Children and teens with diabetes

Diabetes presents unique issues for children and teens with the condition. Simple things, like going to a birthday party, playing sports, or staying overnight with friends need careful planning. Every day, children with diabetes may need to take insulin or oral medication. They also need to check their blood glucose several times during the day and remember to make correct food choices. For school-age children, these tasks can make them feel ‘different’ from their classmates. These tasks can be particularly bothersome for teens. For any child or teen with diabetes, learning to cope with the condition is a big job. Dealing with a chronic illness such as diabetes may cause emotional and behavioral challenges. Talking to a nurse educutor or psychologist may help a child or teen and his or her family learn to adjust to lifestyle changes needed to stay healthy.

weighing-scale-teen-878x494Weight issues for teens

Being overweight is not a good idea if you have diabetes because it increases your insulin resistance, which will make it harder for you to keep your blood glucose levels down. If you don’t have diabetes, but some of your family members have type 2 diabetes, you are more at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Sadly, obesity has doubled in children and tripled in adolescents over the last 30 years and this has created both health and well-being problems for teens. One out of three children and teens between the ages of two and 19 are overweight, or obese. The early onset of type 2 diabetes is being noticed more and more in children and teens between 10 and 19 years old. Before the 1990’s it was rarely seen, but as they got fatter, more and more of them developed type 2 diabetes.

How do you become overweight?

The basic cause of overweight is an energy imbalance. Energy is measured as calories or kilojoules. If you eat more energy than your body’s requirements for the activities you do, then this extra energy gets converted to fat stores. If you get the balance right, your weight should be right for your age. If there is too much food and drink consumed on a regular basis, the extra calories will make your weight rise above what is a healthy weight for you. Read more…