Children with Diabetes Should be Warned Not To Smoke

January 24th, 2011

Doctors are being urged to ask juvenile diabetes patients about their smoking habits, and to advise them to stop if they are smokers. Diabetes and smoking are both risk factors for cardiovascular disease, which puts diabetics who smoke at particular risk.

But many young people with diabetes report that their doctors have never asked them whether or not they are smokers. Yet about 17% of diabetics aged 15 to 19 smoke. As 90% of smokers start before the age of 18 (the Journal of Pediatrics reports that 5.5% of children with diabetes aged 10 to 14 in one study were already smokers), the early years are an important time to stress the risk of smoking, especially for diabetes patients.

Teen-aged type 1 diabetics who smoke tend to be less physically active, and to have higher blood pressure and higher LDL ("bad") cholesterol and triglycerides than diabetic youth who are non-smokers. All are risk factors for cardiovascular disease. "Smoking is an avoidable risk factor in the development of cardiovascular disease," stresses Kristi Reynolds, PhD from the health care organization Kaiser Permanente, "Youth and children with diabetes, regardless of type, should be targeted for aggressive smoking prevention and cessation programs."

Over 186,000 young people under 20 have diabetes. Most of them have type 1 diabetes, also referred to as juvenile diabetes because it often begins in childhood. Type 1 diabetes is a chronic disease in which a misguided immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Insulin is a hormone which controls the amount of glucose (or blood sugar), the basic fuel for the body's cells, in the blood. People with type 1 diabetes make little or no insulin, and must rely on insulin injections to control their blood sugar. Type 1 usually occurs in people under 40.

About 10% of diabetics are type 1 diabetics. The other 90% of diabetics have type 2 diabetes, a condition in which the body either does not produce enough insulin, or can not properly use the insulin it does produce. Type 2 diabetes is connected to obesity and usually affects adults over 45, but type 2 diabetes in childrenis becoming increasingly common as Americans' weight soars.

Type 1 diabetics must control their condition with diet, exercise, lifestyle changes and a combination of short and long acting insulin. Diabetes type 2 treatment begins with changes in diet and regular exercise, but patients may require the use of diabetes medication as the disease progresses. Thankfully for today's youth with juvenile diabetes, insulin injection has been made easier in recent years with the introduction of the discreet and convenient insulin pen.

Children with Diabetes Should be Warned Not To Smoke

January 24th, 2011

Doctors are being urged to ask juvenile diabetes patients about their smoking habits, and to advise them to stop if they are smokers. Diabetes and smoking are both risk factors for cardiovascular disease, which puts diabetics who smoke at particular risk.

But many young people with diabetes report that their doctors have never asked them whether or not they are smokers. Yet about 17% of diabetics aged 15 to 19 smoke. As 90% of smokers start before the age of 18 (the Journal of Pediatrics reports that 5.5% of children with diabetes aged 10 to 14 in one study were already smokers), the early years are an important time to stress the risk of smoking, especially for diabetes patients.

Teen-aged type 1 diabetics who smoke tend to be less physically active, and to have higher blood pressure and higher LDL ("bad") cholesterol and triglycerides than diabetic youth who are non-smokers. All are risk factors for cardiovascular disease. "Smoking is an avoidable risk factor in the development of cardiovascular disease," stresses Kristi Reynolds, PhD from the health care organization Kaiser Permanente, "Youth and children with diabetes, regardless of type, should be targeted for aggressive smoking prevention and cessation programs."

Over 186,000 young people under 20 have diabetes. Most of them have type 1 diabetes, also referred to as juvenile diabetes because it often begins in childhood. Type 1 diabetes is a chronic disease in which a misguided immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Insulin is a hormone which controls the amount of glucose (or blood sugar), the basic fuel for the body's cells, in the blood. People with type 1 diabetes make little or no insulin, and must rely on insulin injections to control their blood sugar. Type 1 usually occurs in people under 40.

About 10% of diabetics are type 1 diabetics. The other 90% of diabetics have type 2 diabetes, a condition in which the body either does not produce enough insulin, or can not properly use the insulin it does produce. Type 2 diabetes is connected to obesity and usually affects adults over 45, but type 2 diabetes in childrenis becoming increasingly common as Americans' weight soars.

Type 1 diabetics must control their condition with diet, exercise, lifestyle changes and a combination of short and long acting insulin. Diabetes type 2 treatment begins with changes in diet and regular exercise, but patients may require the use of diabetes medication as the disease progresses. Thankfully for today's youth with juvenile diabetes, insulin injection has been made easier in recent years with the introduction of the discreet and convenient insulin pen.

"Diabesity" Epidemic Leads to Double Digit Growth in Sales of Diabetes Drugs

January 24th, 2011

Two converging epidemics are striking Americans across the socioeconomic spectrum. Diabetes and obesity are so closely connected that health care professionals have coined the term "diabesity" to describe the connection between the two. "I really believe that it is the obesity epidemic that has driven diabetes", says Dr. Christopher Still, obesity expert from the Geisinger Center for Nutrition and Weight Management, "simply because of the increase in insulin resistance."

Excess weight is linked to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a condition in which the hormone insulin becomes less effective at lowering blood sugar levels. The resulting high blood sugar increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the body produces little or no insulin. In type 2 diabetes, the body still produces insulin, but can't use it effectively. Ninety to ninety-five percent of diabetics have type 2 diabetes, and about 95% of type 2 diabetics are overweight.

