Juvenile diabetes: Can it be prevented?

Diabetes has become a common disease these days just like any other whacky flu, cough and cold. According to a study conducted by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), the number of Indians suffering from this malicious disease is expected to cross the 100 million mark by 2030.

But, if you are under the impression that diabetes is an old man`s disease, you need to think again, as more and more children are falling prey to this silent killer disease these days. According to a study conducted by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), there are about a million children with Type I diabetes in India.

Type-1 diabetes or juvenile diabetes is a form of diabetes mellitus that results from autoimmune destruction of insulin-producing beta-cells of the pancreas. Type-1 diabetes is fatal unless treated with insulin. It mainly affects children in the age group of 10-14 years. Those aged between five and nine years have middle risk of developing it and kids of 0-4 years have a lower risk of developing diabetes.

The major reasons touted for the rise of the disease is, kids consuming unhealthy diet, low fruit and vegetable intake, increased intake of trans-fats and very less physical activity.

The first warning signs for a parent could be, if the child is drinking too much water, urinating more frequently than he used to, has gained weight, or feels hungry more frequently. Once detected that your child is suffering from the disease, it can be actually stressful not just for the child, but also for the parents. But, parents should constantly encourage their children to follow a healthy lifestyle.

Here are some useful guidelines for parents to protect your child from the malicious disease:

-Parents need to watch that children are not overweight. To ensure this, they should get their child screened on regular basis, especially if symptoms are noticed and persist.

-As parents, you should encourage your child to engage in sports, exercise and other outdoor activities, so that the child remains active and does not gain weight.

-Motivate your child to eat healthy and nutritious diet which includes vegetables, fruits etc. and avoid eating oily and fried food (read junk food).

-Ask your child to snack in between meals so that sugar levels can be maintained.

-And last but certainly not the least, motivate your child to opt for meditation or yoga to keep him stress free.

Compiled by: Shruti Saxena

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