A chronic medical condition called Diabetes affects millions of kids and teenagers worldwide. According to a report published in June 2022 by the ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research), Type 1 diabetes affects more than 95,000 children under the age of 14 in India, and an additional 15,000 cases are reported each year.
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Type 1 diabetes, which affects the majority of children, develops when the body is unable to produce enough of the hormone insulin, which controls the body’s blood sugar levels. Without insulin, the body’s cells are unable to absorb glucose, which results in dangerously high blood glucose levels. 90% of paediatric cases of diabetes are Type 1; the remainder are typically Type 2 cases. Genetics, the environment, and viruses all contribute to the onset of autoimmunity in type 1 diabetes, also referred to as insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.
In this type of diabetes, the immune system targets and destroys the pancreatic beta cells that create insulin. Unlike Type 2 diabetes, also known as non-insulin dependent diabetes, which frequently affects older children and teenagers. It is linked to nutritional and behavioural factors, like as inactivity, junk food consumption, and increased screen time, that result in overweight and obese kids who have insulin resistance.
Identifying the symptoms
It’s critical for parents to understand the fundamental diabetes symptoms and indicators. One of the main symptoms of Type 1 diabetes is increased urine, both during the day and at night. Other symptoms include intermittent bedwetting, excessive thirst and hunger, rapid weight loss, and extreme exhaustion. If a child is fat or overweight with a high BMI, it is always advisable to contact a paediatric endocrinologist and screen for Type 2 diabetes.
help them emotionally, but avoid treating them like patients.
Despite the fact that diabetes is a chronic condition, a child with diabetes can nonetheless lead a normal life. To ensure the child’s wellbeing, parents must accept the diagnosis and put their attention on management and treatment. One method to achieve this is to treat the youngster as normally as you can, without being overly indulgent or overprotective.
Treatment and Management
The standard course of treatment for a child with Type 1 diabetes is insulin injections. Insulin cannot be administered orally or as a tablet because stomach acids break it down. Insulin injections come in two varieties: short-acting and long-acting. Long-acting injections are normally administered once daily. short-acting injections are typically administered before meals to assist control the sugar in the food. The timing and frequency of insulin injections, as well as the timing of meals, should all be consistent for parents.
Dietary changes and lifestyle adjustments are crucial for type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes might be reversible with the help of a nutritious diet, consistent exercise, and proactive weight-management measures.
What can children eat if they are diabetic?
There is no specific diabetic diet for youngsters. The best diet is any healthy diet. A A balanced diet consisting of 50–55 percent carbohydrates, 20–30 percent proteins, and 10-15 percent fat is advised for kids with Type 1 diabetes. It recommended that kids consume 1-2 fruits and 3-5 vegetables per day. Adopting particular eating habits can benefit the whole family and encourage kids to maintain a healthy diet.
Follow the Plate Method
Use a medium-sized dish and split it into three halves to make a balanced dinner. Give your dish a third of fruits and vegetables, a third of protein, and a third of carbohydrates. Although it is typically advised to consume less simple carbohydrates and more complex ones, carbohydrates should not be completely cut out of the diet. Diabetes-affected kids can eat everything, but only in moderation.
What to avoid?
It’s crucial to stay as far away from processed and junk food as you can. This includes baked goods including cakes, biscuits, chips, and others. Although it is acceptable to occasionally indulge in these meals in moderation, it is typically advised to keep your intake to a minimum.
Can my child play and participate in sports?
Kids with diabetes need to be encouraged to be active and move their bodies for at least an hour every day. Monitoring their blood sugar levels is essential due to the possibility of low blood sugar during activity. For kids who will be engaging in prolonged physical activity, it is recommended that they carry a snack and a glucometer to check their blood sugar levels. The youngster should be given a snack to raise their blood sugar levels if low blood sugar is found.
- monitoring your blood sugar at least four times every day
- administering insulin at least four times every day.
- Tracking the amount of carbohydrates in your diet
- Understanding the factors that influence your blood glucose levels and adapting as necessary.
- Maintain a desired blood glucose level.
Technology and Diabetes
Diabetes care is being transformed by technology. Diabetes care has improved to make life easier for parents and kids, from quick insulin analogues, smart pens, and continuous glucose monitoring devices to insulin pumps and closed-loop systems, but they can be expensive. Therefore, having a conversation with the doctor and adjusting the care accordingly are crucial.