Handling Your Child’s Diabetes: Helping You Cope
Sonia was incredibly disheartened when medical tests revealed that her 11-year-old son Mayank was suffering from type 1 diabetes. Constant bouts of thirst, frequent urination, and general fatigue had lead to a necessary medical check-up. Mayank’s father had suffered from diabetes for many years; however, Sonia could not believe that her son would develop the condition in childhood.
Like Sonia, many parents are taken completely by surprise when their child is diagnosed with diabetes. It is a common misconception that diabetes affects only adults. Children suffering diabetes often feel isolated from their peers and this affects their performance at school. However, like with any other medication condition, possessing the right information can help tackle the situation effectively. Here is what you as a parent need to know about diabetes in children.
Understanding Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus
Children with diabetes are affected by type 1 diabetes. This is a condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin. The condition is also known as juvenile diabetes or insulin dependent diabetes mellitus. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy beta cells that are required to produce insulin in the pancreas. Type 1 diabetes is genetically passed on and it runs in families.
Symptoms of Diabetes Mellitus Type 1
Symptoms of type 1 diabetes in children can show up as early as 7 years of age. As a parent, here are the main warning signals you must look out for:
- Frequent urination
- Frequent thirst
- Abnormally high hunger pangs
- Sudden weight loss
- Constant fatigue inspite of having slept well
- Unexplained headaches and bouts of confusion
- Blurred vision
- Delayed wound healing
- Recurrent infections of flu, skin infections and low immunity
An Emotional Battle for Parents
Juvenile diabetes affects the quality of life for a child or a teenager as well as sets the stage for future health complications. Children with type 1 diabetes can suffer from kidney disease, heart disease, and eye disease very early in life. Apart from health complications, children with diabetes face many dietary restrictions which often leave them feeling isolated from their peers. Even sending a child to their friend’s home is complicated as parents wonder what they will snack on, what if they get bruised while playing, or what if their sugar goes low or high.
Parents often experience feelings of guilt and anguish over their child’s diabetes. They often blame themselves for their child’s plight. Additionally, they wonder if there was anything they could have done to prevent the early onset of diabetes in their child. Studies have also shown that many parents feel perplexed at dealing with their child’s confusion and fear of diabetes treatment. The child may hesitate to take an insulin injection or feel depressed at their inability to keep up with their peers at sports and play.
Tips to Cope with the Situation
If your child has been just diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, learning to cope with the situation can be tough and trying. This is especially more challenging if the child has a sibling who does not have the condition. Here are some tips to help you cope.
- No to myths: There are many myths that float around about diseases. These myths instil fear and hopelessness. Educate yourself about the condition from a medical expert. Do not be afraid to ask more questions. Instruct your child to always communicate their questions to you directly.
- Teach the facts: Once you have educated yourself, it is time to teach your child about diabetes. Never shield them from the truth. The right knowledge will help your child cope with diabetes in your absence. Let your child understand that they must communicate their condition at school and at their friends’ homes so that they get adequate care and comfort.
- Connect with others: Being the parent of a child with diabetes may make it hard for you to connect with parents whose children do not suffer the condition. Seek support on online forums and connect with other parents whose children have juvenile diabetes. This will help alleviate your fears and share your concerns.
- Seek professional help: It is absolutely okay to feel upset and emotionally distressed at the situation. If you feel your child is having a hard time opening up emotionally, do consult a professional psychologist for help. It is also absolutely okay as a parent to seek personal counselling to cope with the situation.
Homeopathic Treatment for Diabetes
Homeopathy as a system of healing works by boosting your immune system to fight diseases on its own. Thus, homeopathic treatment for diabetes provides long term efficacy in controlling the condition. Homeopathy works by providing relief from the symptoms of type 1 diabetes while helping prevent the onset of related health complications. Homeopathic medicine for diabetes is safe, natural and free from side-effects. This makes it a popular choice for children with diabetes. Consult a homeopathy doctor today for safe and holistic diabetes treatment.