to have more children, you definitely would want to prevent the onset of diabetes again. In such a situation, experts advise that you consult your doctor first about the decision and the way the pregnancy should be handled in order to avoid any adverse situation. Doctors often recommend saving the newborn child’s cord blood but the same needs to be discussed in length.
9. Slowly and steadily, as a parent, you will need to understand and embrace the fact that it is ultimately the child who has to deal with the situation himself or herself in the long run. Hence, it will become important that you listen to the needs of your diabetic child. This is especially important in those scenarios where the child has contracted the disease early on and is now aware of how to lead a life along with diabetes. You have to slowly let go and let your child take the decisions of how to manage diabetes and its related complications.
10. Finally, what you need to adopt is a positive attitude and also you would need to ask for some help and support as and when needed. The disease has to be managed in the long run and as such, it becomes extremely important that while you are dealing with your diabetic child, you keep all the negative emotions and thoughts at bay. Besides, as and when required, you should not shy off from taking the support and seeking help from the therapist, doctors, other parents of a diabetic child, etc.
Dealing with diabetes and its related complications is certainly not an easy task to handle. As a parent, it is a test of your attitude, mental and physical strength, and emotions coupled with a lot of sacrifices when your child is diagnosed with the condition. The above advice and tips by the experts can help you deal with the situation in a better way and help you in leading a normal life to the maximum possible extent.
We hope that the above post has been helpful in removing some of the doubts and providing some knowledge as to how to deal with diabetes and its related complications in case you are the parent of a child who is has been diagnosed with a disease like diabetes. The key to diabetes management is a good control over the level of glucose and sugar in the blood. Maintaining a balanced sugar level will go a long way in dealing with the condition and enabling the child to lead a normal and healthy life ahead.
Parenting a child who is suffering from diabetes is certainly the most difficult task to handle and it takes a toll on your entire life. It is the entire family which suffers a setback. In order to take control of the situation and developing an atmosphere wherein you want to treat your diabetic child as a normal and healthy child, there are huge sacrifices which need to be made. However, determination, patience, education, and a few above-mentioned do’s and don’ts will go a long way in leading a normal life.
Having said that, proper consultation with the medical expert, educating yourself about the disease and its associated complications, handling medication of your diabetic child, and also educating the extended family members and your social groups about the way this condition should be handled is the key!!