What kind of changes might a doctor recommend for a child who has type one diabetes? In order to exercise some control over the disease and keep the symptoms in check, their doctor will likely recommend they do a few things different concerning what they eat and how active they are.
Let’s look at a few of the general recommendations a doctor might make concerning people who have children with type 1 diabetes, so you may have a better idea of what to expect. If you’re just finding out about the diagnosis at this point or you suspect that your child may have taken diabetes, it can be helpful to know what kind of changes your child might have to go through to get their symptoms under control.
Increasing Activity Levels
Type 1 diabetes is often linked to obesity, even in children. If children who are overweight have type 1 diabetes, their doctor will likely recommend that they try to increase their activity level. Now, it’s important to understand that a major, abrupt change in someone’s level of activity can be hazardous to their health. Their doctor will likely not recommend that they make drastic changes right away. Instead, the doctor will probably suggest that they start increasing their activity level gradually.
So, if they are used to spending most of their time indoors sitting down, the doctor may recommend that they start with 20 or 30 minutes of outdoor active time. This could be something as simple as walking, going for a light jog, playing a ball game, or riding a bike. Their doctor probably wouldn’t recommend that someone who’s used to living a sedentary lifestyle suddenly start taking up high intensity activities. That kind of change is more likely to hurt their health, frustrate them, make them constantly tired, and make it difficult for them to continue staying active.
With gradual increases to activity levels, though, your child can start to get some control over their weight and live a healthier, more active life. Once their weight starts to change and move toward a healthier level, some of their diabetic symptoms may become less severe.
To say that someone should eat healthy and change to a healthier diet is very vague and generalized. However, the dietary changes that each person should make for their own health can vary drastically. In most cases, when we’re talking about children with type 1 diabetes, the dietary changes a doctor will recommend would be to decrease the sugar, salt, and fat.
With kids, the main dietary culprit in weight control and diabetic symptom control is sugar. Most people simply consume too much sugar, and your kids may be getting sugar in places they don’t expect. Generally speaking, most people get a large percentage of their sugar content from beverages, like soft drinks, coffee, and juices. They may need to substitute these drinks out for water, low sugar or sugar free juice, or other beverages that contain little to no sugar.
Another way that sugar sneaks into the diet is through snacks. Many times, if parents can help their children get control over how healthy their snacks are, that can have a huge impact on the child’s overall health and weight. Changing out salty, sugary, and fatty snacks for something healthy can make a discernible difference in a child health. The snacks add up, and if children were eating unhealthy snacks between each and meal, then their parents will be fighting a losing battle trying to control their diet during meals alone. The snack situation has to be addressed.
It may take some work, but parents should look for healthy snacks their kids will like that they can trade out for unhealthy ones. Perhaps they can even find ones that their child enjoys eating, and there are a number of dry, crunchy snacks that kids tend to enjoy that can make healthy substitutes for sweets and sugary foods.
Each child is different and unique, and meeting their dietary and exercise needs will be a challenge. However, if parents work with their doctors and make an effort and get the children on board, they can start to get some of those diabetic symptoms under control.