Diabetes control refers to keeping one`s blood sugar within the desired range which is as close as possible to the normal range. This can be done by balancing your child`s food, diabetes medicines including insulin and their physical activity.
What can happen if diabetes isn’t controlled?
There are short-term/immediate problems that may occur. These include:-
- Hyperglycaemia ( high blood sugar)
- Hypoglycaemia( low blood sugar)
- Diabetic ketoacidosis
In the long-term( months to years) a high blood sugar damages body tissues like kidneys, the eyes, nerves and puts one at risk for heart disease or strokes. These problems occur as one grows older and may not be evident when one is a child or in their teen years. The good news is that if you follow your doctors/ healthcare team’s instructions and follow-up clinics, your sugar level control will be achieved and you may reduce the risk of the above complications.
What can cause poorly controlled blood sugar?
- Not taking the medication as prescribed by your doctor
- Not following your child`s prescribed meal plan
- When your child doesn’t get adequate and regular exercise
- An illness or stress
- Not monitoring blood sugar levels regularly
How do I know if diabetes is under control?
- The doctor will give you a target range (unique to your child`s medical condition and age) which you can monitor and chart with your home glucometer.
- During your reviews, your doctor will carry out a blood test known as glycosylated haemoglobin level (HbA1c) that indicates the average blood glucose control over 2-3months.
What is my part as a caregiver/ parent in supporting my child diagnosed with diabetes?
- Make sure he/she takes their medication or insulin as prescribed
- Provide meals and snacks that fit into your child’s meal plan
- Encourage your child to engage in regular physical exercise
- Check the blood sugar levels regularly/ as recommended by your doctor and adjust accordingly with the care of your health care team
- Keep your follow-up/ scheduled clinics
- Keep learning more about diabetes.