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Health Information For Kids
Being at a healthy weight is a good idea for everyone, but it’s even more important for kids with diabetes. Why? Because carrying extra weight can make it harder to keep blood sugar levels under control.
When kids with diabetes are at a healthy weight, they may have fewer diabetes problems. This is true for all people with diabetes — whether they have type 1 or type 2.
When someone has diabetes, his or her body doesn’t use glucose (say: GLOO-kose) properly. Glucose, a sugar, is the main source of energy for the body. Glucose comes from the foods we eat. Glucose levels are controlled in the body by a hormone called insulin (say: IN-suh-lin), which is made in the pancreas.
Most people are overweight when they first find out they have type 2 diabetes. The extra weight can make it harder for their bodies to use insulin. That’s why people who have type 2 diabetes will be encouraged to get to a healthy weight by eating right and getting regular exercise. Exercise not only burns calories, but it can also help the body use insulin. This makes it easier to keep blood sugar levels on track.
Being at a healthy weight makes it less likely that someone will get type 2 diabetes. And if someone already has type 2 diabetes, losing weight can make their diabetes easier to manage and can even reduce the amount of medicine they need.
With type 1, kids may have the opposite problem — weight loss. Before they know they have type 1 diabetes, kids may lose weight because their bodies can’t use glucose properly. Once someone knows they have type 1 diabetes and gets treatment, he or she usually gets back to a healthy weight.
It’s also possible a kid with type 1 diabetes might be overweight. If so, the extra weight can make it hard to keep blood sugar levels under control.
Doctors use your weight and height to calculate your body mass index (BMI). The BMI is a number that helps doctors figure out whether your weight is healthy.
Your doctor will tell you if you should lose weight to manage your diabetes. If it turns out you don’t need to lose weight, you can still help your health by eating good-for-you foods and getting a lot of play time.
If your doctor wants you to lose some weight, you might feel upset or sad. But try to focus your energy on getting healthy. You can do it — with some help from your family, doctor, and the rest of your health care team!
Your diabetes meal plan already helps you know what foods to eat, so you may just need to eat a little less and be more active. It doesn’t have to be boring or hard — you can just do more fun stuff like ride your bike, play outside with your friends, or dance to your favorite music in your room.
Kids with diabetes should never try fad diets or skipping meals or snacks to lose weight. These things aren’t good for anyone, and they’re especially bad for kids with diabetes. You need to keep your blood sugar levels on track, and extreme diets can mess them up. Also, never skip insulin injections to lose weight — it can make you get very sick in just a few hours!
If you follow your doctor’s advice about food and exercise, you can reach your weight-loss goal — safely and successfully.
Diabetes means a problem with insulin, an important hormone in the body. Find out how children with diabetes can stay healthy and do the normal stuff kids like to do.
Like anyone else, kids with diabetes can enjoy sports. Whether you want to go for the gold or just go hiking in your hometown, your diabetes won’t hold you back.
Being overweight has become a serious problem for many kids and adults. Find out what it means to be overweight in this article just for kids.
Keeping blood sugar levels under control can help keep you healthy and prevent health problems from happening down the road. Find out more.
Everybody loves to eat out. Can kids with diabetes go out to restaurants?
If you have diabetes, you might think you shouldn’t eat carbohydrates (carbs) at all. But all kids, including kids with diabetes, can and should eat carbs as part of a healthy diet.
Diabetes is a health problem that affects kids of all ages, but you can’t catch it like a cold. In some cases, diabetes can be prevented. Find out how.
Diabetes is a disease that affects how the body uses glucose, a sugar that is the body’s main source of fuel. Find out more about a kind of diabetes called type 2 diabetes in this article for kids.
Kids with type 2 diabetes have to take some important steps to feel good and stay healthy. Find out more about treating type 2 diabetes in this article for kids.
Dealing with diabetes can stir up a lot of different emotions. Find out more about dealing with your feelings if you’re a kid with diabetes.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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