Childhood is considered to be the best and the happiest phase in one’s life; it is a stage where a child can just do and eat whatever he/she wants, without being body-conscious and worrying about breaking the doctor’s orders. However, does having a carefree lifestyle for children like this still applicable in today’s generation, especially when children nowadays experience early symptoms of childhood diabetes?
In today’s world, there are a lot of delicious foods that kids surely love, but most of these foods are processed and do not provide as much health benefits as whole foods. As a parent, feeding your child can be the hardest task since kids know what they want, and when they do not want something, they really do not eat it.
The worst thing about these processed foods is that these are rich; rich in bad cholesterol which promotes heart problems, rich in sodium which promotes kidney diseases, and most especially, rich in sugar, which leads to child diabetes. It could be very unfortunate if your child experiences one of these, especially diabetes.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder triggered when the body is not able to produce enough insulin, thus, causing high levels of glucose to be present in the blood.
There are 2 types of diabetes: Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes. In Type 1 diabetes, the body’s immune system destroys insulin-releasing cells, which later on eliminates the body’s ability to produce insulin. Thus, cells cannot absorb glucose that serves as energy needed by the body because of the absence or lack of insulin.
On the other hand, in Type 2 diabetes, the body is unable to properly produce insulin; this syndrome is called insulin resistance. When type 2 diabetes worsens, the body suffers from insulin deficiency which is caused by the pancreas making lesser insulin.
How does diabetes affect children?
Diabetes has been an alarming issue especially in the US, since the number of children suffering diabetes increases every year. According to National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP), around 200,000 Americans under the age of 20 had type 1 and type 2 diabetes in the year 2012 (1), and this number continues to increase over time.
Diabetes affects children physically, psychologically and socially. It can cause eye, kidney, nerve and skin disorders, as well as heart problems to children. Having diabetes also increases the chance of children to develop osteoporosis.
In addition, diabetes affects the growth and development of a child socially and psychologically. Since the child is already restricted to eat some foods, it can cause stress on the child. It is very important too that the parents morally support their child and not let the child feel he or she is alone in fighting diabetes.
It breaks a parent’s heart to know if his or her child has diabetes, but this heartache can be avoided as soon as possible. As a parent, you must be knowledgeable about diabetes and how to spot if your child has diabetes.