Educating yourself about diabetes is the first step in managing your condition or your child's condition. This section provides you with important pearls to make day to day management a little easier.
First and foremost, diabetes management involves an insulin regimen and lifestyle changes in nutrition and exercise. Critical in treating diabetes is determining which insulin is best and regularly testing blood sugar.
School is the "work" of children so it is critical that educators and other care takers are aware and knowledgeable about diabetes. Expectations are no different for children with diabetes but schools must be aware of the additional steps needed in order to keep children with diabetes both safe and successful while in class or attending school sponsored events.
Diabetes management can become more complicated during an illness. In general, the blood sugar levels can go up during an illness such as the cold, flu or strep throat. Close monitoring of blood glucose levels and ketone levels are the hallmarks of proper sick-day management.
With growing children it is important to remember that each age group presents unique challenges. The teenage years are particularly challenging encompassing both rapid physiological and psychological changes. Adolescents work towards breaking with their families to become self-sustaining individuals. Through these turbulent years it is vital that parents remain involved with diabetes management.
Ultimately, the goal of successful diabetes management is the prevention of complications down the road, such as eye, kidney and heart disease. We know from long term clinical trials in type 1 diabetes that these problems can be delayed and/or prevented with good blood sugar control beginning at diagnosis.
Diabetes management can be expensive, and the cost of this care can quickly become a stressor. Even with insurance coverage, co-pays often are burdensome for families. This section also provides resources for navigating some of the financial obstacles that come along with diabetes.