First of all, we must know about diabetes and its types in order to be fully aware of this disease and then get to know the appropriate diet that must be followed for a patient with diabetes.
Early diagnosis of diabetes in children is very important to provide the patient with the necessary care in all stages of his life and spare him any serious complications.
In this article, we will talk about everything you need to know about diabetes in children:
Diabetes Mellitus is a common chronic disease among humans. It affects adults and children.
This disease is represented by the body’s inability to produce the hormone insulin, or the body’s cells ’resistance to the insulin secreted and not responding to it, and this causes high levels of glucose in the blood to exceed the normal limit.
- Type 1 diabetes, or the so-called insulin-dependent type, was formerly called juvenile type.
- Type 2 diabetes, or the so-called non-insulin-dependent type, was previously called anaplastic type.
What types of diabetes affect children?
Two types of diabetes can affect children:
The first type:
It is more common among children than the second type, as it accounts for nearly 90% of cases.
As most cases are diagnosed in the age period ranging between 4-6 years, or 12-14 years.
This type of diabetes is represented by the inability of pancreatic cells to produce the hormone insulin responsible for controlling blood sugar levels due to the exposure of pancreatic cells to the immune system attack in the body itself by mistake,
That is why diabetes is considered the first type of autoimmune disease.
Some attribute this disorder to the child’s exposure to some environmental factors
Such as infection with some viruses such as Coxsackie virus, German measles, Epstein-Barr, cytomegalovirus,
In addition to carrying some genes responsible for increasing the chance of developing diabetes,
However, until now, the exact causes of type 1 diabetes are not understood.
Many affected children do not have diabetes in their families, and the exact cause of their condition remains unknown.
The second type:
This type of diabetes is rare among children.
Type 2 diabetes is represented by the failure of the body’s cells to respond to the secreted insulin, in addition to the lack of insulin production over time,
The occurrence of this type of diabetes is due to the interaction of a number of environmental and genetic factors such as lack of movement, obesity, family history of the disease, and race.
How is a child diagnosed with diabetes?
A child is diagnosed with diabetes if he meets one of the following criteria:
- Post-fasting blood sugar> 126 mg / dL in two separate tests.
- Random blood sugar> 200 mg / dL along with symptoms of diabetes.
- Ratio of glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c( A1C> 6.5 on two separate tests (this test gives a glycemic index for the previous two months).
- After confirming the diagnosis, the doctor conducts some other tests, including: blood cholesterol testing, thyroid function, kidney function, and liver function.
How is childhood diabetes treated?
Type 1 diabetes:
The treatment of cases of this type of diabetes depends on giving the child insulin injections under the skin to compensate for the deficiency in the body,
In addition to the need to develop a nutritional plan for the child so that he addresses his needs of carbohydrates and foods necessary for his growth
And at the same time without causing it to raise blood sugar levels beyond the required goal,
It is also necessary to develop a plan for the child to exercise, as it has an effect on blood sugar levels.
Type 2 diabetes:
The treatment of this type depends mainly on lifestyle changes.
Such as motivating the child to engage in sports activities,
And weight loss.
And eat healthy food.
The patient may need at some stage of his life to take oral anti-diabetic drugs, and he may need insulin.
What can parents of children with diabetes do?
- Monitor your child’s blood glucose levels.
- Learn about the disease, in terms of diet and lifestyle.
- Recognize the symptoms of low blood sugar.
- Ensure that those around know that the child has diabetes so that they deal with it properly, and that they also know what to do if symptoms of low blood glucose appear.
- Knowing how to give insulin injections under the skin, and where to inject.
Can diabetes be prevented in children?
Specialists thinks that type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented, but there are steps that can reduce the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes, as follows:
- Maintaining a healthy weight: Overweight children are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes because they are more likely to develop insulin resistance.
- Staying active and avoiding laziness: Maintaining physical activity reduces insulin resistance and helps control blood pressure.
- Limit sugar-rich foods and drinks: Eating a balanced diet rich in nutrients, with plenty of vitamins, fiber and lean protein, will reduce the chances of developing type 2 diabetes.
Proper nutrition for children with diabetes:
All you need to know about diabetes in children and proper nutrition
The nutrition plan in children with diabetes depends mainly on dividing meals into breakfast, lunch and dinner, including light meals, or better, low-volume snacks every two to three hours.
What foods can diabetics eat as low-carb and low-calorie snacks?
Foods that contain a lot of fiber and protein, and can be consumed with some low-sugar drinks, such as:
- Vegetable soup or chicken or meat soup, plus some vegetables.
- A small amount of nuts with a warm, unsweetened mint drink.
- Low-fat cheese or a boiled egg.
- Cheese wrapped in lettuce leaf.
- Fried eggs with vegetables.
- Peeled cucumber with cheese.
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