The skyrocketing rate of obesity across the socioeconomic spectrum has been referred to as a "public health time bomb". About one-third of Americans are now considered obese (20% or more above normal weight), including nearly 17% of children and teens. Type 2 diabetes typically strikes in middle age, but as the obesity epidemic spreads to our children, doctors are seeing more diabetes in children and teens. A lot more cases - there has been a ten-fold increase in diabetes in children over the last five years.

As more and more diabetic Americans become insulin dependent, sales of diabetes medication and related products like insulin pumps and insulin pens are soaring. The diabetes products market has been "enjoying" double digit growth for years. Novo Nordisk reported an increase of 24% in sales of insulin products in 2009, and is forecasting continuing increases.

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the US. What health care providers find most frustrating is that both obesity and type 2 diabetes are largely preventable with proper diet and regular exercise. The World Health Organization refers to obesity, diabetes and heart disease as "diseases of affluence," and recommends a low glycemic index diet of foods rich in complex carbohydrates and protein. A US study of 90 years of national data found that the rising consumption of high glycemic index corn syrup (widely used to sweeten soft drinks and processed foods) and decreasing intake of dietary fiber parallels the explosion of type 2 diabetes in America. Dr. Still recommends those with insulin resistance cut sugary beverages like soda and juice out of their diet as a first step. "I tell people who are trying to lose weight to eat their calories, not drink them."

Special Infant Formula May Reduce Risk of Diabetes Antibodies

January 25th, 2011

Diabetic parents may want to feed their babies special easily digested infant formula to lessen their risk of developing antibodies associated with type 1 diabetes. Recent research has shown that particular diabetes antibodies (specialized immune system proteins that detect and attack foreign substances in the body) can be a strong predictor of the eventual onset of type 1 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which antibodies mistakenly attack and destroy insulin producing islet cells in the pancreas. No longer able to produce their own insulin, which is necessary to control the blood sugar that is vital to feeding the body's cells, type 1 diabetics must rely on lifelong insulin injections.

Five antibodies have been identified as predictors of type 1 diabetes, most significantly glutamic acid decarboxylase 65 antibodies (GADA), islet cell antibodies (ICA), and insulin antibodies. Those who test positive for at least two of these diabetes antibodies have a 50 to 100 percent risk of developing the disease in the next 5 to 10 years. Ninety five percent of children diagnosed with type 1 diabetes have high levels of GADA and ICA.

Diabetes antibody research should be special interest to those with a family history of diabetes because of the role genetics plays in the disease. Someone with a first degree family member (such as a parent or sibling) with diabetes is at increased risk of also developing it. It's believed that the tendency to develop diabetes antibodies is at least partially genetically inherited.

A pilot study for a large, ongoing international study called TRIGR (trial to reduce insulin dependent diabetes in those genetically at risk) looked at whether early weaning and exposure to complex proteins in traditional cow's milk formula puts children at increased risk of developing diabetes. The study tracked 230 children with a family history of type 1 diabetes for ten years. The children were divided into two groups. One group was fed regular baby formula from the age of 6 to 8 months, and the other a more easily digestible hydrolyzed formula in which the protein were already broken down. Those fed the hydrolyzed formula developed almost 50% fewer type 1 diabetes antibodies than those fed regular formula. Final results of the large TRIGR study are expected to be released in 2017.

Although great progress has been made in diabetes treatment in recent years, particularly in diabetes medications, parents are still devastated at a diagnosis of juvenile diabetes. Although hydrolyzed formula is more expensive than traditional baby formula, it's a small cost to pay if it can help prevent the development of diabetes in children.

Special Infant Formula May Reduce Risk of Diabetes Antibodies

January 25th, 2011

Diabetic parents may want to feed their babies special easily digested infant formula to lessen their risk of developing antibodies associated with type 1 diabetes. Recent research has shown that particular diabetes antibodies (specialized immune system proteins that detect and attack foreign substances in the body) can be a strong predictor of the eventual onset of type 1 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which antibodies mistakenly attack and destroy insulin producing islet cells in the pancreas. No longer able to produce their own insulin, which is necessary to control the blood sugar that is vital to feeding the body's cells, type 1 diabetics must rely on lifelong insulin injections.

Five antibodies have been identified as predictors of type 1 diabetes, most significantly glutamic acid decarboxylase 65 antibodies (GADA), islet cell antibodies (ICA), and insulin antibodies. Those who test positive for at least two of these diabetes antibodies have a 50 to 100 percent risk of developing the disease in the next 5 to 10 years. Ninety five percent of children diagnosed with type 1 diabetes have high levels of GADA and ICA.

Diabetes antibody research should be special interest to those with a family history of diabetes because of the role genetics plays in the disease. Someone with a first degree family member (such as a parent or sibling) with diabetes is at increased risk of also developing it. It's believed that the tendency to develop diabetes antibodies is at least partially genetically inherited.

A pilot study for a large, ongoing international study called TRIGR (trial to reduce insulin dependent diabetes in those genetically at risk) looked at whether early weaning and exposure to complex proteins in traditional cow's milk formula puts children at increased risk of developing diabetes. The study tracked 230 children with a family history of type 1 diabetes for ten years. The children were divided into two groups. One group was fed regular baby formula from the age of 6 to 8 months, and the other a more easily digestible hydrolyzed formula in which the protein were already broken down. Those fed the hydrolyzed formula developed almost 50% fewer type 1 diabetes antibodies than those fed regular formula. Final results of the large TRIGR study are expected to be released in 2017.

Although great progress has been made in diabetes treatment in recent years, particularly in diabetes medications, parents are still devastated at a diagnosis of juvenile diabetes. Although hydrolyzed formula is more expensive than traditional baby formula, it's a small cost to pay if it can help prevent the development of diabetes in children.

