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Type II Diabetes Care: Tips and Advice for Parents

29th Oct 2018

Type II diabetes was exceedingly rare even a couple of decades ago, but that is unfortunately no longer the case. As the numbers have only recently emerged, doctors and researchers are just beginning to grapple with the implications.

Diabetes is — barring future medical interventions or cures — a lifelong disease. However, while not always easy, maintaining proper and disciplined care -– along with establishing healthy habits and practices that will last a lifetime — as soon as a diagnosis is made can allow a child with this disease to live a long, healthy and full life.

Study after study has shown that losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight through proper eating and exercise can work better than any medication in controlling diabetes. The following will break down the best mainstream advice available to parents with diabetes when considering the practices and habits that will help control this disease and reduce the chances for complications.

Diabetes can cause skin problems. It is important to keep skin moisturized and clean. Use a humidifier in the winter months, and use moisturizer or moisturizing soaps to prevent dried out skin and for dry skin relief. Treat minor cuts or burns with soap, water, and sterile gauze. Only use an ointment if directed by a doctor.

Take special care of feet by checking them every day for sores or cuts. Choose broad, flat footwear that fit very well –- try on and buy new shoes in the evening when feet may be swollen. Wear socks for diabetes designed to reduce irritation and improve circulation, in order to avoid foot infections.

When it comes to diet, there are plenty of delicious and fun foods that your child can still enjoy after a diagnosis. Portion size is crucial as is knowing how food and beverages affect blood sugar.

Carbohydrates affect blood sugar levels more than any other calorie source such as fat or protein. This means that consistently choosing healthy carbs will go a long way towards helping your child manage their blood sugar. Choose whole wheat pasta and bread, bran cereals, fresh or canned fruit in water or juice, brown rice, all sorts of vegetables and legumes. Good go-to snacks include baked chips, low-fat popcorn, pretzels, low-calorie popsicles, graham crackers, and goldfish crackers.

Of the two kinds of vegetables — starchy and non-starchy –- it is the non-starchy variety that combines the benefits of plenty of fiber and nutrition with their almost magical ability to help you feel satisfied yet cause almost no effect on blood sugar. There is an amazing variety of vegetables with unique and interesting textures, colors and tastes –- too many to list here. Instead of adding lots of oils, cream sauces and cheeses to them, consider steaming or baking non-starchy vegetables, adding a good dose of seasoning and serving them as the single biggest portion on a dinner plate.

Lean protein and starchy vegetables or grains should each take up the remaining half — a quarter each — of the ideal dinner plate. Fats are needed by the body and make food taste good. It can be especially difficult to make dessert or enjoy a sweet snack without using a fair amount of fat. It is okay to enjoy some fattening foods, but always take small portions and consider some extra exercise on these days. Choose low-fat options most of the time, but it is considered fine to indulge a little on occasion.

Diabetes is a disease that no one should ever have to be faced with. However, through fostering, encouraging and maintaining lifelong habits such as eating right, exercising and staying active every day, taking prescribed medicine, and monitoring blood glucose levels diabetes can be successfully and effectively controlled.

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