Type 1 Diabetes: Children Living With the Disease

Topic Overview

Is this topic for you?

This topic is about type 1 diabetes in children age 11 years and younger. Before you read this topic, you may want to read Type 1 Diabetes: Recently Diagnosed.

If this topic does not answer your questions, one of the following topics may meet your needs.

What is type 1 diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong disease that develops when the pancreas stops making insulin. Your body needs insulin to let sugar (glucose) move from the blood into the body's cells, where it can be used for energy or stored for later use.

Without insulin, the sugar cannot get into the cells to do its work. It stays in the blood instead. This can cause high blood sugar levels. A person has diabetes when the blood sugar is too high.

What will it be like for your child to live with type 1 diabetes?

Your child can live a long, healthy life by learning to manage his or her diabetes. It will become a big part of your and your child’s life.

You play a major role in helping your child take charge of his or her diabetes care. Let your child do as much of the care as possible. At the same time, give your child the support and guidance he or she needs.

How can you manage diabetes?

The key to managing diabetes is to keep blood sugar levels in a target range. To do this, your child needs to take insulin, eat about the same amount of carbohydrate at each meal, and exercise. Part of your child’s daily routine also includes checking his or her blood sugar levels at certain times, as advised by your doctor.

The longer a person has diabetes, the more likely he or she is to have problems, such as diseases of the eyes, heart, blood vessels, nerves, and kidneys. For some reason, children seem protected from these problems during childhood. But if your child can control his or her blood sugar levels every day, it may help prevent problems later on.

What symptoms should you watch for?

Even when you are careful and do all the right things, your child can have problems with low or high blood sugar. Teach your child to look for signs of low and high blood sugar and to know what to do if this happens.

  • If your child has low blood sugar, he or she may sweat a lot and feel weak, shaky, or hungry. But your child’s symptoms may be different. Low blood sugar happens quickly. A person can get low blood sugar within minutes after exercise or after taking insulin without eating enough.
  • If your child has high blood sugar, he or she may be very thirsty or hungry, have to urinate more often than usual, or have blurry vision. High blood sugar usually develops slowly over hours or days.

Young children can't tell if they have low blood sugar as well as adults can. Also, after your child has had diabetes for a long time, he or she may not notice low blood sugar symptoms anymore. This raises the chance that your child could have low blood sugar emergencies. If you are worried about your child’s blood sugar, do a home blood sugar test. Don't rely on symptoms alone.

Both low and high blood sugar can cause problems and need to be treated. Your doctor will suggest how often your child's blood sugar should be checked.

How often does your child need to see the doctor?

See your child's doctor at least every 3 to 6 months to check how well the treatment is working. During these visits, the doctor will do some tests to see if your child's blood sugar is under control. Based on these results, the doctor may change your child's treatment plan.

When your child is 10 years old or starts puberty, he or she will start having exams and tests to look for any problems from diabetes.

How will your child's treatment change over time?

Your child’s insulin dose and possibly the types of insulin may change over time. The way your child takes insulin (with shots or an insulin pump) also may change. This is especially true during the teen years when your child grows and changes a lot.

What and how much food your child needs will also change over the years. But it will always be important to eat about the same amount of carbohydrate at each meal. Carbohydrate is the nutrient that most affects blood sugar.

Frequently Asked Questions

Learning about a child living with type 1 diabetes:

Being diagnosed:

Getting treatment:

Ongoing concerns:

Living with a child who has type 1 diabetes:

Health Tools Health Tools help you make wise health decisions or take action to improve your health.

Health Tools help you make wise health decisions or take action to improve your health.


Decision Points focus on key medical care decisions that are important to many health problems. Decision Points focus on key medical care decisions that are important to many health problems.
  Diabetes: Should I get an insulin pump?

Actionsets help people take an active role in managing a health condition. Actionsets are designed to help people take an active role in managing a health condition.
  Diabetes in children: Checking blood sugar in a child
  Diabetes in children: Giving insulin shots to a child
  Diabetes in children: Preparing a care plan for school
  Diabetes in children: Preventing high blood sugar
  Diabetes in children: Preventing low blood sugar
  Diabetes: Counting carbs if you use insulin
  Diabetes: Living with an insulin pump

Cause

Type 1 diabetes develops when your child's pancreas stops producing enough insulin. Insulin lets blood sugar—also called glucose—enter the body's cells, where it is used for energy. Without insulin, the amount of sugar in the blood rises above a safe level. As a result, your child experiences high and low blood sugar levels from time to time. High blood sugar can damage blood vessels and nerves throughout the body and increases your child's risk of eye, kidney, heart, blood vessel, and nerve diseases.