Six Warning Signs of Diabetic Ketoacidosis

February 22nd, 2011

Ketoacidosis is a diabetic emergency which occurs as a result of a lack of insulin. Without insulin, the body is unable to use sugar for energy. Unable to use sugar, the body burns its fat stores for energy.

As the fat is broken down, byproducts called ketones are released, building up in the blood and urine. Ketones are acid waste products, and are dangerous at high levels. Blood sugar rises as the liver produces more glucose in an attempt to fuel the body, causing further acidity.

A diabetic who experiences two or more of the following warning signs, and has high glucose readings (over 300mg/dl) should contact their doctor or go to the hospital immediately:

  1. Breath that smells like fruit or nail polish remover
  2. Labored breathing (gasping)
  3. Pronounced thirst
  4. Stomach or abdominal pain
  5. Nausea and vomiting
  6. Flushed complexion

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) usually develops slowly over 24 hours, starting with symptoms such as fatigue, mental stupor, decreased appetite, loss of appetite, headache, and fading consciousness. Often the symptoms of ketoacidosis lead to an initial diagnosis of type 1 diabetes.

Once the patient starts vomiting, their condition can deteriorate very quickly. If treatment is delayed, the diabetic can fall into a life threatening coma. Ketoacidosis is especially dangerous in the elderly.

Immediate treatment involves an insulin injection to reduce blood glucose levels, and the administration of fluids and electrolytes to combat the dehydration that accompanies DKA. The average adult DKA sufferer loses about one and a half gallons of fluid.

Ketoacidosis is a concern for insulin dependent type 1 diabetics, but occurs much less frequently in type 2 diabetics. Diabetics who are Hispanic or African American are more at risk of DKA. DKA is more common in children and adolescents, and, for unknown reasons, slightly more common in women.

DKA is often the result of an illness. Diabetic ketoacidosis can also result from:

  • A missed insulin dose
  • Incorrect insulin dosing
  • A malfunctioning insulin pump
  • An increased need for insulin (sometimes as a result of a growth spurt in children)
  • Infection
  • Surgery
  • Trauma
  • Heart attack
  • Use of cocaine

Diabetics can easily test their urine for ketones are using a test strip similar to a glucose test strip. Ketone testing should be done whenever the blood sugar is higher than 240 mg/dl, during an illness or health crisis such as a stroke, during pregnancy, and whenever a diabetic is experiencing nausea and/or vomiting. Diabetics who are ill should check their ketones every 4 to 6 hours to ensure adequate diabetes control.

DKA can largely be avoided with proper diet and self care when diabetics are ill or otherwise at risk, including adjusting insulin levels when needed. Before the introduction of insulin injections in the 1920's, DKA was almost always fatal. Since the 1950s, the mortality rate has, thankfully, been reduced to between one and ten percent.

Adjusting to Life With Childhood Diabetes

March 14th, 2011

It's hard enough to cope with parenting an adolescent, and if you throw juvenile diabetes into the mix it may feel impossible. Educate yourself, make a plan with your diabetes team, and keep lines of communication open between you and your child, and you can go back to disagreeing about things like dating and borrowing the car.

Signs and Symptoms

Because of the changes your child will experience with puberty, the signs and symptoms may be difficult to recognize, so regular check-ups are important. Type 1 diabetes usually shows up at 10 to 12 years of age in girls and around 12 to 14 years of age in boys, but may present earlier or later. Some of the symptoms of diabetes in children are:

  • Fatigue
  • Extreme weight loss
  • Increased appetite
  • Increased thirst and frequent urination
  • Irritability

If you notice these signs in your child, it is important to talk to your doctor so that she can run tests. If the tests confirm that your child has diabetes, he may need to go straight to the hospital to get help stabilizing his blood sugar levels. Your doctor and other health care professionals will work with you to make a plan to maintain those healthy blood sugar levels. This may include diabetes medication, insulin injections and diet and exercise changes.

Making Changes

As you make the necessary lifestyle changes continue to talk to your child so that he is aware of what he needs to do, and more importantly, why he needs to do it. Giving him the tools and information he needs to fully understand the situation will help him to make healthy decisions down the road.

Ease into the changes so that the transition is not too jolting. If your child is inactive, start with small amounts of activity as a family every day. Buy whole grain products instead of white flour, and try to incorporate vegetables or fruit at all meals.

Attitude

Stay calm when discussing your child's diabetes with him. Instead of focusing on what he won't be able to do, or all the things that will change, focus on all the things that he will continue to be able to do. He will still be able to have fun with his friends, play sports and go to school. Get him involved in meal planning and, when you and your child feel he is ready, let him do his own insulin injections. If he feels he still has independence it will make the adjustments easier on everyone.

Adjusting to Life With Childhood Diabetes

March 14th, 2011

It's hard enough to cope with parenting an adolescent, and if you throw juvenile diabetes into the mix it may feel impossible. Educate yourself, make a plan with your diabetes team, and keep lines of communication open between you and your child, and you can go back to disagreeing about things like dating and borrowing the car.

Signs and Symptoms

Because of the changes your child will experience with puberty, the signs and symptoms may be difficult to recognize, so regular check-ups are important. Type 1 diabetes usually shows up at 10 to 12 years of age in girls and around 12 to 14 years of age in boys, but may present earlier or later. Some of the symptoms of diabetes in children are:

  • Fatigue
  • Extreme weight loss
  • Increased appetite
  • Increased thirst and frequent urination
  • Irritability

If you notice these signs in your child, it is important to talk to your doctor so that she can run tests. If the tests confirm that your child has diabetes, he may need to go straight to the hospital to get help stabilizing his blood sugar levels. Your doctor and other health care professionals will work with you to make a plan to maintain those healthy blood sugar levels. This may include diabetes medication, insulin injections and diet and exercise changes.

