Type 1 Diabetes: Children Living With the Disease (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Because your child has type 1 diabetes, he or she will experience high and low blood sugar levels from time to time. High blood sugar usually develops slowly over hours or days, so you can treat the symptoms before they become severe and require medical attention. On the other hand, your child's blood sugar level can drop to dangerously low levels in minutes.
Be alert for:
How can I tell the difference?
Sometimes it's hard to distinguish between high and low blood sugar symptoms, especially if your child is very young. Test your child's blood sugar whenever you think it may be high or low so that you can treat it appropriately. If your child has symptoms of very high blood sugar, such as a fruity breath odor, vomiting, and/or belly pain, seek emergency care. These symptoms may indicate diabetic ketoacidosis, which is a life-threatening emergency.
Every child experiences type 1 diabetes differently.
The negative effects of diabetes are caused by blood sugar levels that are above or below a target range.
Low blood sugar
Very low blood sugar is a frightening experience for you and your child. But if low blood sugar levels are treated quickly and appropriately, your child should have no lasting effects.
Young children cannot recognize low blood sugar symptoms as well as adults can, which puts them at risk for low blood sugar emergencies. Children who develop hypoglycemia unawareness or are trying to keep their blood sugar levels tightly within a target range are also at risk for low blood sugar emergencies.
Make sure your child's caregivers, such as school nurses, know:
Let your doctor know if your child is having frequent episodes of low blood sugar.
High blood sugar
Very high blood sugar puts your child at risk for diabetic ketoacidosis, a life-threatening emergency. Skipping insulin injections, stress, illness, injury, and puberty can trigger high blood sugar. Because blood sugar levels usually rise slowly, you can treat symptoms early and, most often, prevent diabetic ketoacidosis.
High blood sugar can also lead to:
What can be done?
The best way to help your child with type 1 diabetes live a long and healthy life is to keep his or her blood sugar levels within a target range. Two important studies, Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) and its follow-up study, showed that keeping blood sugar levels in this range greatly decreases the chance of complications. Work with your child's doctor, and monitor blood sugar levels frequently.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2012 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Find out what women really need.