Experts do not know what causes type 1 diabetes. But the cause may involve family history and maybe environmental factors like diet or infections.

Causes of high blood sugar

  • Skipping a dose of insulin or eating more than usual
  • Experiencing emotional stress
  • Having an illness, such as the flu or an infection
  • Taking certain medicines that can raise blood sugar levels, such as medicines that reduce swelling and inflammation (corticosteroids) and growth hormone
  • Experiencing the dawn phenomenon or the Somogyi effect, which causes high blood sugar in the morning
  • Entering puberty. Hormonal changes affect how well the body uses insulin. These changes can cause higher blood sugar levels

Causes of low blood sugar

  • Taking too much insulin
  • Skipping or delaying a meal or snack
  • Being more physically active than usual without eating enough food
  • Taking certain medicines that may lower blood sugar levels, such as those that reduce fever and pain

Symptoms

Because your child has type 1 diabetes, he or she will experience high and low blood sugar levels from time to time. High blood sugar usually develops slowly over hours or days, so you can treat the symptoms before they become severe and require medical attention. On the other hand, your child's blood sugar level can drop to dangerously low levels in minutes.

Be alert for:

How can I tell the difference?

Sometimes it's hard to distinguish between high and low blood sugar symptoms, especially if your child is very young. Test your child's blood sugar whenever you think it may be high or low so that you can treat it appropriately. If your child has symptoms of very high blood sugar, such as a fruity breath odor, vomiting, and abdominal pain, seek emergency care. These symptoms may indicate diabetic ketoacidosis, which is a life-threatening emergency.

What Happens

Every child experiences type 1 diabetes differently. What they do have in common is that having diabetes will not affect their learning ability or school performance.1

The negative effects of diabetes are caused by blood sugar levels that are above or below a target range.

Low blood sugar

Very low blood sugar is a frightening experience for you and your child. But if low blood sugar levels are treated quickly and appropriately, your child should have no lasting effects.

Young children cannot recognize low blood sugar symptoms as well as adults can, which puts them at risk for low blood sugar emergencies. Children who develop hypoglycemia unawareness or are trying to keep their blood sugar levels tightly within a target range are also at risk for low blood sugar emergencies.

Make sure your child's caregivers, such as school nurses, know:

Let your doctor know if your child is having frequent episodes of low blood sugar.

High blood sugar

Very high blood sugar puts your child at risk for diabetic ketoacidosis, a life-threatening emergency. Stress, illness, injury, and puberty can trigger high blood sugar. Because blood sugar levels usually rise slowly, you can treat symptoms early and, most often, prevent diabetic ketoacidosis.

High blood sugar can also lead to:

  • Adjustment of the body to high levels. For example, if your child's blood sugar level is consistently at 250 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) and suddenly drops to 100 mg/dL, you or your child may think this level is too low when it is really not. Your child may even have symptoms of low blood sugar at normal blood sugar levels.
  • Delayed growth and maturity. If your child has high blood sugar levels over a long period of time, he or she may grow and mature more slowly. During puberty, this can delay normal sex changes and the onset of menstruation.
  • Developing complications from the disease (eye, kidney, heart, blood vessel, and nerve disease). Children seem to be protected from developing these complications during childhood. But if their blood sugar levels are persistently high, children are more likely to show early signs of these complications, particularly eye and kidney disease. In addition, high blood sugar levels during childhood and adolescence put your child at risk for these diseases in early adulthood.

What can be done?

The best way to help your child with type 1 diabetes live a long and healthy life is to keep his or her blood sugar levels within a target range. Two important studies, Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) and its follow-up study, showed that keeping blood sugar levels in this range greatly decreases the chance of developing complications. Work with your child's doctor, and monitor blood sugar levels frequently.

