According to statistics, about 42 thousand children in Russia are living with diabetes. At the same time, as the studies of the Alpha-Endo program of the KAF Foundation show, more than half of the parents learned that their child was sick with diabetes only after his emergency hospitalization in serious condition. And only when the doctor was interviewed it turned out that the parents did not have time to pay attention to the changes in the child's condition in time.
Parents can recognize diabetes in a child in time on their own. You should see your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:
the child began to often go to the toilet "in a small way", while the urine is colorless, like water, and sticky due to the presence of sugar in it
he constantly asks for a drink
nausea and vomiting appear
despite increased appetite, the child loses weight
and gets tired quickly
complains of itching and dry skin
There are two types of diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce enough insulin, and it must be obtained from the outside; in type 2 diabetes, enough insulin is produced, but the body does not absorb it. Type 1 diabetes is most common in children. It is also called insulin dependent.
Sugary drinks, sauces, soda, and high-calorie foods are leading to an increasing diagnosis of type 2 diabetes as a result of obesity. Such diabetes can be treated with pills or diet alone. However, this type of diabetes is less common in childhood. The main type of diabetes is type 1, in which constant monitoring is required from the first days of the disease. The causes of type 1 diabetes are not related to being overweight or eating too much sweets. Diabetes can develop if a child has a genetic predisposition, that is, a close relative lives with this disease. But it is not always possible to trace family ties. There is still no scientific explanation for the reasons for the dysfunction of the pancreas in type 1 diabetes mellitus.
A common myth about diabetes is associated with unconventional treatments such as herbs and acupuncture, which are supposed to help get rid of the disease. Using unconventional methods is not only ineffective, but can be dangerous.
In reality, diabetes cannot be cured, but it can be lived with and can be successfully controlled by taking blood sugar and injections of insulin several times a day. Now there is everything necessary for successful control of the disease, even a child can cope with modern glucometers, and frequent injections are replaced by insulin pumps - electronic devices the size of a mobile phone that automatically inject insulin into the child's body at a given time.
There is also an opinion that sooner or later patients with diabetes mellitus lose their sight and undergo amputation of limbs. In fact, regularly measuring glucose levels at least 4 times a day and administering insulin in a timely and accurate dose will minimize the likelihood of complications. Studies show that self-control and regular monitoring by an endocrinologist are two of the most important factors that save you from complications of the disease.
A significant problem is the psychological support of the family. For parents who have just learned about the diagnosis, it is important to understand that with proper control of the disease, a child can perfectly develop, play sports, music, go to school and, in general, live fully. This is best proved by the example of another family who has been living with diabetes for several years. Since last year, the Peer to Peer projects have been implemented in eight regions of Russia. The project is coordinated by the Alfa-Endo program and regional diabetic associations, and the volunteer mentors are parents of children with type 1 diabetes.
We asked Maria Ivanova, the mentor of the Peer to Peer program and the mother of a boy with diabetes, to share her advice.
So, if your child has been diagnosed with diabetes, you should:
Meet an experienced parent. They will show by their example the main thing: you can live with diabetes.
See a psychologist
Go to diabetes school and study information on the topic yourself on trusted sites recommended by your doctor
Accept the fact that children do not ask the question: why should I? Only when a parent takes for granted the fact that he cannot change anything, that no acupuncture in Tibet or herbal decoctions will save him, he will be able to help his child accept the diagnosis and live with it, following all medical recommendations.
Conduct a conversation with classmates or a group in the kindergarten, explain to the children why your child takes measurements and injects insulin. This is necessary for his own safety: if hypoglycemia occurs with loss of consciousness, children will attract the attention of adults
But it is difficult for children with diabetes in adolescence to tell their peers about it. Give them time to get used to
Don't be afraid of sweets. You can eat the candy, you just need to weigh it, read on the package how many carbohydrates it contains, calculate everything correctly and make insulin, that is, "compensate" for this candy. In type 1 diabetes, it is important to correctly calculate the dose of insulin, sugar does not have to be completely eliminated, control is important. At first it seems that everything is difficult, and then you will learn to live with it. Everything is a habit, but be sure to start a kitchen scale.
The best mom can do is keep a diary. Ready-made diaries with fields and columns are suitable for experienced parents. For beginners, I advise you to take an A4 sheet and schedule the day so that it is clear to everyone, not just you: time, sugar level, food and insulin dose.
For the first period of adaptation, you need to make the diet in the family as simple as possible, at least remove all fast carbohydrates. And then gradually return to the usual diet according to the child's age. No one is advised to eat a kilo of sweets and lollipops every day.
But you should not limit yourself too harshly just because of a sense of guilt in front of a sick child. If mom is pleased with tea with chocolate, if so she regains her strength and cheers up, then she should have a chocolate hidden in her purse. We all went through a feeling of guilt that our child is not allowed to do this, but we want to, but we have to work with feelings.
In addition to sugar-related issues, parents of teenagers are faced with the need to clarify with their child the issue of alcohol consumption. The danger of alcohol in diabetes lies primarily in the fact that alcohol blocks the formation of glucose in the liver and can cause hypoglycemia (a sharp drop in blood sugar), while a person's ability to control his body decreases. In addition, the symptoms of hypoglycemia may be mistakenly interpreted by others as symptoms of inebriation. And help will not be provided on time. This is the most important thing to explain to a teenager.
With babies who, due to their age, often have tears and tantrums, you need to remember that stress and strong emotions can cause an increase in blood glucose. However, it is also important to know that this works and vice versa: when blood glucose rises, the child's mood and behavior changes. Thus, increased excitability may not be the cause, but the consequence of high blood glucose levels. It is important to discuss this issue with a pediatric endocrinologist. It is also necessary to consult with a psychologist to develop tactics of behavior that allow the child and parents to better control themselves and avoid conflicts.
This proves once again that a psychologist is very important for families with diabetes. In Moscow, for example, there are psychologists specially trained to work with families of children with diabetics in every district and you can come to see them free of charge. By the way, these are the psychologists in the Alfa-Endo program.
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