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Health Information For Parents
Diabetes is a disease that affects how the body uses glucose, the main type of sugar in the blood. Glucose, which comes from the foods we eat, is the major source of energy needed to fuel the body. To use glucose, the body needs the hormone insulin. But in people with diabetes, the body either can’t make insulin or the insulin doesn’t work in the body like it should.
The two major types of diabetes are:
In both types of diabetes, glucose can’t get into the cells normally. This causes a rise in blood sugar levels, which can make someone sick if not treated.
Type 1 diabetes can’t be prevented. Doctors can’t even tell who will get it and who won’t.
No one knows for sure what causes type 1 diabetes, but scientists think it has something to do with genes. But just getting the genes for diabetes isn’t usually enough. In most cases, a child has to be exposed to something else — like a virus — to get type 1 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes isn’t contagious, so kids and teens can’t catch it from another person or pass it along to friends or family members. And eating too much sugar doesn’t cause type 1 diabetes, either.
There’s no reliable way to predict who will get type 1 diabetes, but blood tests can find early signs of it. These tests aren’t done routinely, however, because doctors don’t have any way to stop a child from developing the disease, even if the tests are positive.
Unlike type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes can sometimes be prevented. Excessive weight gain, obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle are all things that put a person at risk for type 2 diabetes.
In the past, type 2 diabetes usually happened only in adults. But now, more kids and teens are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, due to the rapidly increasing number of overweight kids.
Although kids and teens might be able to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes by managing their weight and increasing physical activity, other risk factors for type 2 diabetes can’t be changed. Kids with one or more family members with type 2 diabetes have an increased risk for the disease, and some ethnic and racial groups are more likely to developing it.
These steps can help reduce your kids’ risk for developing type 2 diabetes and the health problems it can cause:
If you think your child may be overweight and at risk for type 2 diabetes, talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian. They can help you learn what your child’s weight goals should be and how to reach them.
Our Diabetes Center provides information and advice for teens about treating and living with diabetes.
Does your child have type 1 or type 2 diabetes? Learn how to manage the disease and keep your child healthy.
Preventing kids from becoming overweight means making choices in the way your family eats and exercises, and how you spend time together.
The things you do now could help prevent diabetes later, depending on the type of diabetes. Here’s the scoop on diabetes prevention.
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.
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.
A balanced diet and an active lifestyle are important for kids with diabetes because weight can influence diabetes, and diabetes can influence weight.
Weight can influence diabetes, and diabetes can influence weight. Managing weight can really make a difference in a person’s diabetes management plan.
Being at a healthy weight is a good idea for everyone, but it’s even more important for kids with diabetes.
People with diabetes don’t need to be on strict diets, but do need to pay attention to what they eat and when. Crack open the cookbooks and surf to your favorite recipe website because it’s time to plan meals that you love!
For most kids with diabetes, taking medicine is an important part of staying healthy. Find out more in this article for kids.
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?
Learn all you can about diabetes so you’ll be better prepared to talk about it with your child.
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.
Teens with type 2 diabetes have to pay close attention to what they eat and do.
Learning what you can about type 2 diabetes will let you help your child manage and live with the disease. Here are the basics.
Diabetes is a disease that affects how the body uses glucose, a sugar that is the body’s main source of fuel. In type 1 diabetes, glucose can’t get into the body’s cells where it’s needed.
Every year in the United States, 13,000 children are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. With some practical knowledge, you can become your child’s most important ally in learning to live with the disease.
Thousands of kids all over the world have type 1 diabetes, a disease that affects how the body uses glucose.
It’s perfectly normal for people with diabetes to feel sad, angry, confused, upset, alone, embarrassed, and even jealous. After all, these are natural emotions that everyone feels from time to time. But how can you cope?
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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