What Increases Your Risk

Risk factors for very high or low blood sugar levels in a child with type 1 diabetes include:

  • Age. Very young children are at the greatest risk for very low blood sugar.2
  • Tight blood sugar control. Although keeping your child's blood sugar levels tightly within a target range is important, this puts him or her at risk for frequent low blood sugar levels.3
  • Persistent high blood sugar levels. Children who have persistent high blood sugar, indicated by higher hemoglobin A1c test results, are at greater risk for diabetic ketoacidosis than children with lower levels.2
  • Puberty. Growth spurts and changing hormone levels that occur during puberty make it difficult to keep a child's blood sugar level within a target range.
  • Psychiatric conditions. Children with depression, anxiety disorder, panic disorder, or eating disorders are at increased risk for frequent high and low blood sugar levels.2

Although children are protected from developing complications from diabetes (eye, kidney, heart, blood vessel, and nerve disease) during childhood, they are at risk for developing these diseases in adulthood. Risk factors for these complications include:

  • Persistent high blood sugar over time. The higher your child's blood sugar levels and the longer they remain high, the greater his or her risk of developing complications in early adulthood.
  • Length of time having the disease. The longer your child has diabetes, the more likely complications will develop, even if blood sugar levels are controlled.
    • Eye damage from diabetes, called diabetic retinopathy, is the most frequent cause of new cases of blindness in adults ages 20 to 74.4
    • Kidney damage, diabetic nephropathy, eventually occurs in 20% to 40% of all people with diabetes.5 Children who develop nephropathy usually show the first signs of the condition after puberty.
    • Nerve disease. Most people with diabetes develop some diabetic neuropathy over the years, but only about 13% to 15% have noticeable symptoms.6
  • Developing one of the complications. If one complication develops, your child is at risk for developing others.
  • Smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and a family history of diabetic complications.

When To Call a Doctor

Call 911 or other emergency services immediately if your child is:

Call a doctor immediately if your child is vomiting and cannot keep down liquids and has a blood sugar of 250 mg/dL or higher.

Call a doctor if your child:

  • Is sick for more than 2 days (unless it is a mild illness, such as a cold), and your child:
    • Has been vomiting or had diarrhea for more than 6 hours.
    • Has followed his/her doctor's advice but it has not worked. Learn what to do when you are sick and have diabetes.
    • Has blood sugar levels that are often above 250 mg/dL and urine tests for ketones show more than 2+ or moderate or higher ketones.
  • Has a blood sugar level that stays below the target range after eating some quick-sugar food.
  • Has a blood sugar level that stays high after taking a missed dose of insulin or taking an extra dose of insulin (if prescribed by the doctor).
  • Has frequent problems with high or low blood sugar levels. The insulin dose or schedule may need to be changed.
  • Is having difficulty knowing when his or her blood sugar is low (hypoglycemia unawareness).
  • Is having problems following the meal plan or getting physical activity, and you want help.

Watchful Waiting

Watchful waiting is a period of time during which you and your doctor study your health without using medical treatment. Watchful waiting is not appropriate for a child with type 1 diabetes if blood sugar levels are frequently high or low. His or her treatment may need changing. Keeping your child's blood sugar levels within a target range helps prevent high blood sugar emergencies and long-term complications, such as eye, kidney, heart, blood vessel, and nerve damage.

Who To See

Health professionals who may care for a child with type 1 diabetes include:

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

Exams and Tests

A child with type 1 diabetes needs to visit his or her doctor at least every 3 to 6 months. During these visits, the doctor reviews your child's blood sugar level records and asks about any problems you and your child may have. Your child's blood pressure is checked, and growth and development is evaluated. A doctor will examine your child for signs of infections, especially at injection sites. Your child will usually have the following tests at office visits:

  • A hemoglobin A1c or similar test (glycosylated hemoglobin or glycohemoglobin) to check your child's blood sugar control over the previous 2 to 3 months
  • A blood glucose test. This is a good time to check the accuracy of your child's blood sugar meter.

If your child has a family history of high cholesterol or heart disease, your child's doctor will do a cholesterol (LDL and HDL) test when type 1 diabetes is diagnosed. If there is no family history of high cholesterol, your child will have a cholesterol test at puberty. If the LDL cholesterol is less than 100 mg/dL (2.60 mmol/L) and there is no family history of high cholesterol, the doctor will repeat this test every 5 years.

Diabetes increases your child's risk for dental problems. Experts suggest dental checkups every 6 months.