Making Changes

As you make the necessary lifestyle changes continue to talk to your child so that he is aware of what he needs to do, and more importantly, why he needs to do it. Giving him the tools and information he needs to fully understand the situation will help him to make healthy decisions down the road.

Ease into the changes so that the transition is not too jolting. If your child is inactive, start with small amounts of activity as a family every day. Buy whole grain products instead of white flour, and try to incorporate vegetables or fruit at all meals.

Attitude

Stay calm when discussing your child's diabetes with him. Instead of focusing on what he won't be able to do, or all the things that will change, focus on all the things that he will continue to be able to do. He will still be able to have fun with his friends, play sports and go to school. Get him involved in meal planning and, when you and your child feel he is ready, let him do his own insulin injections. If he feels he still has independence it will make the adjustments easier on everyone.

Artificial Pancreas Awaiting FDA Approval for Clinical Testing

March 26th, 2011

The artificial pancreas is a unique combination of three main closed-loop components:

1) A continuous glucose monitor for ongoing blood sugar levels and patterns

2) A programmable computerized insulin pump

3) An advanced computer algorithm (formula) that can calculate how much insulin the body needs, and when it needs it

Although just the "research and development first step" towards a fully functioning artificial pancreas, the insulin delivery system now awaiting approval for clinical trials is, according to Animas' Chief Medical Officer and director of Project Manya, Dr. Henry Anhalt, "leaps and bounds above technology that is currently available."

Anholt points out that current insulin pumps, which he calls "unintelligent", can monitor blood glucose and dispense insulin, but still require users to input and interpret a lot of data. While some decisions will still have to be made by users until the device is fully automated, Anholt says the new artificial pancreas can "assist the patient and in many ways, take over the decision-making process".

Once perfected, the new technology will have a monumental impact on the quality of life of insulin dependent diabetics. Not only will the new insulin delivery system simplify the constant challenge of controlling blood sugar, accurate insulin dosing and administering insulin injections, the resulting tight blood sugar control will help ward off a host of diabetes complications such as blindness, nerve damage, amputations and kidney and heart disease.

Diabetes in Children: Adjusting to Life with Juvenile Diabetes

March 29th, 2011

It's hard enough to cope with parenting an adolescent, and if you throw juvenile diabetes into the mix it may feel impossible. Educate yourself; make a plan with your diabetes team, and keep the lines of communication open between you and your child, and you can go back to disagreeing about things like dating and borrowing the car.

Signs and Symptoms

Because of the changes your child will experience with puberty, the signs and symptoms of diabetes in children may be difficult to recognize, so regular check-ups are important. Type 1 diabetes usually shows up at 10 to 12 years of age in girls and around 12 to 14 years of age in boys, but may present earlier or later. Some of the symptoms of juvenile diabetes are:

  • Fatigue
  • Extreme weight loss
  • Increased appetite
  • Increased thirst and frequent urination
  • Irritability

If you notice these signs in your child, it is important to talk to your doctor so that she can run tests. If the tests confirm childhood diabetes, he may need to go straight to the hospital to get help stabilizing his blood sugar levels. Your doctor and other health care professionals will work with you to make a plan to maintain those healthy blood sugar levels. This may include diabetes medication, insulin injections and diet and exercise changes.

Making Changes

As you make the necessary lifestyle changes, continue to talk to your child so that he is aware of what he needs to do, and more importantly, why he needs to do it. Giving him the tools and information he needs to fully understand childhood diabetes will help him to make healthy decisions down the road.

Ease into the changes so that the transition is not too jolting. If your child is inactive, start with small amounts of activity as a family every day. Buy whole grain products instead of those made from white flour, avoid sugary foods, and try to incorporate vegetables or fruit at all meals.

Attitude

Stay calm when discussing juvenile diabetes with your child. Instead of focusing on what he won't be able to do, or all the things that will change, focus on all the things that he will continue to be able to do. He will still be able to have fun with his friends, play sports and go to school. Get him involved in meal planning and, when you and your child feel he is ready, let him do his own insulin injection. Many children find the newer insulin pens

easier to use than the traditional insulin syringes. If he feels he still has independence it will make the adjustments easier on everyone.

Click >here< for some advice from teen superstar Nick Jonas, who was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at age 13.

Diabetes in Children: Adjusting to Life with Juvenile Diabetes

March 29th, 2011

It's hard enough to cope with parenting an adolescent, and if you throw juvenile diabetes into the mix it may feel impossible. Educate yourself; make a plan with your diabetes team, and keep the lines of communication open between you and your child, and you can go back to disagreeing about things like dating and borrowing the car.

Signs and Symptoms

Because of the changes your child will experience with puberty, the signs and symptoms of diabetes in children may be difficult to recognize, so regular check-ups are important. Type 1 diabetes usually shows up at 10 to 12 years of age in girls and around 12 to 14 years of age in boys, but may present earlier or later. Some of the symptoms of juvenile diabetes are:

  • Fatigue
  • Extreme weight loss
  • Increased appetite
  • Increased thirst and frequent urination
  • Irritability

If you notice these signs in your child, it is important to talk to your doctor so that she can run tests. If the tests confirm childhood diabetes, he may need to go straight to the hospital to get help stabilizing his blood sugar levels. Your doctor and other health care professionals will work with you to make a plan to maintain those healthy blood sugar levels. This may include diabetes medication, insulin injections and diet and exercise changes.

