According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), 8.3% of the US population has diabetes. Type 1 diabetes, previously known as juvenile diabetes, is primarily diagnosed in children and teens. In honor of improving care for diabetic children in the new year, Woodburn Pediatrics believes it is important for parents to have a comprehensive understanding of what causes type 1 diabetes, how it affects children’s health, and how it can be managed.
What is Type 1 Diabetes?
In type 1 diabetes, the body is unable to produce insulin. This occurs when the immune system attacks cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, causing sugar to build up in the bloodstream. Type 1 diabetes is believed to be an inherited genetic disease, although doctors are still unsure of the root cause. With modern medicine and proper treatment, however, children diagnosed with this condition can lead happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives.
Parents of diabetic children can help in many ways. First and foremost, it is vital for parents to monitor children’s blood glucose levels throughout each day and administer insulin as needed. Parents can emphasize the importance of this daily task to older children and teens that monitor it themselves. For older children and teenagers, it is crucial that parents emphasize the importance of this daily task. Tracking blood glucose levels is imperative for treating any type of diabetes.
A healthy lifestyle is essential for all diabetics. Eating a well-balanced diet and getting plenty of daily exercise are key to successfully coping with diabetes. If you would like advice on how to improve your child’s current diet or increase their interest in exercise, please feel free to contact us by phone, email, or stop by in person. An appropriate type 1 diabetes diet and daily exercise can result in more stable blood glucose levels, among many other health benefits.
Living with diabetes can be challenging, but when armed with a support system of friends and family, routine medical exams, and healthy lifestyle, children can live life to the fullest. Check out our health resources for more helpful information. If your child has type 1 diabetes, please leave a comment below about how you help them cope with it.