Children's nutritional needs change as they grow and develop. See a registered dietitian at least once a year to review your child's meal plan.

5 years after diagnosis

Your child will have an initial dilated eye exam (ophthalmoscopy) by an ophthalmologist or an optometrist when your child is at least 10 years old and has had diabetes for 3 to 5 years. This eye exam checks for signs of diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. Thereafter, your child should have an eye exam every year. If your child is at low risk for vision problems, your doctor may consider follow-up exams less often. Your child should also begin having annual microalbumin urine tests. This test helps detect diabetic nephropathy.

Other tests

Your child may need a thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) test when type 1 diabetes is diagnosed and then every 1 to 2 years. This test checks for thyroid problems, which are common among people with diabetes.

Other tests include:

  • Annual foot exam starting at puberty.
  • Routine screening for depression after your child is 10 years old.
  • Eating disorder evaluation if your child shows signs of an eating problem.
  • Celiac disease testing when type 1 diabetes is diagnosed and then if your child is not growing or gaining weight as much as expected.

Treatment Overview

The goal of your child's treatment for type 1 diabetes is to always keep his or her blood sugar levels within a target range. A target range reduces the chance of diabetes complications. Daily diabetes care and regular medical checkups will help you and your child accomplish this goal.

Daily care

Your child's daily care includes:

Some problems you may encounter include:

  • Changing appetite and "picky eating." A registered dietitian can help you develop a flexible meal plan to meet your child's appetite needs and allow for special events, such as parties and school activities. If you use rapid-acting insulin, you can give the insulin dose after a meal based on what your child ate. Some tips for mealtimes with young children include having alternative meal choices.
  • Illness. Follow the sick-day guidelines that you and your child's doctor set up to prevent high blood sugar emergencies when your child is ill. Talk with the doctor before giving your child any nonprescription medicine.
  • Exercise. If your child is not very active, limit his or her time playing video games, watching TV, or using the computer. Plan some activities to do along with your child, such as in-line skating or bicycling. Keep your child safe during exercise by:
    • Checking his or her blood sugar levels before and after vigorous activity.
    • Having a quick-sugar food on hand at all times.
    • Giving the coach a copy of the symptoms of low blood sugar and instructions about what to do if it occurs.

You will also want to:

  • Always have your child wear medical identification to let medical personnel know that he or she has diabetes. You can buy medical identification bracelets, necklaces, or other forms of jewelry at a pharmacy or on the Internet.
  • Have your child wear shoes that fit properly at all times, even in the house. Use the checklist for foot exams to check your child's feet every day for signs of injury or infection. Teach your child how to wash and dry his or her feet thoroughly. If you notice a foot problem, even a minor one, talk with your child's doctor before treating it.
  • Keep your child's day care or school plan for diabetes care up to date. Have written instructions for your babysitter and other caregivers.
    Click here to view an Actionset.Diabetes in children: Preparing a care plan for school
  • Help your child care for his or her skin and teeth and gums. Make sure your child has a dental checkup every 6 months.
  • Keep your child's immunizations up to date. This includes a flu shot every year. For more information, see the topic Immunizations.
  • Participate in a support group for parents of children with diabetes. These groups can be very helpful, especially the first few years after diagnosis. Local groups are available in most areas.
  • Encourage your child to attend camps for children with diabetes. Diabetes camps are a good learning experience for your child, and they will allow you some time to yourself.
  • Allow your child with diabetes to help with the treatment, given his or her age and experience with the disease.

Regular medical checkups

Your child needs to see his or her doctor every 3 to 6 months. During these checkups, the doctor will evaluate and adjust your child's treatment. The doctor will do a hemoglobin A1c or similar test (glycosylated hemoglobin or glycohemoglobin) to check your child's blood sugar control over the previous 2 to 3 months, and a blood glucose test.

If your child's LDL cholesterol is less than 100 mg/dL (2.60 mmol/L) and there is no family history of high cholesterol, the doctor will do a cholesterol (LDL and HDL) test every 5 years.

When your child has had diabetes for 5 years, the doctor will start yearly screening tests for protein in the urine, which indicates diabetic nephropathy. At that same time, your child needs to see an ophthalmologist for yearly dilated eye exams (ophthalmoscopy) to check for signs of diabetic retinopathy.

