Diabetes is a life-changing disease. In children especially, it comes with changes that are most times distressing to handle. Though children are the ones that are directly affected, the effects can be far-reaching for parents too.

 

The information and treatments for living with diabetes can be overwhelming. Chances are, it will require a lifestyle overhaul for the entire family. In this article, 3 ways to deal with childhood diabetes will be examined. These include:

 

  • Changing Diet and Lifestyle Activities

 

  • Staying Informed

 

  • Maintaining Open Communication/Being Supportive

 

What is Diabetes?

 

Diabetes is an autoimmune condition that limits insulin production in the body. With diabetes, sometimes the body rejects the insulin produced by the pancreas. Otherwise, the pancreas stops producing insulin completely.

 

This results in unstable blood sugar levels in the body. This will require the affected persons to use more external means to regulate these levels. Type 1 diabetes is the kind most often found in children.

 

How to deal with childhood diabetes:

 

Changing Diet and Lifestyle Activities

 

The most obvious effect of diagnosis is the sudden lifestyle change. It is paramount to remain supportive during this time. Find activities that the entire family can do to help the transition of the affected. Help them to discover new and engaging activities that are better for their health. This will help establish a sense of belonging and overall support among those closest to the child.

 

It can also motivate them to stay strong against the disease.

 

Stay Informed

 

After the diagnosis is initially given, your doctor might spend some time giving you information to help your family adjust to the possible changes. This is because awareness is the most important factor in responsibly treating diabetes.

 

You can also do your part to stay informed by doing your own research and forming questions to ask your doctor. This will help to clarify anything that is unclear. Diabetes research is a continuous process. As such, it is important to stay ahead of the curve when treating your child. It might also be helpful to join online community forums, where information is shared among members regularly. Please remember to seek medical advice when given information you are unfamiliar with.

 

Maintain Open Communication Be Supportive

 

Outside of the physical aspects of having diabetes, the mental fortitude required to deal with it can be draining on the affected and those closest to them. Distress associated with the rigorous nature of treatment plans is known as diabetes burnout. This can result in disinterest in maintaining treatment plans, reluctance to go to doctor’s appointments, and discontinuing contact with medical professionals and advisors.

 

This can happen for a number of reasons in children. Sometimes they are frustrated at the limited lifestyle choices they have in comparison to their peers or loved ones. Whatever the cause, burnout can be debilitating to the treatment of diabetes.

 

At the first sign of burnout, parents should aim to be supportive. Ensure that open communication is always present between you and your child, so they feel comfortable confiding in you how they are feeling. It might also help them gain some autonomy by feeling more active in the decision-making process. Another step can be to get them around other children experiencing the same set of changes.

 

If you are a parent experiencing burnout, getting support from other parents can go a long way in alleviating some problems. Additionally, seeking help from medical professionals or resources like Tandem Diabetes Care can help shed some light on the way forward.

 

Sudden changes are never easy to deal with. Its effects will be different for everyone. Finding the optimum solution for your family will go a long way in treating diabetes for a lifetime.