Learn about managing diabetes with diet at www.BetterHealthKare.com
When a son or daughter is diagnosed with diabetes, parents want to know everything they can to help their child thrive despite the disease. It isn’t uncommon for both the child and parents to have feelings of fear, shock, confusion or anger at first. While any diagnosis can be scary, try to remember there is a lot of information and support available to anyone living with diabetes. Support can come from a variety of areas such as your medical team, family members, friends, and juvenile diabetes support groups. You can also find extensive information online, at your physician’s office, or in your local library about the illness. In terms of helping your son or daughter better control the disease, here are our favorite tips for managing your child’s diabetes:
- Create a Health Team – Over time, you will build a solid health team for your son or daughter. This may include his or her family physician, an endocrinologist, and perhaps even a mental health counselor if your child needs help dealing with the diagnosis. In addition, search for diabetes educators in your area. They are an incredible addition to any healthcare team.
- Play an Active Role – Regardless the age of your child, be sure to play an active role when it comes to education, meal planning, insulin therapy, foot care, sick day management, and glucose monitoring.
- Stay Positive – Keeping a positive attitude around your child when it comes to the disease and its management can help your son or daughter see things in a more positive light. Commend him or her when doing a good job with monitoring, taking medication, eating properly, etc.
- Stay Neutral with Glucose Levels – It isn’t uncommon to feel a sense of urgency when you see a very low or high glucose level when monitoring blood sugar. When this happens in front of your child, try to keep a relaxed face and tone so he or she isn’t frightened.
In addition, staying calm and reminding your child there isn’t a “bad” blood sugar level may help keep him or her transparent if/when they are monitoring levels on their own.
- Change Topics – While their child’s health is often one of the top things on a parent’s mind, be sure to talk about a variety of subjects with your child besides diabetes. For example, ask how their school day was and what they learned when they first arrive home rather than inquiring about glucose levels right away.
- Don’t Discount Diet – Managing diabetes with diet is an important topic to educate yourself on when your son or daughter is diagnosed. Research healthy meal planning, and how carbohydrates work in the body and affect blood sugar. If you need help in the area of diet and nutrition, reach out to a registered dietician or nutritionist in your area.
- Consider Exercising – Exercise and sports can actually help the body use insulin better, but there are some things to know. For instance, exertion can cause blood sugar to drop, so make sure your child always checks his or her blood sugar beforehand. In addition, pack an emergency bag with snacks, glucose tablets, blood glucose monitor and medication. If your child is playing sports, be sure to reach out to his or her coach regarding proper treatment for your child if his or her blood sugar drops.
These are just a few tips for managing your child’s diabetes. You can learn more about the disease, how diet affects blood sugar, and the role of exercise on glucose levels at www.BetterHealthKare.com