Treatment for high blood sugar emergency

If your child does not take enough insulin, has a severe infection or other illness, or becomes severely dehydrated, his or her blood sugar level may rise very high and lead to diabetic ketoacidosis. Diabetic ketoacidosis is usually treated in a hospital, often in the intensive care unit, where caregivers can watch your child closely and give him or her frequent blood tests for glucose and electrolytes. Insulin is given through a vein (intravenous, or IV) to bring blood sugar levels down. Fluids are given through the IV to correct the electrolyte imbalance. Your child may stay in the hospital for a few days until blood sugar levels are back in a safe range.8

What To Think About

A 10-year study, and its follow-up study, showed that keeping blood sugar levels within a target range helps decrease the chances of developing diabetes complications, such as eye, kidney, heart, blood vessel, and nerve damage. As a result of this study, experts recommend that people with diabetes carefully control their blood sugar levels. This is often called strict or tight blood sugar control.

When a child has diabetes, keeping blood sugar levels within a target range helps the child grow and develop normally, but it increases the risk for frequent low blood sugar episodes. Your doctor will figure the safest range for your child's blood sugar level.

For some children, using an insulin pump may help keep their blood sugar levels within a target range.

Click here to view a Decision Point. Should I get an insulin pump?
Click here to view an Actionset. Diabetes: Living with an insulin pump

If your child has frequent low blood sugar levels, especially at night (nocturnal hypoglycemia), the doctor may suggest continuous ambulatory blood glucose monitoring. This means your child wears a special monitor that tests his or her blood sugar level continuously for 24 to 72 hours. The monitor stores the results, allowing you to look for patterns of high or low blood sugar levels.9

Scientists are looking for pain-free ways to give insulin and test blood sugar levels. Under development are improved insulin pumps, and better needles and lancets. New glucose monitors may be worn continuously and be able to signal insulin pumps when the rate of insulin needs to be changed. Scientists are also studying ways to prevent or decrease complications from diabetes. If you're interested, talk to your child's doctor about participating in any of these studies.

More Information:

Prevention

Your child with type 1 diabetes will have high and low blood sugar levels from time to time. You can help avoid many immediate problems and long-term complications, such as eye, kidney, heart, blood vessel, and nerve disease, by:

  • Helping your child develop a healthy attitude toward having diabetes. As your child grows and develops, let him or her assume appropriate responsibility for treatment.
  • Encouraging and supporting your child to keep blood sugar levels within a target range. Starting tight control of blood sugar levels as soon as possible after diagnosis of diabetes gives your child the greatest chance of avoiding complications from diabetes later on in life.
  • Checking your child's blood sugar level several times a day and whenever you think it may be high or low.10
  • Recognizing and treating high and low blood sugar quickly. Make sure everyone who cares for your child knows how to treat high and low blood sugar episodes.
  • Discussing the dangers of smoking, drinking alcohol, and using other drugs. Smoking affects the blood vessels and can lead to developing diabetes complications later on in life.11 Alcohol and other drugs can mask symptoms of low blood sugar, which may lead to an emergency situation.
  • Keeping your child's immunizations up to date. Diabetes affects the immune system, increasing the risk of developing a severe illness.
  • Keeping your child's doctor aware of behavior changes in your child. Emotions and behavior can affect how well you and your child manage diabetes treatment.

Home Treatment

The daily care for your child with type 1 diabetes can seem overwhelming, leading to conflicts between you and your child. Here are some tips that may help:

Make mealtimes less stressful

Mealtimes can become a battleground when you want your child to get a certain amount of carbohydrate. You can:

Make giving insulin less difficult

Your child may take several insulin injections each day or use an insulin pump. If you need help with giving the shots, see:

Click here to view an Actionset. Diabetes in children: Giving insulin shots to a child.

Keep monitoring reasonable

If you test several times a day (before breakfast, with meals, and at bedtime), you can tell how well your child's blood sugar levels stay within a target range. You need to test more often when your child is sick. Follow the sick-day guidelines that you and your child's doctor set up, or call for help. Do not give your child nonprescription medicines without talking with the doctor.

