Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 In Children
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Diabetes mellitus type 2 is a disease that affects how your child's body uses glucose (sugar). Insulin helps move sugar out of the blood so it can be used for energy. Normally, when the blood sugar level increases, the pancreas makes more insulin. Type 2 diabetes develops because either the body cannot make enough insulin, or it cannot use the insulin correctly.
AFTER YOU LEAVE:
- Hypoglycemic medicine: This medicine decreases the amount of sugar in your child's blood. Give this medicine exactly as directed. Your child can develop hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) if he does not take the right amount.
- Insulin: Insulin may be needed if diabetes cannot be controlled with nutrition, exercise, or other diabetes medicine. Insulin can be injected or given through an insulin pump. Ask your child's healthcare provider which method is best for your child. You and your child will be taught how to give insulin injections if this is the best method for him. Give your child insulin as directed. Too much insulin may cause his blood sugar level to go too low.
- Give your child's medicine as directed: Call your child's healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him if your child is allergic to any medicine. Keep a current list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs your child takes. Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list or the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency. Throw away old medicine lists.
Follow up with your child's healthcare provider as directed:
Your child will need more tests every 3 months. He will need yearly eye exams to check for retinopathy. Your child's healthcare provider will refer your child to a dietitian. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Check your child's blood sugar level as directed:
You will be taught how to use a glucose monitor. You will need to check your child's blood sugar level at least 3 times each day if he is on insulin. Ask his healthcare provider when and how often to check during the day. Ask what your child's blood sugar levels should be before and after he eats. Write down the results, and show them to your child's healthcare provider. He may use the results to make changes to your child's medicine, food, or exercise schedules.
Medical alert identification:
Have your child wear medical alert jewelry or carry a card that says he has diabetes. Ask his healthcare provider where to get these items.
Healthcare providers will teach you how to manage your child's diabetes. They may visit you at home, or you may attend classes. They will teach you what to do if your child's blood sugar level goes too high or too low. They will also help you plan sick day management. Ask how to dispose of used needles and syringes.
Instructions for your child's school:
Talk to officials at your child's school. Make sure your child's teachers know he has diabetes. Provide written instructions about what to do if your child has symptoms of high or low blood sugar levels at school.
Your child's dietitian will help you create a meal plan to keep your child's blood sugar levels steady. Do not let your child skip meals to control his blood sugar level. His blood sugar level may drop too low if he has taken diabetes medicine and does not eat.
- Keep track of carbohydrates: Your child's blood sugar level can get too high if he eats too many carbohydrates. His dietitian will help you plan meals and snacks that have the right amount of carbohydrates.
- Offer low-fat and low-sodium foods: Examples of low-fat foods are lean meat, fish, skinless poultry (chicken and turkey), and low-fat milk. Limit foods that are high in sodium, such as soy sauce, potato chips, and soup. Do not add salt to food you cook. Limit your child's use of table salt.
- Offer high-fiber foods: Foods that are a good source of fiber include vegetables, whole grain bread, and beans.
Exercise can keep your child's blood sugar level steady and help him lose weight. Have your child exercise for at least 60 minutes on most days of the week. Work with your child's healthcare provider to create an exercise plan. Your child may need a carbohydrate snack before, during, or after he exercises if he is taking diabetes medicine or insulin. If his blood sugar level is less than 100 mg/dL, give him a carbohydrate snack before exercise. Examples are 4 to 6 crackers, ½ banana, 8 ounces (1 cup) of milk, or 4 ounces (½ cup) of juice.
Limit computer time:
Do not allow your child to use the computer for more than 2 hours a day, except for schoolwork.
Diabetes can put your child at risk of serious illness if he gets the flu or pneumonia. Ask your child's healthcare provider if your child should get a flu or pneumonia vaccine, and when to get the vaccine.
Cigarette smoke can worsen the problems that may occur with diabetes. Do not smoke around your child, and do not let others smoke around him. Do not let your child smoke. Ask your child's healthcare provider for information about how to stop smoking if you need help quitting.
Contact your child's healthcare provider if:
- Your child is vomiting or has diarrhea.
- Your child has an upset stomach and is not eating the foods on his meal plan.
- Your child feels dizzy, has headaches, or gets easily irritated.
- Your child feels weak or more tired than usual.
- Your child has numbness in his arms or legs.
- Your child's skin is red, warm, dry, or swollen.
- Your child has a wound that does not heal.
- You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- Your child has blurred or double vision.
- Your child has trouble staying awake or focusing.
- Your child is shaking or sweating.
- Your child's breath has a fruity, sweet smell.
- Your child's breathing is deep and labored, or rapid and shallow.
- Your child's heartbeat is fast and weak.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.