Teenage is an important phase of our life. It is the time when we undergo physical, mental and emotional changes and growth. On top of it, if teenagers have to cope with diabetes (cases of this disease affecting youngsters are rising and the tendency is worrying, since treating diabetes in children is harder than in adults), it makes it even tougher for them.
The changes happening in the youngsters' bodies make it difficult to control the level of blood glucose and call for more responsible behaviour from them.
But the casual social life, pressure in school or a new job can make the problem of diabetes secondary for the youngsters and push them into a greater trouble.
Management of diabetes in teenagers therefore requires a greater emphasis. In fact, they may not do it successfully themselves and require the help from their families.
How To Take Care Of Diabetes?
The key to manage diabetes is by keeping the blood glucose level as close to normal as possible. Consulting a doctor and following his/her advice closely is very important in this regard.
Besides, keeping a note of the following is also important:
1. Checking your blood glucose level regularly
2. Taking the right food that is very essential. Avoiding eating junk food (fried, butter and fatty items) and concentrating on good carbohydrates like whole-grain foods, low-fat milk, fresh fruits and vegetables is essential.
3. Following your eating schedule in a disciplined way. Not skipping breakfast and not eating food just for the sake of feeling filled. You must eat in a way so that your health gets proper nutrition.
4. Engaging in activities regularly.
5. Spending less time watching TV and surfing Internet for entertainment purpose.
6. Keeping a check on your weight regularly
7. If you are on a medication, following the routine religiously.
Advice For Parents:
To fight diabetes in children, the parents also require to be a part of it because teenagers may not manage the problem on their own.
Today's teens are very busy and have very little time to think about a disciplined health routine and can't be expected to do things like grown-up adults who understand the implications of diabetes; they are prone to take risks - something that can be detrimental for management of their diabetes; their independent mindset which could make an effort to help them look like an interference and they would resist it and putting less priority on the disease because they have other things in life to take care of.
So, the parents need to play a bigger role to prevent things from getting worse for their children, yet without 'interfering' too much in their lives.
It is not that you have to keep their health under a check for eternity. Being intelligent, teenagers will get an idea about the seriousness of the disease in some time and they will eventually take care of the problem themselves.
Till they attain that level of maturity, here are some tips that you can follow as parents:
1. Increase Involvement: Counsel your children about diabetes. Tell them what is good for them and what's not. Do it repeatedly, so that it goes into their mind.
2. Connect your diabetic child with a healthcare provider who they can connect with conviction. They can be more frank with the healthcare provider (doctor, dietician or diabetes educator) than you.
3. Make your children more accountable to their health without becoming too strict though.
4. Seek counsellors' help if your boy or girl is suffering from depression related to diabetes.