Type 2 diabetes is a chronic (lifelong) condition. The good news is that diabetes can be managed. Your child’s health care team is there to help.
The body makes insulin to help use glucose (sugar your body gets from food). With type 2 diabetes, your child’s body may have problems making enough insulin. Or your child’s body may have problems using the insulin it does make. (This is called insulin resistance.) Either way, because the body can’t use glucose properly, sugar builds up in the bloodstream.
You, your child, and your child’s health care team can work together to help keep your child’s blood sugar levels in a healthy range. To manage type 2 diabetes:
Monitor blood sugar. Your health care provider will show you how to check your child’s blood sugar using a blood glucose meter. Checking blood sugar should be part of your child’s daily routine.
Take medication. Medication may be prescribed to help manage your child’s blood sugar. If so, make sure your child takes the medication as directed.
Choose healthy foods. Your dietitian or health care provider can help you make a meal plan. This is a guideline for the types and amounts of foods that are healthiest for your child. You will learn how carbohydrates and other foods affect your child’s blood sugar. If your child is overweight, his or her meal plan may also include ways to limit calories and saturated fat. This can help your child lose weight and may improve his or her diabetes.
Increase activity. Daily exercise helps keep blood sugar in balance. It also helps the body use insulin better. Check with your health care team about safe and fun ways to keep your child active.
Children with Diabetes www.childrenwithdiabetes.com
American Diabetes Association 800-342-2383 www.diabetes.org