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Students with Diabetes

Students with Diabetes - Know the Risks and Symptoms

Diabetes is a serious, chronic disease that is increasing rapidly in children. 

Understanding Diabetes 

The body needs insulin to process sugar from food. If there is too little insulin, or the body can't use it, sugar builds up in the blood and causes serious health problems. 

Type 1 diabetes is most often diagnosed from infancy to the late 30s. The immune system destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas- requiring use of insulin several times a day. 

Type 2 diabetes is becoming more common in children over 10. Body tissues that take up glucose become resistant to insulin. Some people with Type 2 diabetes can take medications to control their blood sugar, but some also need insulin. 

Being overweight or obese is a major risk factor, as is family history of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is more common in Native American, Hispanic, and African American children. 

Diabetes Symptoms 

See your child's doctor if you notice any of these symptoms: 

•    Increased appetite with sudden or unexplained weight loss.
    Increased thirst, with frequent urination and waking at night to urinate.
    Unexplained fatigue.
    Blurry vision.
    A fruity smell to the breath.
    In infants, a diaper rash that doesn't heal after using medicated cream. 

Prevention: Healthy Diet, Activity, and Weight 

Good nutrition, regular physical activity, and healthy weight are the best prevention: 

•    Model healthy eating and help your child learn to recognize reasonable      serving sizes.
    Make activity a regular part of family life- family hikes, park visits, biking,      and sports.
    Limit total screen time, including video games, tv, and phone, to two      hours daily.  

The Let's Move! Website offers a wealth of information on healthy eating and activity for families at http://www.letsmove.gov/get-active. 

For More Diabetes Information 

The following organizations offer information on recognizing and managing diabetes: 

National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse: http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation: http://jdrf.org

American Diabetes Association: http://www.diabetes.org and