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Free Your Child from Type 1 Diabetes Worries

Free Your Child from Type 1 Diabetes Worries

Managing Type 1 Diabetes in children

Imagine our cells have a lock that needs a key to open and allow glucose to enter the cells. Insulin is like a key that opens our cell’s lock, allowing glucose to enter and get converted into energy. Now, this insulin is either not made at all or made very less in Type 1 diabetes. Glucose or blood sugar can’t get into cells without insulin and hence, builds up in the blood. This high blood sugar damages the body. People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin daily.

It typically occurs in children and young adults, although it can appear at any age.

What causes type 1 diabetes?

The exact reason is still unknown. But the known fact is that the body attacks itself by mistake which destroys the cells that make insulin. If we have certain genes or someone in our close family has them, then we have a greater risk of developing diabetes.

How do we know if a person may have type 1 diabetes?

Symptoms of type 1 diabetes are serious and usually happen quickly, over a few days to weeks. Symptoms can include:

  • increased thirst and urination
  • increased hunger
  • blurred vision
  • fatigue
  • unexplained weight loss

Sometimes the first symptoms are signs of a life-threatening condition called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). Some symptoms of DKA include:

  • breath that smells fruity
  • dry or flushed skin
  • nausea or vomiting
  • stomach pain
  • trouble breathing
  • trouble paying attention or feeling confused

Is type 1 diabetes a serious condition?

It can become fatal if it is undiagnosed or not managed for a long time. Problems like hypoglycemia and Diabetic Ketoacidosis can occur as well.

Let me explain what that means. Hypoglycemia is the drop in blood sugar that needs to be treated quickly. Too much insulin, waiting too long for a meal or snack, not eating enough, or getting extra physical activity can cause this state.

Approximately 30% of children come with Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) and then find out that they have type 1 diabetes. This state develops when the body doesn’t have enough insulin to allow blood sugar into the cells for use as energy. The two most common causes are illness and missing insulin shots.

How to manage type 1 diabetes?

Taking care each day, along with insulin and any other medicines can help manage diabetes. We can manage this condition by following a diabetic meal plan, being physically active, and checking blood glucose often. Moreover, keeping a positive attitude can go a long way.

This condition is a bit difficult to manage with children. This is because children have characteristics and needs that are different from adults. Parents will be involved in diabetes care on a day-to-day basis if a child has type 1 diabetes—especially a young child. For example, serving them healthy foods to giving insulin injections to watching for and treating hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Therefore, we need to understand the importance of involving adults in the child’s diabetes management in caring for children with diabetes.

Does diet play a role?

Usually, when children are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, they are often underweight already. Therefore, their diet and nutrition play a major role in gaining weight and managing type 1 diabetes.

Although, it is often one of the most difficult aspects of treatment. Of course, no child likes to follow a diet plan. Here comes the role of a dietitian. We also need to keep in mind that the child’s nutrition plan will keep changing with age, physical activity, and growth rate, height, weight.

Carbohydrate Counting

Carbohydrate counting is one of the best and easiest methods to plan a child’s meals and keep a check on the blood glucose levels. It gives an idea of how much blood glucose levels will rise after the meal.

Counting carbs also offer more variety to the meal plan. Counting carbohydrate servings provides an accurate“guess” of how blood glucose will rise after a meal or snack.

Now, how do we count Carbohydrates?

Firstly, carbohydrates are present majorly in sugars, cereals, then pulses, fruits, and milk products. Non-veg sources contain no carbs. These carbs are measured in grams and may be referred to in grams, exchanges, servings, or carb choices. Foods containing 15g carbohydrates are called 1 carb exchange.

For e.g1 tablespoon sugar =1 apple = 1slice of bread = ½ cup oatmeal = 15 g of carbs = 1 carb exchange

The insulin dosage determines the number of carbs to give. The type of carbs is also important. It is best to avoid refined or simple carbs like a simple sugar, refined flour, bakery products, etc., and give more complex carbs such as whole grains.

How to manage your child's type 1 diabetes at school?

We know children usually spend 4–8 h each day in school. Some older students are comfortable testing their blood sugar, injecting insulin, and adjusting levels if they use an insulin pump. But younger students and those who just found out they have diabetes need help with everyday diabetes care. Also, being physically active is as important for kids with diabetes as other kids.

A few things that can be done are:

  • The school teacher/personnel should have appropriate knowledge of managing diabetes so that the student with diabetes can participate fully in all school activities.
  • The parents can make a backpack with all necessary things for their child that he can use every day.For example, blood sugar meter, insulin and syringes/pens, antiseptic wipes, water, glucose tablets or other fast-acting carbs like fruit juice or hard candy (about 10-15g) that will raise blood sugar levels quickly.
  • Moreover,parents canlet the teacher know specific signs to look for if the child’s blood sugar is too low. The teacher may notice the signs before the child does and alert him or her to eat an appropriate snack or get help.

Hence, educating parents and their children with Type 1 diabetes is of utmost importance. Even though the life expectancy stats for people with this condition are high, the quality of life still deteriorates if proper care is not taken.

Manage Type 1 Diabetes

Connect with our team for personalized Diet plans and counseling sessions for Type 1 Diabetes:

Email: thebasicmeals@gmail.com

Or call @ +919872995207/+918447131858

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