Type 1 diabetes is a condition in which the body is no longer able to produce an important hormone (insulin). As a result, the level of sugar in the blood remains higher than normal. High blood sugar levels are a problem because they can cause a number of health problems. Hence, the missing insulin needs to be replaced with injections or with an insulin pump.
Symptoms of Type 1 diabetes include:
➢ Extreme thirst and hunger
➢ Frequent urination
➢ Unexpected weight loss
➢ Blurred vision
➢ Nausea and vomiting
➢ Fatigue, irritability, or behavioral change
➢ Foul, fruity, or sour-smelling breath, etc
• Diabetes in Kids
Just like adults, kids also suffer from Type 1 diabetes. The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown. However, as per health experts, genetics and environmental factors appear to play a role in this process.
All the above symptoms of type 1 diabetes are common in kids as well. At times, the first sign of diabetes in kids is bedwetting. Diabetes should also be suspected if a girl hasn’t started puberty, yet gets a vaginal yeast infection.
In most cases, the symptoms aren’t always obvious, as they take a long time to develop.
Diabetes can be done by testing blood and urine samples. It helps detect the glucose level in the body. The doctor may also ask about the family’s health history, in order to confirm the disease.
➢ Kids with type 1 diabetes are given insulin injections or insulin pumps daily – to keep the blood glucose level within normal ranges.
➢ Regular monitoring of sugar levels is compulsory.
➢ The treatment also requires regular exercise and changes in the health diet plan.
• Meal Planning
Everything your child eats can affect their blood sugar level. Hence, meal planning is important if your child is suffering from Type 1 diabetes. While your child doesn’t have to avoid any particular foods, you would want to keep the below tips in mind:
➢ Increase fiber in your child’s diet plan. It will not only help the child maintain an appropriate weight, but will also help him/her control the overall blood sugar level.
➢ Serve healthy carbohydrates, at every meal. Examples are whole grains like millets, quinoa, amaranth or rajgira, brown rice, whole-wheat roti, oatmeal, etc.
➢ Do not serve sugary drinks or carbonated drinks. Instead, try infusing your drinking water with fresh fruits and herbs. Make sure you do not add sugar.
➢ Restrict fast foods from your child’s diet plan.
➢ Serve freshly cooked homemade food as much as possible.
➢ Change your cooking methods. Instead of frying, choose healthier options like baking, boiling, or steaming, etc
➢ Don’t let your child skip meals, even if your child is trying to lose weight.
➢ Serve fruits, salads or homemade soups in between, to avoid hunger.
Remember, there’s really no such thing as a diabetic diet. It’s just that you need to make healthier choices when it comes to your child’s meals and snacks.
However, if you need personalised help – consult a dietitian Kanupriya Khanna. One of the best child dieticians in Delhi, Kanupriya can help you build the best diet plan for your child.