Caring For A Child With Diabetes

Caring for a child with diabetes is a hard task for a parent because of the medications and complications that must be dealt with. The occurrence of this disease in children has gone up 300% in the last 30 years. Where type 1 was common in children under 16 years of age; type 2 is on the rise in youngsters. Over 90% of children diagnosed have type 1. This is a disease where the pancreas is unable to produce needed insulin. It is classified as an autoimmune disease, which is a condition where the body's immune system attacks its own tissues and organs. In type 1 childhood diabetes, the insulin producing cells of the pancreas are destroyed. The adult variety is largely self-managed. For parents, there is a greater responsibility when caring for children than if the adult was afflicted with the disease. Parents must monitor their children's diets and blood sugar levels multiple times throughout the day. This monitoring can make leaving the home for extended periods of time extremely difficult. School attendance can be a problem depending on the severity of the disease.

When learning the proper way in caring for children with this disease, a parent must first understand what the disease is. Insulin, what the body is not making, is necessary for the body to be able to use sugar. Sugar is the basic fuel for the cells in the body and insulin takes the sugar from the blood into the cells. When sugar (or glucose) builds up in the blood instead of the cells, cells are starved for energy and over time, high blood sugar levels may endanger eyes, kidneys, nerves and even the heart. The best ways to combat childhood diabetes is strict meal planning for the child. An adult who provides adequate nutrition while caring for a child with diabetes is making the most important step. After the meals have been planned and regulated, making sure the child is getting enough physical activity is a high priority. It is important for parents to carefully monitor the blood sugar level before and after exercise, to understand when and how much insulin to supplement, as exercise increases the use of insulin.

Most young patients will require some form of hospitalization when first diagnosed; routine checkups with a diabetic specialist are mandatory. This is done in order to run the proper tests needed to determine the frequency and amount of insulin supplements that the parent who is caring for a child with diabetes to administer throughout the day. There are a plethora of options when it comes to the deliverance of insulin. A doctor will be able to recommend the most appropriate choice by evaluating the child's lifestyle and severity of disease. Childhood diabetes is usually supplemented with insulin injections. These injections can be in the form of short term, intermediate term and long-term styles. They can also be administered by a parent through the use of a portable pump that slowly secretes insulin into the bloodstream throughout the day, much the same as the body would make insulin naturally.

The short-term insulin injections typically can be felt within 30-60 minutes and will last between 6 and 8 hours. The intermediate level insulin injections for childhood diabetes will be felt within 1-2 hours and will last between 10-14 hours. These two types of insulin injections are typically administered by the parent that is caring for a child with diabetes before each main meal, and perhaps before bed. The last type of injection is not commonly used in children. It is a long lasting injection that can be felt within 1-2 hours and can last up to 24 hours. To correctly administer the insulin injections, a journal must be kept to take notes of when the child is showing symptoms of erratic blood sugar. These symptoms are typically in the range of thirst, weight loss, tiredness, frequent urination, tummy aches, headaches, and behavioral problems.

"Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me." (Psalm 138:7) When a parent realizes that certain symptoms seem to maintain even after an insulin injection, a physician should see the child immediately. Since childhood diabetes can differ greatly between growing children, it is important to keep strict tabs on any sugar level changes and bodily triggers for high or low blood sugar. The insulin levels may have to be adjusted to accommodate the changes, and the parent caring for a child with diabetes needs to be aware of the previous and new levels of insulin that are required to treat this disease. Parents should also stay informed on current or newly approved treatment methods. They should learn to administer the injections with ease, and to teach the older children to administer the injections themselves. Parents should inform the school, friends, other parents, etc of their child's condition. It is also recommended that parents join a local diabetes association group for ongoing support. This is a dangerous disease, and the help that is offered should be utilized.

Books On Diabetes

Diabetes books are very helpful in educating oneself about the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment for all types of diabetes. There are many resources that can help the approximately 20 million Americans who are diabetic. Type 2 diabetes is the most common of all types and many times can be controlled with effective diet management without having to use drug therapy. It has been said that knowledge is power, but certainly is when it comes to understanding, managing and living with the disease whether one is a patient or a supportive family member.

There are resources on every type that anyone can be diagnosed with from type 1 and 2 to gestational diabetes. Type 2 is commonly undiagnosed for years in many patients because the symptoms do not manifest themselves early on as aggressively as other types. Patient need to find informative books on diabetes in order to understand how to handle type 2. Type 2 accounts for about 90% of all cases in America and can be managed many times through proper diet and exercise under a physician's direction.

Many books also provide exercise regimens and menu preparation suggestions for those with type 2. When a family member is diagnosed with any type, everyone needs to be supportive and encouraging while the patient is making major lifestyle changes. In order to control type 2, a patient needs to have the loving support of loved ones. Many diabetes books outline several strategies for diet and exercise that can help get the disease under control and patients must have family and friends who join in their diet changes and exercise efforts as much as possible. Prayer and help from God can make the transition into the new lifestyle easier. "O God, be not far from me: O my God, make haste for my help" (Psalm 71:12).

Type 2 can be handled relatively well and need not deteriorate into worse health with just a little discipline and determination. Diabetes books will say that type 1 presents a more serious challenge to sufferers since it is an autoimmune disease and can make its onset during childhood. Damage to the heart, kidneys, loss of eye sight and high blood pressure are just a few of the common symptoms associated with type 1. Many books on diabetes can be purchased that also address type 1 and provide various diet and exercise plans for type 1 patients. Since type 1 is a much more serious health condition, insulin injections are always required for all type 1 patients in order to control the disease.

Many resources are available that provide information for type 1, but there are generally no alternative methods of treatment to insulin injections. In fact, it is quite serious for patients to forego insulin and failure to adhere to a management plan for type 1 can result in insulin shock or even death. Patients who live with type 1 very often live a very regimented life in order to maintain control of diabetic symptoms. The disease can be very difficult psychologically to handle as well and there are many books on diabetes that can offer advice on managing stress with the disease.

There are books that also address gestational diabetes which is a type that is associated with pregnancy and disappears after childbirth. It carries risk factors for both mother and child and so mothers must treat gestational diabetes with diet, exercise and in some cases, insulin. A baby born from a mother who has gestational type is more likely to weigh more, can often have jaundice and may be born with low blood sugar. Mothers who have gestational type are more likely to have a difficult time in childbirth since their babies tend to be larger and cannot travel the birth canal as quickly.

For anyone who is diagnosed with gestational type, it's well worth the time to read several resources in order to be well prepared for diabetes management during pregnancy. Diabetes can be a difficult disease to live with for many chronic sufferers and spouses and families need to be aware of some things that they can do to support their loved one who have any type of the disease. There are many good books on diabetes that can offer tips and suggestions for those who wish to assist sufferers.

A few common sense tips can be found in books such as to be careful to communicate with a diabetic patient about all the health and emotional issues involved in the illness. Another tip is to be helpful, but not controlling when dealing with food, medication and exercise issues. On the other hand, always encourage patients to faithfully continue with their course of treatment. This disease is a broad health issue that many Americans face and there are many helpful diabetes books available online.

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