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Health Information For Parents
You’ve probably heard your child’s doctor talk a lot about “diabetes control,” which usually refers to how close the blood sugar, or glucose, is kept to the desired range. What does this mean and why is it important?
Too much or not enough sugar in the bloodstream can lead to short-term problems that must be treated right away, like hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, or diabetic ketoacidosis.
Too much sugar in the bloodstream also can cause long-term damage to body tissues. For example, it can harm vital organs, which can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, kidney disease, vision problems, and nerve problems.
These problems don’t usually affect kids or teens with diabetes who have had the disease for only a few years. But they can happen in adults with diabetes, particularly if they haven’t managed or controlled their diabetes properly.
Kids with diabetes who don’t control their blood sugar levels may also have problems with growth and development. They might even have a delay in when puberty starts. Puberty is when the body changes as kids start growing into adults.
Controlling diabetes means keeping blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible. Your child’s diabetes medicines (such as insulin), food, and activity level must be in balance to keep blood sugar levels under control. If any one of these is off, blood sugar levels will be too.
Poorly controlled blood sugar levels can be due to:
The problems that diabetes can cause are serious. But the good news is that keeping blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible can help prevent them.
One large study showed that people with type 1 diabetes who checked blood sugar levels four or more times a day — and adjusted their medicines, diet, and exercise based on their readings — had a lower risk for eye disease, kidney problems, nerve damage, and high cholesterol levels (a major risk factor for heart disease).
How do you find out if your child’s diabetes is under control? First, the diabetes health care team will tell you what the blood sugar levels should be (the “target” range), which is based on things like your child’s age and medical condition.
Day to day, the only way to know if the blood sugar levels are close to the target range is to measure them often with a glucose meter or continuous glucose monitor (CGM). These should be used several times a day.
Your doctor will also check your child’s blood sugar with a hemoglobin test (HbA1C test for short). It gives information about blood glucose control in the 2 to 3 months before the test. This lets doctors know if the diabetes care plan needs changes.
Helping your child achieve good blood sugar control and manage diabetes can be challenging. Here are some tips:
To keep blood sugar levels under control, you have to check them regularly. Learn about checking and recording your child’s blood sugar levels.
Does your child have type 1 or type 2 diabetes? Learn how to manage the disease and keep your child healthy.
Long-term health problems associated with diabetes can affect many areas of the body. So it’s important to know about these complications and help prevent them.
Kids and teens with type 1 diabetes have a greater risk for thyroid disease, celiac disease, and Addison’s disease. Learn more about these autoimmune disorders.
When you have a child with diabetes, you and your family have a lot to learn, but you don’t have to go it alone. Your child’s diabetes health care team can help.
Whether your child is taking insulin or pills (or both) to control diabetes, it’s important to learn how diabetes medicines work.
Kids who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes will need a diabetes management plan to help them manage the condition and stay healthy and active.
For people with diabetes, controlling blood sugar levels is important. Having a blood sugar level that’s too high can make you feel lousy, and having high blood sugar levels a lot can be unhealthy.
Too much glucose in the blood can be unhealthy. Learn more about what to do when blood sugar is too high in this article for kids.
When blood glucose levels drop too low, it’s called hypoglycemia. Very low blood sugar levels can cause severe symptoms that need to be treated right away.
Hypoglycemia is the medical word for low blood sugar level. It needs to be treated right away. Learn more about what to do when blood sugar is too low in this article for kids.
Our Diabetes Center provides information and advice for teens about treating and living with diabetes.
To keep your diabetes under control, stay healthy, and prevent future problems, you need to keep blood sugar levels in a healthy range. To do that, check and track those levels regularly.
Keeping blood sugar levels under control can help keep you healthy and prevent health problems from happening down the road. Find out more.
People who have diabetes may hear or read a lot about controlling, or managing, the condition. But what is diabetes control and why is it so important?
Checking your blood sugar levels is a really important part of managing diabetes. Knowing those levels will help you keep your blood sugar under control – and that helps you feel good and keeps you healthy.
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.
When blood glucose levels drop too low, it’s called hypoglycemia. Very low blood sugar levels can cause severe symptoms that require immediate treatment.
When blood glucose levels (also called blood sugar levels) are too high, it’s called hyperglycemia. A major goal in controlling diabetes is to keep blood sugar levels as close to the desired range as possible.
Thinking about your diabetes a little bit now â and taking some steps to prevent problems â can make things easier down the road.
Taking medicines is a major part of staying healthy if you have diabetes because they help you keep your blood sugar levels under control.
For most kids with diabetes, taking medicine is an important part of staying healthy. Find out more in this article for kids.
It takes all of your team members â you, your parents, doctors, certified diabetes educators, dietitians, and mental health pros â to help you take care of your diabetes.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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