Diabetes, in any age, requires regular monitoring, medication, and management. Diabetes among teenagers is a rising concern as this is the growing period of a child and diagnosis of diabetes comes as a kind of ma ental shock for the child as well as for the parents. However, with the development of medical science and awareness among people, it is quite possible to manage and treat diabetes among children and teenagers with the active participation of parents and child together.
Types of diabetes
A teenager can be diagnosed with two types of diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes: Type 1 diabetes, known as diabetes mellitus, is the situation when the body can’t produce insulin and sugar level rises in the blood.
Type 2 diabetes: In type 2 diabetes, the body is not able to utilize the insulin it produces. Usually, teens are more prone to type 2 diabetes because of being overweight, physically inactive, and unhealthy eating habits.
Symptoms of diabetes among children and teenagers
Symptoms include thirst, frequent urination, darkened skin, and fatigue. Teenagers may also face mood swings, lethargy, and depression as the signs or symptoms of diabetes.
Challenges before parents with diabetic kids
Teen years are a difficult time to handle and if the child is diagnosed with diabetes that needs a routine to be followed, it becomes a challenge for the parents to supervise their child. The normal teenagers’ behavior like going late to bed, sleeping less, skipping meals or eating meals at a varying time, snacking outside or preferring fast food, and eating food in hurry, are all aggravators of diabetes. If your child is mature, you can convince him how to manage his diabetic life, but if the child is rebellious, you need to be extra careful. Taking help of expert counselor is suggested in such cases who might help your child accept the condition and act towards his own treatment.
Diabetes treatment for teenagers is the same as that for the adults. A teen with type 1 diabetes needs to take insulin from shots or pump and if he or she is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, then taking medicines on a daily basis is suggested. Moreover, daily blood sugar monitoring must be done to check the blood sugar levels.
Prepare a diet plan
If your teen or child is diabetic, then as a parent, you need to take care of his or her food habit. You should accustom your teen with a proper diabetic diet. As per this diet, your teen needs to eat a lot of vegetables, fresh fruits, skim milk, low-fat cheese, brown rice, etc. All foods must be baked, boiled or grilled. Fried foods, butter, bakery items, sweet dishes, and other fatty foods should be avoided.
Along with a strong diet, physical activities are also mandatory.
- You must encourage your teen to play outside or get involved in a sports activity.
- Being active is very necessary so a daily 60-minute workout plan, cycling, or morning walk would be good for your kid.
- As a parent, you also need to monitor that your teen doesn’t spend much time on tv or computer.
Though diabetes in teenagers is common these days, most of the teens find it difficult to manage the situation as they face some physical and emotional transition. So, as a parent, it’s your core responsibility to accustom your teen with the changed life and routine and always remain supportive at every step of his or her life. Also, make sure your child checks his blood sugar test regularly and does not skip any visit to the doctor.