The diagnosis of diabetes hits parents hard. Questions arise. Are they sure of the diagnosis? What is going to happen to my child? How did this happen? Perhaps guilt starts to overshadow one’s thoughts and fear sets in. Take a moment to gather your thoughts and prepare some questions to ask your doctor regarding the care and concerns you have for your child.
There are many factors in the development of type 2 diabetes such as family history, overweight for age and inactivity. Your doctor or diabetes educator can answer questions and direct you to books and/or websites to help you understand the cause that is specific to your child.
Eating food high in sugar does not cause diabetes, per se, especially not consuming one isolated treat. However, eating more calories than the body needs and not using up those calories by physical activity may lead to excess weight gain and obesity. These are risk factors, as mentioned above.
People who have type 1 diabetes no longer make insulin in their pancreas and so they must take insulin daily. People with type 2 diabetes still make insulin, but it is not used correctly. Quite often, the person with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes is encouraged first to increase physical activity and control food and beverage intake in order to try to bring blood sugar levels to within a normal range. At some point, he/she may need to take pills or insulin in order to achieve the best blood sugar control. A participating, well-informed patient (parent) is the major part of a health care team.
Lots to think about because your life will be changing. Let’s work together to help your child (and all your children!) grow up healthy and happy!
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