Click here to view an Actionset. Diabetes in children: Checking blood sugar in a child

Encourage physical activity

Experts recommend that teens and children (starting at age 6) do moderate to vigorous activity at least 1 hour every day.7 And 3 or more days a week, what they choose to do should:

  • Make them breathe harder and make the heart beat much faster.
  • Make their muscles stronger. For example, they could play on playground equipment, play tug-of-war, lift weights, or use resistance bands.
  • Make their bones stronger. For example, they could run, do hopscotch, jump rope, or play basketball or tennis.

It’s okay for them to be active in smaller blocks of time that add up to 1 hour or more each day.

Children with type 1 diabetes can participate in sports just like children without diabetes. But children who use insulin are at risk for low blood sugars during and after exercise. Some tips for exercising safely for your child with type 1 diabetes can help prevent low blood sugar levels.

If your child has a tendency to be inactive, you may need to:

  • Limit his or her time playing video games, watching TV, or using the computer. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises parents to limit TV time to 2 hours a day or less.
  • Plan some activities to do along with your child, such as skating or bicycling.

Catch the ups and downs

Because blood sugar levels can drop to dangerous levels very quickly:

High blood sugar levels develop more slowly, over a period of hours or days. For more information, see:

Click here to view an Actionset. Diabetes in children: Preventing high blood sugar.

Keep your child healthy and safe

With planning and care, your child can live a safe and healthy life. Here are some suggestions:

  • Try not to let your child go barefoot. If you notice a foot problem, even a minor one, talk with a doctor before treating it.
  • Keep your child's day care or school plan for diabetes care up to date.
    Click here to view an Actionset.Diabetes in children: Preparing a care plan for school
  • Have written instructions for your babysitter and other caregivers.
  • Keep your child's immunizations up to date.
  • Help your child care for his or her skin and teeth and gums. Make sure your child has a dental checkup every 6 months.

Keep your balance

It's difficult to deal with such a demanding disease as diabetes. You can:

  • Allow children with diabetes to participate in their treatment to the extent they can.
  • Join a support group for parents of children with diabetes. These groups can be very helpful, especially the first few years after diagnosis. Local groups are available in most areas.
  • Encourage your child to attend camps for children with diabetes. It's a good learning experience for your child and will give you some time to yourself.

More Information:

Medications

Insulin is the only medicine that can treat type 1 diabetes, and your child is most likely taking more than one type of insulin. Your child may take several injections a day or use an insulin pump. The insulin pump provides insulin with fewer injections and is as effective as multiple daily injections for keeping blood sugar levels in a target range.

The amount and type of insulin your child takes will likely change over time, depending on changes that occur with normal growth, physical activity level, and hormones (such as during adolescence). Your child may also need higher doses of insulin when feeling sick or stressed.

  • Know the dose of each type of insulin your child takes, when your child should take the doses, how long it takes for each type of insulin to start working (onset), when it will have its greatest effect (peak), and how long it will work (duration).
  • Don't let your child skip a dose of insulin without a doctor's advice.

Medication Choices

Insulin

What To Think About

A rapid-acting insulin is given with a meal or immediately afterward. The dose is based on what your child actually ate, not what the meal plan required. If your child is a "picky eater," this provides flexibility that may reduce mealtime battles.

Scientists are looking at new types of insulin and better ways to give it.

Surgery

Surgery is not a routine treatment for type 1 diabetes, and children do not meet the criteria for the surgeries that are available. Surgeries for type 1 diabetes are:

  • Surgery to replace the pancreas (pancreas transplant), possibly while receiving another organ, such as a kidney.
  • Surgery to insert working pancreas cells (islet cell transplant). This procedure is still experimental.

Other Treatment

You'll hear about products that promise a "cure" for type 1 diabetes. Avoid them. No such cure exists. Also, avoid products for diabetes that are advertised only by "satisfied customers." These products or remedies may be harmful and costly. They also might cause you to delay or avoid getting treatment for your child that really works. If you have questions about a product for diabetes, check with your local American Diabetes Association office, your doctor, or a diabetes educator.

Other types of meal plans

You may hear of people with diabetes following other types of meal plans or using low glycemic index foods to prevent high blood sugar levels after meals. Talk with a registered dietitian before trying a new meal plan.

Complementary therapies

Complementary therapies such as relaxation techniques may help relieve stress and muscle tension and improve your child's overall well-being and quality of life. None of these complementary therapies are proven to effectively treat diabetes. But children may benefit from safe, nontraditional therapies that complement their current treatment.

