Here's How Parents Can Help Their Children With Diabetes Cope Better
Endocrinologist Dr Dheeraj Kapoor says that teenagers with type 1 diabetes need primary health care for managing their diabetes.
Teenagers with type 1 diabetes should have regular access to primary health care
- Exercising is important for children with type 1 diabetes
- Teenagers with type 1 diabetes should have regular access to health care
- Parents of children with type 1 diabetes should treat them normally
Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a condition which develops when body cells are unable to get their desired sugar for energy because the body does not produce enough insulin. The life-threatening condition makes the body break down fat and muscles for energy. A new research has said that having regular access to healthcare is important for teens with type 1 diabetes in order to prevent a condition like DKA. The research found out that children between the ages of 12 to 17 are less prone to risks of DKA if they constantly got themselves checked with their family physician or paediatrician.
Whereas, children who have only a usual health care provider are more to prone to risks of DKA, reports the population-based retrospective cohort analysis published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Around 3,700 patients from Canada participated in the analysis. This included children between the ages of 1 to 17 who were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes between 2006 and 2015. 26.9% of the study participants were found to have DKA during the time they were diagnosed with diabetes. Most of the children in this 26.9% were between the ages 5 to 11.
The research found that children between the ages 5 to 11, who had a family paediatrician of physician were at a lower risk of developing DKA.
According to Dr Dheeraj Kapoor, type 1 diabetes is common in teenagers. He says that type 1 diabetes is a condition where only insulin works, tablets don't work. "Insulin is required for survival among people who have type 1 diabetes. If you don't give insulin to the child on time, ketones begin to develop in the body and the child might not end up surviving as well. Type 1 diabetes should be managed by an endocrinologist. However, there are limited endocrinologists in the country who cannot cater to such a big population of people suffering from type 1 diabetes," he says.
This is the reason why children or teenagers suffering from type 1 diabetes need a primary care physician or a paediatrician for their management, says Dr Dheeraj.
In addition to the aforementioned fact, Dr Dheeraj says that parents of children suffering from type 1 diabetes should be properly counselled about how to take care of them properly.
"It is a matter of shock for parents to know that their children are suffering from type 1 diabetes. But they need to know that despite the condition, their children can lead a normal life, s/he can marry and have children. The situation will be a little complicated than others but it can be managed," he says.
Also read: Why Dental Visits Are A Must For People Suffering From Diabetes
He gives the following tips for parents of children with type 1 diabetes:
1. Parents should know about some celebrities who have lived with diabetes all their lives and have still managed to do well. These include people like Wasim Akram, Fawad Khan and Gaurav Kapoor.
2. Normally, parents won't scold their children when required because they have type 1 diabetes. They tend to pamper their children and handle them with extra care. This makes the children very irritable. Hence, parents need to know that if their child has type 1 diabetes, s/he should be dealt with in a normal way like all other children.
3. Parents should know that their children can have sweets, toffees and chocolates once in a while, say, occasionally. Firstly, they should make sure that they do not bring any sweet foods in front of their children. But occasionally for a friend's birthday party or any other occasion, the child can be given some cake or pastry. There aren't going to be many birthday parties that your child attends in a year.
4. Exercising is important for children with type 1 diabetes. And after the child comes back from exercising, s/he should be given good amount of water, so that even if he sweats, there is no increase in the blood sugar levels.
6. In schools, the teachers should be made aware of the fact that your child has type 1 diabetes. The school should provide for insulin in case of emergencies.
7. It is important for children with type 1 diabetes to have periodic medical check-ups. Medical check-ups for conditions like eye sight, cholesterol and blood pressure levels should be done regularly.
(Dr Dheeraj Kapoor is Endocrinologist at Artemis Hospital)
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