November 13th, 2013 | As adults, we know we need to watch our cholesterol in order to maintain good health. But did you know that children can have high cholesterol, too? As a parent, you can take steps today to monitor your child’s cholesterol and reduce your child’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease later in life. How Do I Know if My Child… Continue Reading
It's not easy to hear that your child may have diabetes. But, learning about diabetes is the first step toward feeling better and living a healthy life. There are two types of diabetes – type 1 and type 2. In type 1 diabetes, the body can no longer make any insulin. Insulin is a hormone your body needs to use sugar or “glucose”. Glucose is a sugar your body uses to give you energy. People with Type 1 diabetes take insulin shots every day in order to live. In type 2 diabetes, the body makes some insulin, but it may not make enough insulin or the insulin may not be working very well in the body. People with type 2 diabetes can sometimes take pills to control the diabetes, but sometimes they also need to take insulin shots too.
HOW IS DIABETES TREATED?
Ideally, care should be provided by a team of specialists trained in the care of children with diabetes. It is sometimes impossible to tell which type of diabetes a child has at the time diabetes is diagnosed. Kids with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes can develop very severe illness, so it is important that treatment is started to get the blood glucose levels down. It is also important that the child and family members receive instructions on how to take care of diabetes – we call this diabetes education or “diabetes class”. It is best that children with diabetes are referred to a pediatric diabetes program for education and to get started on treatment right away.
WHERE IS DIABETES CARE PROVIDED FOR CHILDREN?
Sometimes, it is necessary for children who have just been diagnosed with diabetes to come into the hospital for treatment. Each child receives a thorough medical evaluation by a diabetes care team, which includes a doctor, nurse, dietitian and social worker. This team works closely with the family to teach the basic skills they need to manage the diabetes after they leave the hospital. After the child leaves the hospital, the family's nurse practitioner will continue to help the family by phone until the next doctor’s appointment.
After treatment is started, a doctor’s visit will be scheduled for about six weeks later at the Pediatric Diabetes Clinic. Usually, the diabetes team will see patients with diabetes then every three months to make sure that the medication is working and the diabetes is under good control.