Making Changes

As you make the necessary lifestyle changes, continue to talk to your child so that he is aware of what he needs to do, and more importantly, why he needs to do it. Giving him the tools and information he needs to fully understand childhood diabetes will help him to make healthy decisions down the road.

Ease into the changes so that the transition is not too jolting. If your child is inactive, start with small amounts of activity as a family every day. Buy whole grain products instead of those made from white flour, avoid sugary foods, and try to incorporate vegetables or fruit at all meals.

Attitude

Stay calm when discussing juvenile diabetes with your child. Instead of focusing on what he won't be able to do, or all the things that will change, focus on all the things that he will continue to be able to do. He will still be able to have fun with his friends, play sports and go to school. Get him involved in meal planning and, when you and your child feel he is ready, let him do his own insulin injection. Many children find the newer insulin pens

easier to use than the traditional insulin syringes. If he feels he still has independence it will make the adjustments easier on everyone.

Click >here< for some advice from teen superstar Nick Jonas, who was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at age 13.

Six Simple Tips for Parents of Children with Diabetes

April 5th, 2011

boy playing

Juvenile diabetes can make it difficult for a child to live a "normal" life. With diabetes medication, insulin injections, diet restrictions, and all the symptoms that can accompany diabetes, it may feel like your kid's life is ruined, but there are some simple things you can do to make his life easier.

1. Snacks: setting a no-snack rule is likely going to backfire, so encourage healthy but tasty snacks. Try low fat crackers with peanut butter, apple slices with low fat cheese, or fruit smoothies with berries and milk. Make an effort to combine grains, proteins, fruits and vegetables at every meal, and talk to your kid about the importance of controlling blood glucose levels. He should be able to make healthy food decisions when you are not there to guide him, so help him learn.

2. Create a routine. Eating at regular times will help to keep your child's glucose levels under control. Use this opportunity to build in fun activities to get the whole family moving, like going for a walk after supper or riding bikes to school. It will be easier to keep track of spikes or drops in glucose levels this way, and it is less likely that you or he will forget something like his diabetes medication, insulin injections, or even a meal.

3. Exercise. Don't make exercise a burden, instead take advantage of children's natural desire to move. Play soccer, play tag, climb trees, ride bikes- If it gets your kid moving, have fun with it. If your kid sees you having fun while being active, he'll be more inclined to join in.

4. Talk to other parents so that your child can participate in sleepovers, birthday parties and other activities, just like any other kid. With the right tools and information, it shouldn't be too hard for them to accommodate your child's needs. Offer to send healthy snacks that everyone can enjoy, or just send something for your child.

5. Set an example. Eat healthy meals and exercise, and your kids will follow your lead. On top of that, you will be healthier and able to enjoy spending time with your kids for longer.

6. Educate your child about juvenile diabetes. Make sure he understands the nature of his condition, the importance of monitoring his blood glucose levels, and the genuine need for insulin for diabetics.

Six Simple Tips for Parents of Children with Diabetes

April 5th, 2011

boy playing

Juvenile diabetes can make it difficult for a child to live a "normal" life. With diabetes medication, insulin injections, diet restrictions, and all the symptoms that can accompany diabetes, it may feel like your kid's life is ruined, but there are some simple things you can do to make his life easier.

1. Snacks: setting a no-snack rule is likely going to backfire, so encourage healthy but tasty snacks. Try low fat crackers with peanut butter, apple slices with low fat cheese, or fruit smoothies with berries and milk. Make an effort to combine grains, proteins, fruits and vegetables at every meal, and talk to your kid about the importance of controlling blood glucose levels. He should be able to make healthy food decisions when you are not there to guide him, so help him learn.

2. Create a routine. Eating at regular times will help to keep your child's glucose levels under control. Use this opportunity to build in fun activities to get the whole family moving, like going for a walk after supper or riding bikes to school. It will be easier to keep track of spikes or drops in glucose levels this way, and it is less likely that you or he will forget something like his diabetes medication, insulin injections, or even a meal.

3. Exercise. Don't make exercise a burden, instead take advantage of children's natural desire to move. Play soccer, play tag, climb trees, ride bikes- If it gets your kid moving, have fun with it. If your kid sees you having fun while being active, he'll be more inclined to join in.

4. Talk to other parents so that your child can participate in sleepovers, birthday parties and other activities, just like any other kid. With the right tools and information, it shouldn't be too hard for them to accommodate your child's needs. Offer to send healthy snacks that everyone can enjoy, or just send something for your child.

5. Set an example. Eat healthy meals and exercise, and your kids will follow your lead. On top of that, you will be healthier and able to enjoy spending time with your kids for longer.

6. Educate your child about juvenile diabetes. Make sure he understands the nature of his condition, the importance of monitoring his blood glucose levels, and the genuine need for insulin for diabetics.

Juvenile Diabetes: How to Talk to Your Child about a Diabetes Diagnosis

April 11th, 2011

insulin injection

Finding out that your child needs insulin injections can be shocking and terrifying. It is easy to go into panic mode and think about all the worst case scenarios, but it is important to stay calm, especially in front of your child. Children take their cues from the adults around them, and if your child sees you panicking about his illness he will likely panic too. Acknowledge that this is scary for him, and that things are going to change, but let him know with your voice and your actions that it will be okay and that you will be there to help him every step of the way.

Stay Calm

Once you have a diabetes diagnosis for your child you will want to sit down and talk to him and help him understand what is going on. Nurses and doctors may explain certain things to him at his appointment or at the hospital, but he will likely be overwhelmed by everything that is going on and will need to have things explained again. There are a few important things to remember when having this conversation, but above all else show your child that you love and support him.

