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There are many ways you can help children and their families get the care they need.
Treating your child's type 2 diabetes
Treating type 2 diabetes is an ongoing process of management and education that involves not only the child with diabetes, but also family members, and often the condition can be controlled through losing weight, improved nutrition and increased exercise and activity levels.
Through education, dietary consultation and behavior modification therapy, our team can empower you and your child to successfully manage your child's diabetes. Our registered nutritionists and dieticians will work with you to develop a meal plan based on your child's specific needs. And our diabetes nurse-educators will work with you and your family to increase your knowledge and confidence, so you can best care for your child.
After stabilizing your child, the goal of treating her for type 2 diabetes will be to keep blood-sugar levels as close to normal as possible. Your child's diabetes team will help you control her blood sugar (glucose) through:
But sometimes even these steps these aren't enough—and your child's doctor will need to prescribe oral medications and/or insulin.
What’s a healthful diet for kids with type 2 diabetes?
Proper meal-planning is very important if your child has diabetes, since the type and amount of food your child eats affects her blood sugar levels. If she eats too much, her blood sugar may go up too high. If she skips meals, her blood sugar may go too low. Good blood sugar control requires a balance of food, exercise and medication. Healthy meals include foods that contain the right amounts of carbohydrates, protein and fat.
Understanding your child's feelings and condition
Regardless of your child's age, a diagnosis of diabetes can be devastating. Your child may resist all the lifestyle changes that must come with a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. She may experience feelings of:
If your child is a teen with diabetes, the normal challenges of the teenage years can even more intense. Teens want to belong, and being different in any way from one's peers can be emotionally stressful. She may:
Blood sugar control is especially hard during adolescence. Researchers believe the growth hormone produced during adolescence that stimulates bone and muscle growth may also act as an anti-insulin agent. Blood sugar levels become harder to control—resulting in blood sugar levels that swing from too low to too high. This lack of control over blood sugar levels can be very frustrating for your teen.
Family interdependence is the key
Although a child who's diagnosed with type 2 diabetes needs supervised medical care, the ideal relationship between parents and child is one of interdependence—with family members working together as a team—especially with a healthful diet—to help the child live normally and happily. With your encouragement and our diabetes team's guidance, your child will learn how to take care of her diabetes—and her increasing independence will improve her self-esteem.
Work together towards prevention
Your child may be able to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes by eliminating or reducing her risk factors—particularly by losing weight and increasing exercise. The Type 2 Diabetes Program at Children's can work with you and your child to develop a plan for this. Your child's diabetes team is committed to helping you control and manage her type 2 diabetes—so your whole family can thrive.
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”