- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Childhood Diabetes: Tips for Raising a Child With Diabetes
Childhood diabetes is one of the most developed medical conditions of school-aged children. It's estimated that in 2010 alone there were more than 210,000 cases of diabetes diagnosed in people under the age of 20 years-old. There are many more that go undiagnosed for years.
Dealing with childhood diabetes will affect your entire family; there's just no getting around that. Still, there are ways you can minimize those effects, and keep some relative normalcy in your day-to-day family life. There are lots of tips and tricks you can use each day to manage your child's diabetes, and there are many forms of help out there you can turn to for help and guidance.
If you're child is suffering from diabetes, the following valuable information can be useful.
What Is Childhood Diabetes?
Childhood diabetes is a disease characterized by the body having high amounts of glucose in the child's bloodstream. This condition is a direct result of the body's insulin production going haywire. In order to better understand how this condition comes about, it's good to know how the body works with regard to sugar levels. Here's how it's supposed to work in a child without diabetes.
The child eats food that contains sugar. That sugar is digested and broken down in a less complexes sugar called glucose. Glucose is supposed to circulate throughout the body, and as it does, it enters the cells where it is used up as fuel for the body. The insulin a child's body produces is supposed to help the glucose get into the cells. If the child has diabetes this process doesn't happen as it should.
In a child with diabetes, the amount of insulin produced in the pancreas doesn't adjust itself correctly, and the glucose isn't able to get into the cells, and is instead, left in the bloodstream. As a result, the level of sugar in the blood can quickly become too high and have dangerous, and sometimes, fatal consequences.
The Consequences of Childhood Diabetes
How your child's health is affected...
Children who suffer from childhood diabetes have a significant increase in the risk of developing certain conditions that damage parts of their body; all resulting from high glucose (Sugar) in the child's bloodstream.
Eye damage occurs when the little blood vessels in the back area of the child's eyes become enlarged and damaged. The damaged blood vessels can close off, and newer, weaker ones replace them. Because the newer blood vessels are so much weaker, there is a greater risk of them leaking. This leakage of blood, and scar tissue that develops with this process, can cause serious vision issues in a child that include total blindness.
The blood vessels in the child's kidneys can leak as well. With time, some of the blood vessels will collapse forcing more pressure to be put on the vessels that are still working. This added workload can cause those blood vessels to collapse. Eventually, as more and more vessels collapse, the kidneys aren't able to function properly. Childhood diabetes can also lead to nerve damage.
The nerves that allow your child to sense changes in temperature, pressure and even pain, become damaged. This occurs most commonly in the extremities, and as a result, the child could injure herself and not even know it.
How to Make Managing Your Child's Diabetes Easier
The main thing to remember is that your child will be looking at you for guidance and reassurance. Just because she suffers from childhood diabetes doesn't mean you're no longer a God in her eyes. You are still her rock. That said, it's important for you to keep a positive outlook and attitude on the situation no matter how hard it may seem.
Adjusting the entire family's diet can help your child from feeling as if she's different. It's probably not possible to make a complete transformation that will accommodate both your child's needs and the food desires of the rest of the family, but it is possible to make sacrifices in certain areas. Additionally, you may want to limit the intake of certain foods to when your child isn't around.
Allow your child to have a hands-on approach to her diabetes. This can be as simple as allowing her to decide where she wants to test on her body or helping her keep a journal of what she's eaten and when she's taken her medication. There are many ways she can help with the day-to-day management of her childhood diabetes.
Other ways of making it easier for her and the entire family to live with childhood diabetes are to educate others to what it is, talk with other parents who are dealing with it as well, and allow your daughter to talk to other children who suffer from childhood diabetes. You may also want to get some time away if you can to give yourself a break from it all.
There is Help Out There
Why Go It Alone if You Don't Have To?
There are literally hundreds of places you can turn to in order to find the help and resources needed for managing childhood diabetes. This website has a lot of links that you may find helpful.
I'd could go on about diabetes, but I think you'll understand better, and learn more, by hearing their personal stories.
Please follow the links below...
The best diabetes resources
What's your best resource for dealing with your child's diabetes?
© 2014 Trudi Buck