It doesn’t make one happy to see parents visiting a diabetologist after their child has exhibited symptoms of type 1 diabetes. They go through an emotional turmoil with the initial shock, and then the disbelief and fear.
It is the wish of every parent to see their child blossom in life, have a great childhood and a great future. However, as the diagnosis of type 1 diabetes is confirmed, there is a deep void that resonates with unpredictability and insecurity.
It is unfortunate that the child has to dabble with injections while the rest of the children enjoy carefree adolescence. But, this is the reality of type 1 diabetes and that’s not all that bad. Considering the latest research and advances in medical science, there has been a considerable improvement in the quality of life in type 1 diabetes patients.
Type 1 Diabetes and its Onset
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition in which the patient’s pancreas stops producing insulin. This happens due to the destruction of the insulin-producing cells. The beta cells that store and release insulin are destroyed by the immune system of the body.
This results in the patient having diabetes type 1 symptoms like:
High blood glucose levels. Sudden weight loss. Excessive urination; increased thirst. Sudden changes in vision. Fatigue/Lethargy.
Life with Type 1 Diabetes
Though type 1 diabetes can be a life threatening condition, recent advances in medical science has made it possible for patients to enjoy a much better quality of life than before.
Still, life with type 1 diabetes can be peculiar with regular finger sticks to monitor blood sugar levels, going for insulin injections or pumps, maintaining a strict diet regimen, and having measured physical activity.
All this not only needs a lot of discipline, it needs a decent degree of mental strength and morale along with a bulldog spirit.
Thankfully, along with medical advances, it has been understood that it is very important to understand the psychological implications of the disease condition. This has resulted in numerous support groups that offer solace and encourage patients to fight.
Quality of Life and Type 1 Diabetes
However, the cornerstone to improve the quality of life and increase the lifespan of a patient with type 1 diabetes is to insure compliance with treatment and get periodical evaluations for eliminating the risks of complications.
Here are 5 essential things to do to improve the quality of life of a patient with type 1 diabetes
Since most early deaths in patients with type 1 diabetes occur due to strokes and heart diseases, it is vital to consult a cardiologist periodically and keep the heart parameters in control. Yes, type 1 diabetes is a demanding disease, but one can get good rewards if the children are taught to be aware of the condition - when did they eat last? How do they feel? When to take their insulin shots? This reduces the risks of hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, and ketoacidosis.When it comes to general health, mental health, and vitality, good glycemic control with multiple doses of insulin certainly elevates functional abilities. So, the takeaway is maintain normal HbA1c for better life. It is all about support. It has been found in various researches that diabetic children have better mental and physical health, functional abilities, and better psychosocial abilities when they have generous support from family, friends, and other groups. For a better life expectancy, it is very important that children with type 1 diabetes be taught the importance of medication compliance as metabolic and physical factors can vastly influence future complications including heart, kidney, nerve, and eye damage. This can lead to hospitalization and the way out is outstanding glycemic control.
As such childhood and adolescence are turbulent times. Add diabetes to that, and it can be an unusually demanding task. So, for a good quality of life for the diabetic children, it is important that they have awareness regarding the symptoms of type 1 diabetes. Apart from that, support and encouragement from the family helps them manage diabetes and live long.