Care for a Diabetic Child: The Importance of Insulin

If your child has been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, there are many things you should know about diabetes, insulin and testing blood sugar levels.

Type 1 diabetes is a condition in which the pancreas no longer produces enough insulin, which the body needs to survive. In the past, type 1 diabetes was also known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes.

Diabetes Treatment and Learning the Ropes

Unfortunately, type 1 diabetes is a long-term illness that needs to be continuously treated throughout life. This will include blood sugar monitoring, insulin, healthy eating and regular exercise for your child. Over time, your child's diabetes management plan may change; he or she may need different doses or types of insulin, a new meal plan or other treatment changes. Remember that although your child's diabetes may seem overwhelming, you will have the help of your child's diabetes treatment team – doctor, diabetes educator and registered dietitian – to help you keep your child's blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible.

Blood Sugar Testing

You may need to check and record your child's blood sugar level at least three times a day, depending on what type of insulin therapy your child needs. This will involve frequent finger sticks, which can be a little daunting, but frequent testing is the only way to make sure that your child's blood sugar level remains within his or her target range. You will know what his or her target range is through your doctor. Your doctor may also ask you to keep a log of the blood glucose readings, or he or she may download that information from the blood glucose meter.

Insulin Treatment

People who have type 1 diabetes need insulin treatment in order to survive. Currently oral insulin is not an option for lowering blood sugar because stomach enzymes interfere with insulin being taken by mouth. Depending on your child's needs and age, the doctor may prescribe a mixture of insulin types to use throughout the day and night. There are a large number of insulin treatment options available that your doctor may prescribe:

  1. Rapid-acting insulin, such as insulin lispro (Humalog) and insulin aspart (NovoLog), starts working in five to 15 minutes and peaks 30 to 90 minutes later.
  2. Short-acting insulin, like human insulin (Humulin R, Novolin R and others), starts working 30 to 60 minutes after injection and generally peaks in two to four hours.
  3. Long-acting insulin, such as insulin glargine (Lantus) and insulin detemir (Levemir), has almost no peak and can provide coverage for as long as 20 to 26 hours.
  4. Intermediate-acting insulin, such as NPH insulin (Humulin N, Novolin N), starts working one to three hours after it's taken and peaks in eight hours. However, it is more likely to cause low blood sugar as well.

Insulin Delivery

Insulin is typically injected using a fine needle and syringe or an insulin pen. An insulin pen is a device that looks much like an ink pen, except the cartridge is filled with insulin. An insulin pump can also be an option for your child. A pump is about the size of a cell phone and is worn on the outside of the body. When a pump is used, a tube usually connects the reservoir of insulin to a catheter that's inserted under the skin of the abdomen.

A wireless pump that uses small pods filled with insulin is another option that's available now. The way that either pump works is that they are programmed to dispense specific amounts of insulin automatically. These pumps can also be adjusted to deliver more or less insulin depending on meals, activity level and blood sugar level. The most important thing is to become acquainted with your child's medication, medical equipment and symptoms so that you can provide him or her with a comfortable, normal life.

Source: MayoClinic.com

Get Free Diabetic Supplies

For a limited time only, you can reduce diabetic supplies costs by more than 90%. Enrolling just take a few minutes.
1) Fill out the form
2) Speak to a representative
3) Get diabetic supplies delivered to your door at little or no cost.

Also, you will get a free Diabetes Meal Plan from a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator.

Enter your information below to see if you qualify.

By clicking Submit, you agree to send your info to InformationAboutDiabetes.com and we agree to use it according to our privacy policy.

More Articles

Doctors use regular assessments of their diabetic patients not only to monitor the progress of the disease but also as opportunities to counsel...

Every body needs insulin, an essential hormone produced by the pancreas that regulates blood sugar by converting glucose into energy. Diabetics...

People are not the only beings who suffer from diabetes. Any mammal with a pancreas can develop the disease through a lack of or impaired insulin...

When is diabetes not really diabetes? When it is Diabetes Insipidus. Diabetes Insipidus is a rare disorder not related to diabetes mellitus,...

When news stations feature stories about diabetes, they tend to include a shot of an overweight body, calling attention to the person's excess...

More Articles

The most well-known variations of diabetes are type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes....

Those who have not yet been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes can greatly reduce their susceptibility by doing one key...

There are those who have heard of the term "diabetes mellitus," but might not be familiar with it. Diabetes Mellitus is a condition in...

Not only is dry skin uncomfortable, but scratched or cracked skin is also susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections – common medical...

=It’s helpful to know the difference between a food’s total grams of carbohydrate, and net grams of carbohydrate since only net carbs affect blood...

Eating LCHF, or a Low Carb High Fat diet, is a bit mind-bending for those of us who have learned to consume low-fat and lean. In many respects, it...

A 1-minute quiz could predict whether or not you're at risk for prediabetes. More than 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. have prediabetes, which - left...

The human body needs chromium, a trace mineral, for several essential functions including the normalizing of...

Do not let pictures of yoga experts with their bodies twisted into bizarre, compact shapes fool you. Even people with stiff muscles, creaky joints...

It can be difficult enough to get on stage and make a roomful of strangers laugh, but for comedians suffering from type 1 or type 2 diabetes,...

Because beets have moderately high sugar content, it’s typically recommended that people watching their glucose levels limit beet consumption....

It would be interesting to know how many people with diabetes actually use blood glucose control solutions to regularly check the accuracy of...

Gestational diabetes is a condition characterized by abnormally high blood glucose levels during the condition...

How frustrating to wake up in the morning with elevated blood sugar when all you did was dream about eating a piece of cheesecake. A seemingly...

There is nothing close to a one-size-fits-all exercise program for those with diabetic peripheral neuropathy. The best general advice is to...