Focus on the Positives

Don't start out with a list of things your child is not allowed to do or eat. Let him know that there will be changes, but that he will still be able to play with his friends and participate in the activities he loves. Talking to your child about his illness in a positive and encouraging way will reassure him it is not the end of his world as he knows it. Remind him that he is not alone, that there are many other children with diabetes, and that his family and friends will be there to support him.

Talk about Diabetes Medications

Talking about diabetes medications and insulin for diabetics can be difficult, especially with younger children. While it is tempting to just tell your child to take it "because it will make him better", or "because the doctor says so", it is important that your child knows why he is taking the medication. Keep the explanations of the diabetes medications simple, so that he is not overwhelmed or confused; he does not need to know the complex science, only what the drugs do to keep him healthy and why they are so important. If he understands the changes he is making in his life he will be able to make decisions on his own when you are not there.

You or another adult will need to give you child his insulin injections until he is old enough to do it himself. Remain firm, calm and matter of fact when giving insulin injections. Long acting insulin has a different pH than types of insulin, and some children complain that long acting insulin shots "sting" if given too quickly. Some parents use an ice cube to numb the injection site. Many prefer using the smaller, more convenient insulin pens over insulin syringes.

Juvenile Diabetes: How to Talk to Your Child about a Diabetes Diagnosis

April 11th, 2011

insulin injection

Finding out that your child needs insulin injections can be shocking and terrifying. It is easy to go into panic mode and think about all the worst case scenarios, but it is important to stay calm, especially in front of your child. Children take their cues from the adults around them, and if your child sees you panicking about his illness he will likely panic too. Acknowledge that this is scary for him, and that things are going to change, but let him know with your voice and your actions that it will be okay and that you will be there to help him every step of the way.

Stay Calm

Once you have a diabetes diagnosis for your child you will want to sit down and talk to him and help him understand what is going on. Nurses and doctors may explain certain things to him at his appointment or at the hospital, but he will likely be overwhelmed by everything that is going on and will need to have things explained again. There are a few important things to remember when having this conversation, but above all else show your child that you love and support him.

Focus on the Positives

Don't start out with a list of things your child is not allowed to do or eat. Let him know that there will be changes, but that he will still be able to play with his friends and participate in the activities he loves. Talking to your child about his illness in a positive and encouraging way will reassure him it is not the end of his world as he knows it. Remind him that he is not alone, that there are many other children with diabetes, and that his family and friends will be there to support him.

Talk about Diabetes Medications

Talking about diabetes medications and insulin for diabetics can be difficult, especially with younger children. While it is tempting to just tell your child to take it "because it will make him better", or "because the doctor says so", it is important that your child knows why he is taking the medication. Keep the explanations of the diabetes medications simple, so that he is not overwhelmed or confused; he does not need to know the complex science, only what the drugs do to keep him healthy and why they are so important. If he understands the changes he is making in his life he will be able to make decisions on his own when you are not there.

You or another adult will need to give you child his insulin injections until he is old enough to do it himself. Remain firm, calm and matter of fact when giving insulin injections. Long acting insulin has a different pH than types of insulin, and some children complain that long acting insulin shots "sting" if given too quickly. Some parents use an ice cube to numb the injection site. Many prefer using the smaller, more convenient insulin pens over insulin syringes.

New Recommendations for Diagnosing Diabetes in Children

May 27th, 2011

Unfortunately, the easiest way to measure long-term glucose levels to diagnose diabetes in children - the hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) test, may not be the most effective method.

An article in the Journal of Pediatrics comparing HbA1c screening and the fasting plasma glucose test (which must be administered after an 8 hour fast) warns that the HbA1c test is less sensitive in children than it is in adults.

"You don't want to rely on just this test to diagnose a child with diabetes," says pediatric endocrinologist Dr. Joyce Lee, "The HbA1c test just doesn't perform as well in children as it does in adults." Lee worries that cases of diabetes in children could be missed, and advices the test be used only in conjunction with other tests to diagnose juvenile diabetes.

The HbA1c test is quite accurate in adults, but it's believed that changing hormone levels could skew the results in boys and girls. Although more difficult to administer, the glucose tolerance test is still the "gold standard" to detect diabetes in children, says Dr. Gerald Bernstein of the Beth Israel Medical Centre's Friedman Diabetes Institute.

To read more about the latest information on diagnosing children with diabetes on WebMD, >CLICK HERE.<

New Recommendations for Diagnosing Diabetes in Children

May 27th, 2011

Unfortunately, the easiest way to measure long-term glucose levels to diagnose diabetes in children - the hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) test, may not be the most effective method.

An article in the Journal of Pediatrics comparing HbA1c screening and the fasting plasma glucose test (which must be administered after an 8 hour fast) warns that the HbA1c test is less sensitive in children than it is in adults.

"You don't want to rely on just this test to diagnose a child with diabetes," says pediatric endocrinologist Dr. Joyce Lee, "The HbA1c test just doesn't perform as well in children as it does in adults." Lee worries that cases of diabetes in children could be missed, and advices the test be used only in conjunction with other tests to diagnose juvenile diabetes.

The HbA1c test is quite accurate in adults, but it's believed that changing hormone levels could skew the results in boys and girls. Although more difficult to administer, the glucose tolerance test is still the "gold standard" to detect diabetes in children, says Dr. Gerald Bernstein of the Beth Israel Medical Centre's Friedman Diabetes Institute.

