Pediatric Diabetes Management: Tips for Lowering Blood Sugar
Diabetes can affect children at an early age, and it is vital to consider the medical attention and modifications in lifestyle required to manage this condition. Although there is no treatment for diabetes, children with this condition can have a relatively normal childhood if their condition is maintained under control. If you are looking for a pediatric diabetes management clinic, then visit us at Julia Barriga M.D.P.A. in Tampa, FL, for comprehensive treatment to improve your child’s quality of life. We are conveniently located at 5001 East Busch Blvd Tampa, FL 33617. For more information, please contact us or request an appointment online.
Table of Contents:
How can I help manage my child’s blood sugar levels?
How do you control blood sugar levels in children?
What is low blood sugar for a child with diabetes?
What is a normal sugar level for a child?
What causes a child’s blood sugar to drop?
Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune condition by which the pancreas’s production of insulin is limited. Insulin must be administered through daily injections or a pump.
Type 1 diabetes generally occurs in children and teens. This was previously known as juvenile diabetes and insulin-dependent Mellitus. When a child has diabetes, it can be frightening and unnerving when their blood sugar is so high. Here are some tips for lowering your child’s blood sugar.
Type 1 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes in children and teens. It occurs abruptly and will need to be managed for your child’s entire life. Insulin therapy is vital to treating type 1 diabetes. However, in addition to insulin therapy, there are several things you can do to help manage your child’s diabetes.
Eating healthy meals is important. An assortment of healthy foods is necessary for a balanced diet. This includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, lean proteins, and a moderate amount of whole grains. A registered dietitian can help you with a meal plan for your child. Carbohydrate counting can help you keep track of the number of carbohydrates your child is eating. A set amount of carbs in your child’s meals, along with physical activity and insulin, can help manage the insulin.
Exercise is essential for not only maintaining a healthy body weight but also managing insulin levels. Check your child’s blood glucose levels with a blood glucose meter at any time. This is the main tool to measure your child’s diabetes and keep it under control.
The objective of treatment is to keep your child’s blood sugar within certain numbers. This target range helps to keep your child’s blood sugar level as close to normal as possible. Although this disease will be with your child for life, the blood sugar levels can be controlled by taking insulin, monitoring blood sugar, eating healthy foods, and exercising.
By the time type 1 diabetes is suspected in your child, their blood sugar levels are probably well above normal — around 200 mg/dL or higher. There are signs and symptoms that you should be aware of in your undiagnosed child. These include fatigue or being lethargic, being incredibly thirsty and then having the need to urinate often, blurred vision, unexplained weight loss, intense hunger, persistent diaper rash, sour-smelling breath, a consistent mood, and constipation. If your child exhibits any of these signs and symptoms, please take them to your pediatrician as soon as possible.
If for any reason you suspect your child may have Type 1 diabetes (T1D), insist that your doctor perform a simple blood test to measure the blood sugars and a urine sample to test for glucose and ketone levels. This is an easy test and may be lifesaving.
Blood glucose (sugar) is measured in mg/dl (milligrams per deciliter). The normal range for blood glucose for people who are not diabetic is 70 to 120 mg/dl. There are blood target ranges that are acceptable for children with diabetes.
For children under 6, the acceptable target range before meals is 6 to 10 mmol/L (millimoles per liter). For children 6 to 12, the acceptable target range before meals is 4 to 10 mmol/L, and for children 12 and above, the acceptable range before meals is 4 to 8 mmol/L. It is wise to measure blood sugar levels before meals to get a better idea of the effectiveness of insulin.
The medical term for low blood sugar is called hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia in children can happen if they take too much insulin. This can happen if they take their insulin at the wrong time, take the wrong kind of insulin, or haven’t monitored their blood glucose level properly. Teens with diabetes can experience a blood sugar drop if they miss a meal or don’t eat enough carbs, exercise more than usual, or have other health conditions.
It is important to get your child’s Type 1 diabetes under control, and with the help of the pediatricians at Julia Barriga, MD, PA, your child will have a management plan that will help them thrive. Contact us or schedule an online appointment for more details. We are open 6 days a week. We serve patients from Tampa FL, Terrace FL, Thonotosassa FL, Lutz FL, Greater Carrollwood FL, Lake Magdalene FL, Westchase FL, and Town ‘N’ Country FL.
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