Diabetes is becoming a national epidemic. Why is it on the rise? The modern way Americans live is a huge factor. We have fast food restaurants in abundance, in every city and small town. Plus, with the electronic advantages and comforts we have, we aren’t moving as much as we should be moving. Unfortunately, this epidemic has also spread to our children.
Statistics are saying that now one in every three children living today, will have diabetes sometime in their lifetime. They also say that it is the most common chronic disease in children and adolescents. They estimate that there is all ready 151,000 people below the age of 20 who has diabetes.
What do we do about it? First, we must understand what diabetes is.
Diabetes is a disease in which our blood glucose levels are too high. The food we eat is turned into glucose, or sugar. Our bodies use this sugar for energy. Our pancreas makes a hormone naturally that is called insulin. Insulin is what helps the glucose to get into our cells of our bodies. When you have diabetes your body doesn’t make insulin or isn’t able to use it as well as it should. This causes the sugar to build up in your blood. Then you have diabetes.
The two major factors that causes diabetes is not enough exercise and poor diet. With that being the case, then the two easiest way to avoid getting diabetes is to exercise more and to eat more properly.
Children today, tend to sit more than they did in yester years. They have computers, video games and television sets that via for their attention. Parents are busy. They don’t always have the time to spend with their children so these modern toys are perfect ways to keep your children occupied. Things like this need to change. Parents need to take the time to get their children motivated to do more activities, to play outside, to get moving. And since diabetes is on the rise with adults, too, this is the perfect way for parents to help themselves and their children. Together, you should plan activities, walks, play ball, swimming, whatever will get both of your attention and both of your up onto your feet. It is estimated that everyone should get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, five days a week. Maybe it is not possible to get that much into your schedule, but do what you can. Plus, once you get your child off of the sofa, he or she may have a new fondness for active activity.
As for diet, you all ready know the rules here. Eliminate the intake of fats and sugars your child eats. Substitute the junk food for more fruits. Most importantly, limit the amount of soft drinks your child has. Soft drinks are loaded with sugar and chemicals.
Overweight children are more likely to develop diabetes. Therefore, you must pay attention to what your child is eating and how much activity he or she is getting. What a child learns early in life will be carried into adult life. Teaching good eating habits and the importance of exercise will help lead your child into a lifetime of better health.
Of course, heredity does play a part in one’s health. If diabetes runs in the family, your children are more at risk.
Testing for diabetes is essential. It can be easily checked during a routine urine test and usually is. But don’t take it for granted. Ask your child’s doctor to check for diabetes whenever a urine test is taken. When your child reaches the age of ten, especially if he or she is overweight, make sure he or she is tested every two years. Early detection is essential because if your child is pre-diabetic (within a normal, but high glucose, sugar, level) you both have time to get it under control before it becomes full blown diabetes.
As with all things in life, information about diabetes is also important. Learning what to do and doing it may help keep your child healthy. And we all want our child to be one, of the two out of three, that lives a diabetes free life.