A cure for juvenile diabetes may be available in the future as researchers are working to find out the exact cause of the disease. A couple of the things that researchers are looking at for future treatment include a vaccine that can be given to newborns in the hope of preventing the disease and the development of new drugs that can prevent the illness by targeting possible triggers. Meanwhile some of the best ways to treat the disease is through exercise and adhering to a juvenile diabetes diet along with insulin therapy. Making healthy food choices is very important in controlling blood sugar. Some symptoms of juvenile diabetes are blurred vision, abdominal pain, frequent urination, extreme hunger, weight loss, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue. A diagnosis is usually made when blood sugar levels after fasting are above 120 mg/dL.
A child diagnosed with Type I Diabetes needs daily insulin therapy because the pancreas is no longer making insulin. Along with insulin therapy the patient needs to understand the importance of being on a juvenile diabetes diet. This would include fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, high fiber foods, foods rich in antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids, low-fat dairy, low-fat meats such as poultry or fish and avoiding high-sugar foods or ones that contain high fructose corn syrup. The best way to start eating healthy is to plan meals ahead and schedule meals at the same time every day. Recommendations from a doctor will usually include five to six small meals per day instead of three large ones to keep blood sugar levels more even.
Exercise is extremely important for controlling blood sugar. However, children should be careful to not overdo exercise after being diagnosed with Type I Diabetes. Blood sugar levels can drop overnight when a child exercises a lot during the day. Symptoms of low blood sugar or hypoglycemia include anxiety, sweating, intense hunger, weakness, and trembling. Although there is not a cure for juvenile diabetes research has led to a way that a patient can administer insulin by using a remote. The remote gives a signal to an insulin pump that is implanted inside the body. With this method insulin is absorbed continuously throughout the day and night. Research is currently being done on a patch that will deliver insulin through the skin.
Planning ahead will make eating out easy and quick. After being diagnosed with Type I Diabetes dining out may be a little more difficult when trying to stay on a juvenile diabetes diet. Many restaurants and fast food establishments have added healthier choices to their menu items. This has made it possible to dine out even when on a restrictive diet. Some of the items to look for include salad with low-calorie dressing, fresh fruit, grilled or steamed fish, whole-grain breads, steamed rice, plain noodles, steamed veggies, broiled or baked poultry, low-fat yogurt, and sugar-free soda. Remember to limit salt and for added sweetener use low calorie sweeteners. Many restaurants will prepare foods special for customers on a restrictive diet when asked.
One day a vaccine may be available to give to newborns as a cure for juvenile diabetes. There have been successful outcomes with vaccines such as smallpox and measles so if a vaccine is discovered this will provide a very promising way to prevent the illness. Researchers are also trying to look closer at the immune system in the hopes of finding out if diabetes is triggered by a genetic predisposition, a virus, or something in the environment. New medications may be developed to block such triggers helping to prevent the disease. The future may also include devices that help to deliver the insulin more efficiently making it easier to manage the disease.
A common concern with managing diabetes is to do as much as possible to avoid getting sick. Getting a flu and pneumonia shot each year will help to minimize the risk of illness. When the patient gets the flu or a cold he or she should be careful when using over-the-counter medications because many of them raise blood sugar. Taking good care of oneself is very important so that a minor illness will not turn into a major one. An illness that is prolonged can have a bad effect on blood sugar so readings should be taken frequently while ill. Blood sugar levels that stay over 200 mg/dL are too high and need treatment. When blood sugar levels reach 500 mg/dL coma and or stroke can result. For now, there is no cure for juvenile diabetes but there are many things a patient can do to lead a productive life. Reducing stress and anxiety can help a person to stay well both physically and mentally. When depression becomes an issue be sure and seek treatment from a doctor. Depression can be helped with prayer, reading the Bible, and placing one's hope in God. "Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise Him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God." (Psalm 42:11)
One of the best ways to tackle diet changes is to seek the counsel of a nutritionist or dietician. A juvenile diabetes diet can be simplified by using exchanges instead of counting calories or fats. A nutritionist will be able to provide the patient with some suggestions on how to use exchange lists and can provide a list of free foods and foods that should not be eaten. Some of the main foods to avoid include cake, candy, ice cream, cookies, jelly, pastries, regular sodas, and some granola bars. As substitutes for foods to avoid, try eating vanilla wafers, graham crackers, jell-o, frozen yogurt, or sherbet in limited quantities. A nutritionist will be able to explain the importance of eating healthy and will be able to answer any questions that may come up concerning diet.