Diabetes

CAREFUL MONITORING IS THE KEY TO DIABETES MANAGEMENT

Rare cases of secondary nocturnal enuresis (occurs when the child has been consistently dry at night for more than six months and then starts wetting the bed again)  can be a symptom of type 1 or juvenile diabetes.

Diabetes
WHAT IS TYPE 1 DIABETES?

Type 1 diabetes, also referred to as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is a condition in which the pancreas cannot produce enough of the hormone insulin. One of insulin’s key roles in the body is to direct glucose in the bloodstream to the cells, where it is then used for energy.

Without insulin, the body is unable to metabolise glucose. This means that it can’t process sugar properly or use it as energy to perform its usual functions. Insufficient insulin results in a high amount of glucose in the blood.

WHAT CAUSES DIABETES?

Type 1 diabetes is caused when the immune system attacks insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. The exact reason why this happens is still unknown.

SYMPTOMS OF DIABETES

If you notice a combination of the following symptoms in your child, they may have developed type 1 diabetes. If you suspect that this is the case, they will need to see a doctor as soon as possible for diagnosis.

  • Frequent urination
  • Night time incontinence or bedwetting
  • High levels of thirst
  • Weight loss
  • Lack of energy
  • Blurred vision

MANAGEMENT OF TYPE 1 DIABETES

Diagnosis of type 1 diabetes can initially be quite upsetting for families. However, if the condition is managed properly, your child can still live a relatively normal life and avoid the major health complications associated with it.

DIET

It’s important for diabetes sufferers to maintain a healthy diet and to eat at regular intervals. Foods known to cause a spike in blood sugar levels should be avoided. These include:

  • White flour, white rice, white bread
  • Foods high in sugar
  • Cereals that aren’t whole grain
  • Canned fruit and vegetables
  • Deep fried foods and snacks
  • Sugary drinks

If your child is diagnosed with diabetes, you should consult your doctor or a specialist and for a specific diet plan. Things will get easier as time goes on, but in the early days you will need all the details at hand and a strict guide to follow.

The internet can be a useful resource for information and tips, but entrust your child’s diet to an expert.

EXERCISE

Regular exercise is necessary for controlling blood sugar levels. Encourage your child to be physically active and even try out various team or non-team sports to find something that they enjoy doing long-term.

MONITOR BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS

Blood sugar levels should be monitored a few times a day to determine how much insulin will be needed.

DIABETES TREATMENT

Type 1 diabetes is treated with insulin injections. Unfortunately, sufferers will need to inject insulin for the rest of their lives, as there is currently no cure available.

Keep in mind that once diabetes sufferers get the hang of it, managing insulin injections gets a lot easier and they’ll simply become a normal part of life.