Naturally sweet kids

Of an estimated 65 million Indians living with diabetes, around five percent have Type 1 diabetes, which includes mostly children, explains  Dr KM Prasannakumar. 

Diabetes is one of the most common chronic disorders afflicting around 382 million people in the world. 

India is ranked second, behind China, with an estimated 65 million diabetics, out of which around five percent have Type 1 (juvenile) diabetes — mostly children. With sedentary lifestyle and lack of awareness about healthy living, Type 2 (adult-onset) diabetes is also fast catching up with people in their youth and even childhood. The impact of diabetes is huge, especially when it strikes in the early stages of life.

The signs and symptoms of Type 1 diabetes in children usually develop very quickly. If there are any symptoms that include increased thirst and appetite, frequent urination or bed wetting, unexplained weight loss and fatigue, get your child tested for diabetes. Sometimes, ants near the toilet also indicate the presence of sugar in urine.

Managing Type 1 diabetes 

n Children with Type 1 diabetes need insulin, as it is their lifeline of treatmentn As children grow rapidly, the insulin doses need to be adjusted every few monthsn Monitor blood sugars regularly  n Control and regulate the child’s weight through proper exercisen Get the child to go to bed on time and wake up early n Serve smaller portions of healthy foods at regular intervalsn Avoid both, feasting and fastingn No need for special diet; just a balanced diet will don Let your child indulge in a physical activity of his/her liking for an hour everyday.

Note

n Insulin should not be stopped in children with Type 1 diabetes, under any circumstances

n Insulin should be taken 30 minutes before food for human insulin, and just before or after food for modern insulin.
(The writer is the Chairperson for Novo Nordisk Education Foundation, India)

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