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  • More than just a Sugar Rush: What You Need to Know About Child Diabetes

    What happens when your child is diagnosed with diabetes?
    by Lili Narvaez .
  • Read on to learn more about childhood diabetes.


    Steps to recovery
    Doctors Sy and Campos reassure parents that diabetes will only be challenging at first. With the right diet, exercise, medication, and maintenance, your child can be as happy and carefree as other kids his age. Here’s what you and your child must do:

    Children aged 0 to 6, says Dr. Sy, can eat anything they want but within the prescribed proper amounts and at the right times.

    Children with Type 2 diabetes are overweight; this is the first matter that needs to be addressed. ìMeal planning and lifestyle adjustment should be the primary focus,” stresses Dr. Campos. Introduce good, healthy food and eating habits gradually, and according to your dietitian’s advice. And here’s a bonus: ìIf the entire family adopts the basic guidelines, all members will be more cardiovascularly fit in the future,” adds Dr. Campos.

    Physical activity that comes from exercise will decrease the long-term cardiovascular complications of diabetes, says Dr. Campos. Exercise will also aid in the absorption of energy, but make sure your child doesn’t tire so much from his activities.

    Children with Type 2 diabetes are not very active. Because of this, you must keep encouraging your child to exercise. Start slow.

    Ask him to do simple activities like walking and playing with you.

    You’ll get to spend time with your child and you’ll be providing the support that he needs. Over time, he will be capable of longer periods of endurance.

    There is an insulin deficiency in children with Type 1 diabetes, so your child must follow a daily routine to make up for this. “Insulin, diet, and exercise are the main cornerstones of treatment,” says Dr. Campos.

    Your doctor may prescribe one to six insulin shots per day, and your childís blood sugar level will be regularly monitored.

    As for Type 2 diabetes, ìtreatment must involve decreasing insulin resistance and increasing insulin secretion,î says Dr. Campos.

    To do this, it is necessary for you to do a lifestyle check. Here, you will oversee your childís caloric intake.

    But if the changes made do not work for your child, Dr. Campos says that an insulin sensitizer is necessary.

    The changes that will be made in your child’s diet and exercise routine, as well as treatment, are important in managing diabetes.

    But success in handling this condition can be achieved with the help of the whole family. With your love and support, your child will learn to lead a happy, normal life. And with your decision to make better lifestyle choices, your family will find its way to health and fitness.

    Photo from sxc.hu

    ● Susana Campos, M.D., pediatric endocrinologist, Makati Medical Center, Makati City
    ● Rosa Allyn G. Sy, endocrinologist, The Medical City, Pasig City

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