Diabetes has been diagnosed in children as young 1-year-old. And pre-diabetes is being observed in children as young as ten or even earlier, If this condition goes unnoticed and unchecked at this stage it will develop into full-blown diabetes. What a way to start life – having to get your blood sugar checked three or more times everyday for the rest of your life?
In the case of pre-diabetes this condition can be reversed and your child can live a normal life . . . free of this dreaded disease, but only if you recognize the subtle symptoms and take action.
Why does it start so young?
Many causes for blood sugar spikes in children are directly attributed to life at home.
Care must be made in providing the most nutritious and portion controlled diet at each meal. Children need to eat at least three times per day especially if they have an active lifestyle. Parents or guardian must teach and encourage the young ones how to supply their bodies with the right foods for energy. Its near impossible to monitor and supervise what they eat but if you teach them to select nourishing foods it will carry over into those times when they are on their own.
Television and all distracting electronics – I-Pad, electronic games and toys – are very tempting and will lead to prolonged down time if not monitored. It not only promotes inactivity but kids are constantly bombarded by advertising that’s shouting out poor food choices – pizza with the most cheese, cereals that have more chocolate than the next competitor and sodas and other sugary drinks. These devices must be supervised.
Stress is another contributor to inactivity and poor diet. One major cause of stress in children is bullying by parents, friends and their school environment. Parents must be knowledgable enough to recognize its symptoms and offer solutions since it will cause kids to find comfort in foods and other self-defeating devices.
Poor health – from many causes – will lead to inactivity. Care must be taken to treat all illnesses with proper medical supervision. Activity must be encouraged – whether supervised or not.
If there is a history of diabetes in your family then this is even more reason to monitor your children for any signs of this disease. Please consult with your healthcare provider for further information.
How to recognize pre-diabetes in your children?
It’s incumbent on those taking care of children to provide the best dietary choices for them. It doesn’t mean visiting Whole Foods each time you shop for food because healthy and nutritious food can be gotten at most food establishments. But it requires knowing the good, bad and really bad food choices and restricting their diet to the best foods for health.
In the same way we must be attentive to the signs of pre-diabetes. I have listed the main ones below. Please make a note and post it where everyone in the family can notice it.
- Excess thirst and hunger
- Weight loss
- A constant need to “pee”
- Blurred vision
- Breathing problems
- Itchy skin
- Numbness in the hands or feet
- Sores that heal too slowly
- Skin conditions such as vitiligo or acanthosis nigricans
If your child is overweight then take measures to help them lose the excess weight since this is another major risk factor of pre-diabetes.
What can you do to prevent it?
- monitor diet carefully.
- make sure they get plenty outdoor activity to include walking, bike riding, swimming, learning new games.
- Know the signs of bullying.
Visit How to Prevent Pre-diabetes for activities to prevent this dreaded disease.