Type 1 Diabetes Facts – Is Your Child at Risk?
Unfortunately, the numbers of Type 1 diabetes cases continue to rise every year. Because of this, it is crucial for every parent to learn and understand what this disease entails. Formerly known as juvenile diabetes, Type 1 is usually discovered between birth and young adulthood, and it occurs when the pancreas stops producing insulin, which is needed to convert starches and sugar into energy. Sadly, there is no cure, but normal blood sugar can be properly managed through insulin injections, diet, and exercise. After reading the following information, if you feel that your child may be at risk for Type 1, visit your Costa Mesa Medical Clinic right away for further testing.
These are some common signs that are prevalent in most children before diagnosis:
- Sudden and unexplained weight loss.
- Excessive thirst.
- Frequent urination.
- Fruity-scented breath.
- Change in vision / blurred vision.
- Sweet odor in urine.
- Extreme fatigue.
- Increase in appetite for no apparent reason.
Type 1 can be diagnosed through a simple blood test and, if your child is a diabetic, your doctor will begin insulin therapy to normalize blood sugar readings. One of the most important things any parent can do after their child is diagnosed with Type 1 is to start educating yourself immediately. A multitude of information can be found through the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) and ADA (American Diabetes Association) websites.
Many parents find that having a professionally trained “diabetic dog” helps ease the stress and worry, especially if their child is very young and has problems determining when his/her blood sugar is too high or too low. These dogs are specifically trained to detect blood sugar irregularities and will alert the child or parent by barking if the child needs to be checked.
Exercise and Nutrition
Diabetics must consume a certain amount of carbohydrates with every meal. Some foods that are helpful in maintaining normal blood sugar are vegetables, whole grains, fruits, beans, low-fat dairy products, tomatoes, and fish. When choosing grains, try to steer clear of white flour and enriched varieties, as these can cause blood sugar to spike too quickly after they are eaten. Most endocrinologists recommend keeping a logbook of your child’s food intake and blood sugar readings, especially during the first couple of months after diagnosis, to determine which foods help and which foods hinder normal blood sugar readings. Every diabetic child is different. While one may eat spaghetti without any problems, another child might have an increase in blood sugar readings after eating pasta. Work with your child’s endocrinologist to find out which foods should be eliminated from your child’s diet.
As with food intake, you will also go through a trial and error phase with exercise, since different forms of activity can cause blood sugar to drop rapidly. Always have your child check his/her blood sugar before they begin their daily fitness routine, to determine whether or not a pre-workout snack is needed.
At Xpress Urgent Care, we frequently see children that unknowingly have Type 1 diabetes. If you think that your child may be exhibiting some of these symptoms, it may be worth getting tested at your Costa Mesa urgent care clinic.