To read more about the latest information on diagnosing children with diabetes on WebMD, >CLICK HERE.<

New Blood Sugar Meter Rewards Children with Diabetes for Testing Regularly

August 2nd, 2011

Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases in children, and the incidence of juvenile diabetes is growing. According to the American Diabetes Association, about 215,000 children and youth have diabetes. Most of them are type 1 diabetics, but more children are being diagnosed with type 2. This increase in type 2 diabetes in children is being attributed to poor diet, not enough physical activity, and resulting weight gain.

A new blood sugar meter designed for kids can actually make glucose testing fun. The Bayer Didget Meter has a five second testing time, a large easy to read screen, and a selectable post meal reminder to prompt children to test their blood sugar levels after eating.

Perhaps its best element is the feature that it adds a fun factor for children who glucose test regularly by rewarding them with free Nintendo DS games. To see a picture of and read more about the Bayer Didget Meter on diabetic live, >CLICK HERE.<

New Blood Sugar Meter Rewards Children with Diabetes for Testing Regularly

August 2nd, 2011

Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases in children, and the incidence of juvenile diabetes is growing. According to the American Diabetes Association, about 215,000 children and youth have diabetes. Most of them are type 1 diabetics, but more children are being diagnosed with type 2. This increase in type 2 diabetes in children is being attributed to poor diet, not enough physical activity, and resulting weight gain.

A new blood sugar meter designed for kids can actually make glucose testing fun. The Bayer Didget Meter has a five second testing time, a large easy to read screen, and a selectable post meal reminder to prompt children to test their blood sugar levels after eating.

Perhaps its best element is the feature that it adds a fun factor for children who glucose test regularly by rewarding them with free Nintendo DS games. To see a picture of and read more about the Bayer Didget Meter on diabetic live, >CLICK HERE.<

Diabetic Emergency: Treating Hypoglycemia with Glucagon

September 19th, 2011

glucagon kit

Like insulin, glucagon is a hormone made in the pancreas. But the two hormones have opposite effects - insulin lowers blood sugar, while glucagon raises it. This means glucagon can be used to treat an episode of severe hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) in diabetics.

Severe hypoglycemia is rare in most insulin dependent diabetics, but can cause a loss of consciousness and should be considered a medical emergency. Type 1 diabetics are advised to have a glucagon kit on or near them at all times, as are the parents and caregivers of children with diabetes.

About.com diabetes coach Gary Gilles has written a valuable guide to treating severe low blood sugar with glucagon, describing when and how glucagon should be used. Glucagon is administered as an injection, but unlike an insulin injection, it should be injected deep into the muscle.

To read Gilles' article on About.com, >Click Here.<

Gestational Diabetes Linked to Childhood ADHD

January 4th, 2012

A new study suggests that children born to lower-middle-class mothers who developed diabetes during pregnancy are more likely to experience attention and hyperactivity problems.

Children born into lower income households may aggravate any underlying nervous system deficits. These deficits can stem from a number of factors, one being gestational diabetes. When the mother has gestational diabetes, her blood sugar levels are abnormally high, giving too much to the developing fetus. The fetus may then have to provide energy normally used for nervous system development to absorb the excess glucose.

Gestational diabetes can be treated during pregnancy, but lower-income mothers may not control their diabetes during pregnancy as well as more prosperous mamas, raising risks to the fetus.

Also, "when babies are born into higher socioeconomic status households, they have better access to medical care [and] remedial activities, intellectual stimulus is higher, they have better foods," says Yoko Nomura, lead author of the study.

Therefore, a child exposed to a combination of a lower income and gestational diabetes is fourteen times more likely to develop ADHD before the age of six than a baby born to prosperous household without the exposure to gestational diabetes.

For more information please click here.

Levemir Use in Children Approved

May 23rd, 2012

The FDA has approved Novo Nordisk, a pioneer in diabetes care; Levemir for use in children aged two to five with type 1 diabetes.

Levemir (insulin detemir) is a long-acting recombinant human insulin, has been previously used to treat type 1 diabetes from aged five and type 2 diabetes in adults.

Now Levimir is the first and only basal insulin analog for children as young as two years. Levemir insulin and flexpen are available for adults as well as children and will cost a lot less if you buy Levemir from online Canada pharmacy.

To view the full release, please visit: http://www.multivu.com/mnr/56366-novo-nordisk-fda-approves-levemir-children-two-to-five-type-1-diabetes

In last month, Levemir was approved for pregnant women with diabetes.

Meal Planning Strategies for Children with Diabetes

January 7th, 2013

Planning meals is an integral step in managing diabetes in children. The aim is to keep the blood sugar levels under control while helping them maintain active, healthy lives. The basic principles of a diabetes meal plan include eating regularly, avoiding excessive consumption of sweets, incorporating fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in the diet, and balancing the consumption of carbohydrates throughout the day.

While, on the face of it, planning a meal on these lines looks fairly simple, it can actually be quite tricky. Soon enough, the kitchen becomes a science class and food turns into a complicated variable. This doesn't necessarily have to be the case. It is quite possible to have a diabetic friendly diet without approaching a straitjacket attitude towards food.

Before we go into the specifics of the diet, let's first understand why a diabetic meal plan is essential in the first place. Consisting of 3 main meals and up to 3 snacks a day, the aim of regularizing diet for children with diabetes is to provide the body with a consistent amount of carbohydrates every day at the same time. Therefore, once the insulin is injected into the body, it receives a steady supply of glucose, which helps maintain blood glucose balance, thereby avoiding too many highs and lows.