Do not use complementary therapies alone to treat your child's diabetes.

Talk with your child's doctor if you are using any of the following or other complementary or alternative therapies to treat your child's diabetes:

Other Places To Get Help

Online Resource

Children With Diabetes
Web Address: www.childrenwithdiabetes.com
 

This Web site is for children with diabetes and for their families. It offers a variety of information and resources, from basic facts about diabetes to legal support, as well as school information for students and their teachers, diabetes camps throughout the United States, chat rooms for children and for their parents, and a valuable link-site connection to other diabetes-related Web sites.


Organizations

American Diabetes Association (ADA)
1701 North Beauregard Street
Alexandria, VA  22311
Phone: 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383)
E-mail: AskADA@diabetes.org
Web Address: www.diabetes.org
 

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) is a national organization for health professionals and consumers. Almost every state has a local office. ADA sets the standards for the care of people with diabetes. Its focus is on research for the prevention and treatment of all types of diabetes. ADA provides patient and professional education mainly through its publications, which include the monthly magazine Diabetes Forecast, books, brochures, cookbooks and meal planning guides, and pamphlets. ADA also provides information for parents about caring for a child with diabetes.


Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International
120 Wall Street
New York, NY  10005-4001
Phone: 1-800-533-CURE (1-800-533-2873)
Fax: (212) 785-9595
E-mail: info@jdrf.org
Web Address: http://www.jdrf.org
 

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International is dedicated to finding a cure for type 1 diabetes and its complications. The organization funds research on type 1 diabetes, including research on prevention and treatment. This organization publishes a wide variety of booklets, magazines, and e-newsletters on complications and treatments of type 1 diabetes.


National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC)
1 Information Way
Bethesda, MD  20892-3560
Phone: 1-800-860-8747
Fax: (703) 738-4929
TDD: 1-866-569-1162 toll-free
E-mail: ndic@info.niddk.nih.gov
Web Address: http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov
 

This clearinghouse provides information about research and clinical trials supported by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. This service is provided by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease (NIDDK), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).


References

Citations

  1. McCarthy AM, et al. (2002). Effects of diabetes on learning in children. Pediatrics, 109(1). Available online: http://www.pediatrics.org/cgi/content/full/109/1/e9.
  2. Rewers A, et al. (2002). Predictors of acute complications in children with type 1 diabetes. JAMA, 287(19): 2511–2518.
  3. Allen C, et al. (2001). Risk factors for frequent and severe hypoglycemia in type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Care, 24(11): 1878–1881.
  4. Begg IS, et al. (2001). Eye disease. In HC Gerstein, RB Haynes, eds., Evidence-Based Diabetes Care, pp. 396–428. Hamilton, ON: BC Decker.
  5. American Diabetes Association (2008). Standards of medical care in diabetes. Clinical Practice Recommendations 2008. Diabetes Care, 31(Suppl 1): S12–S54.
  6. Zochodne DW (2001). Peripheral nerve disease. In HC Gerstein, RB Haynes, eds., Evidence-Based Diabetes Care, pp. 466–487. Hamilton, ON: BC Decker.
  7. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2008). 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (ODPHP Publication No. U0036). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Available online: http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/pdf/paguide.pdf.
  8. American Diabetes Association (2004). Hyperglycemic crises in diabetes. Clinical Practice Recommendations 2004. Diabetes Care, 27(Suppl 1): S94–S102.
  9. American Diabetes Association (2004). Tests of glycemia in diabetes. Clinical Practice Recommendations 2004. Diabetes Care, 27(Suppl 1): S91–S93.
  10. Levine BS, et al. (2001). Predictors of glycemic control and short-term adverse outcomes in youth with type 1 diabetes. Journal of Pediatrics, 139(2): 197–203.
  11. American Diabetes Association (2004). Smoking and diabetes. Clinical Practice Recommendations 2004. Diabetes Care, 27(Suppl 1): S74–S75.

Other Works Consulted

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Credits

Author Caroline Rea, RN, BS, MS
Editor Susan Van Houten, RN, BSN, MBA
Associate Editor Tracy Landauer
Associate Editor Pat Truman, MATC
Primary Medical Reviewer Michael J. Sexton, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical Reviewer Stephen LaFranchi, MD - Pediatrics and Pediatric Endocrinology
Last Updated December 3, 2008

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