That said, while consistency is the key to a successful diabetes diet plan for kids, it also has to be realistic and flexible. Unless you take into account your child's likes, dislikes, preferences, and lifestyle, meal times could end up becoming a contentious issue in the household.

Broadly speaking there are three types of meal plans that are prescribed for children with diabetes:

1. Constant Carbohydrate Meal Plan

2. Carbohydrate Counting Meal Plan

3. Exchange Meal Plan

In the first, the child has a fixed amount of carbohydrates in every meal or snack. These meals are followed by insulin or other diabetes medicines, which are consumed in exact doses at the same time of the day. You could use the food labels as a guide to determine how much carbohydrate your kid is having.

The second diet plan - the carbohydrate counting diet plan - is more suitable for kids who have been advised to take a shot of insulin with each meal. Parents have to monitor how many grams of carbs their child is having per meal and match the insulin dosage to that. Once again, the best way to calculate the amount of carbs being consumed is to consult the food labels.

Finally, we come to the exchange meal plan, which, instead of relying on carbs alone, includes unsaturated fats, lean proteins and fiber as well in the child's diet as well. All foods are divided into six categories - fruit, milk, fat, starch, meat, and vegetable. The child can have a fixed number of servings from each category, which is fixed on his daily calorie requirements. While this diet allows you to exchange one food for another within the category itself, substituting foods from one category to another isn't possible.

At the end of the day, a diabetic meal plan isn't only about balancing your kid's blood sugar levels. It also has to be easy to incorporate into your daily life. More importantly, it should be able to cater to your child's appetite while also indulging his likes and dislikes. If your diabetic meal plan can do that you can say your troubles have paid off.

Children Avoiding Germs on Higher Risk of Getting diabetes

March 27th, 2013

It's a popular quote that too much of everything is bad!!!! But these days it's all about the excessive doing, especially in case of children--. Excessive junk food eating, excessive television and excessive modernization!!! Children in yester years would play in the dirt and mud and come home drenched in absolute filth. But these days, neither the children have time for this nor do the parents like them playing in the dirt or doing something that disgusts them. But all being too clean and tidy can result in health risk especially the one related to the immune system.Yup, who would have thought keeping children clean at all times might be bad though, right? Believe it or not, it is.

Why should Children be exposed to germs?

Studies prove that if in young age children are not exposed to germs, their immune system doesn't develop.We are well aware of the fact that a child's brain needs stimulation in order for it to send and receive signals and to develop correctly. In the same manner, it is necessary that the immune system is exposed to dust, dirt, pollen, molds or allergens to help it in learning how to tackle the invaders which in turn results in a stronger immunity. If the immune system doesn't go through this process, it later back fires with diseases and illnesses. Moreover, if you take antibiotics or medicines to curb this problem; it might actually aggravate it. With every course of antibiotics you take, your immunity keeps dripping down. Moreover, antibiotics, anti bacterial soaps and vaccinations restrain development of healthy immune system.

Why healthy immune system is necessary?

It is observed that children, who get chicken pox or measles once, then have immunity towards these diseases for their lifetime. On the other hand, who do not contract these diseases and yet receive vaccinations for the same, have to take booster shots to be continuously immune to these diseases. In the similar manner, children are also prone to diabetes. A study showed that vulnerability to Type 1 diabetes is likely when a child is refrained from the exposure of microbes and parasites. Also, a research is already in progress to prove that a reduction in a person's immunity can be instrumental in elevation and development of Type 1 diabetes and many other autoimmune illnesses.

What to do for Healthy Immune Functionality?

There are certain practices which would help in developing and supporting a healthy immune system. This can be done with the help of a diet which includes vegetables, fruits, omega- 3 fatty acids and fermented foods. But it is necessary to restrain from a diet high in carbohydrate, sugar and artificial additives.

A strong immune system, early on, can aid in prevention of diseases and illnesses initiated through exposure to dust, allergens, germs and the like. It is believed that letting the children get dirty in their younger years can help them to stay healthy in the long term as the exposure to the germs,at least to some extent, is beneficial to the immune system.

Beware of Foot Sores If You Have Diabetes

October 11th, 2013

Did you know that every thirty seconds someone suffering from diabetes loses a lower limb? What is it about diabetes that renders wounds to be so dangerous to the patient? The fact of the matter is even a minor wound, if you have diabetes, can become serious enough to warrant eventual amputation.

Diabetes clearly places patients at a risk of foot sores resulting in amputations that is ten times greater than non diabetics. Those statistics alone should carry a huge warning sign.

Why are diabetics at such risk?

Diabetics suffer from decreased blood flow. That means that any injuries require a longer healing time. Furthermore, many diabetics also have neuropathy. This condition makes it difficult to feel the pain from an injury which means the treatment needed is often postponed.

What's so special about your feet?

Your poor, old, tired feet are often neglected. However, a diabetic really can't afford this sort of negligence. Regular self-examination of your feet should be part of a preventive protocol.

Good news

The good news is that most amputations can be avoided. With proper foot care and timely wound treatment wounds can be kept in check and healed.

Taking care of your feet

Keeping your feet clean and dry are an important piece of a daily routine. That means the use of soap and water as well as thoroughly drying between your toes. If you struggle with dry, cracked feet then daily application of a foot cream is important. Any fungus, infection, athlete's foot or nails that appear to be changing in color and thickness should be examined by a podiatrist. Wearing sensible shoes with plenty of room for your feet and toes is just good common sense. Sure, you may not always look the most stylish when you're hanging out with your friends, but in the end you will save your feet.

Once again, most amputations can be avoided! That is the good news. However, due diligence is required in order to keep your feet as healthy as possible.