Type 2 diabetes in children and adolescentsDiabetes is the most common metabolic disease in childhood. In 95% of all cases, it is type 1 diabetes. But cases of type 2 diabetes are now also common among children. Teenagers no longer a rarity. Parents are often horrified when they learn that their child is suffering from so-called adult-onset diabetes. This diagnosis is now being made more frequently because there are more and more overweight children: About 200 children and adolescents in Germany aged 12-19 develop type 2 diabetes each year.
Most children become ill during puberty. At first, type 2 diabetes is hardly noticeable in children, as the metabolism gradually becomes unbalanced and a child with the disease often has no complaints. By the time parents notice the first symptoms, blood glucose levels can already be three to four times higher: The child is constantly very thirsty and has to go to the toilet frequently. Children with diabetes often also have high blood prere. Extremely elevated blood lipid levels. Type 2 diabetes is usually discovered by accident, z.B. During a checkup for obesity at the family doctor's office.
The most effective therapy at this moment is called:
Lose weight! Because then the body's cells react more sensitively to insulin again. The cells get more sugar again.
Tips for children and adolescents with type 2 diabetes
Get plenty of exercise! Parents do their children no favors when they drive their offspring everywhere. Instead of taking the bus to school, children could use their bicycle. Visits to friends can also be made on foot.
Lots of exercise can normalize blood sugar levels so that a child needs less medication, if any at all. There are no limits to the type of sport chosen – the main thing is that the child gets regular exercise.
Fixed rituals at mealtimes! Eating in front of the TV is particularly unfavorable for obese children. The distraction of the program tempts them to eat more than necessary. Meals together with the whole family at fixed times are important.
Be a role model yourself! Children often imitate adult behavior. Especially as the most important caregiver, you should therefore model good habits for your children.
With diabetes through puberty
Hormones ride roller coaster, moods fluctuate, bodies change, and relationships with parents are difficult: teens don't have it easy when turbulent hormonal changes begin and sex and growth hormones affect mood and metabolism. In adolescents with diabetes, anger and stress often have a direct impact on blood glucose levels; in addition, sex hormones reduce insulin action, while growth hormones increase insulin requirements.
Diabetes and puberty is a challenge for many families, but it is by no means explosive, because ultimately the majority of all adolescents (with or without diabetes) get through puberty just fine. It becomes difficult when the young adults no longer feel like taking care of their diabetes. Fluctuating blood glucose levels, a lack of motivation, and dwindling therapeutic insight can become a serious problem.
How to motivate your pubescent offspring:
Get good friends on board. The chances of being heard and taken seriously are simply better for the clique.
Carrot instead of stick. Even if teenagers don't give the impression: Parents' recognition is important to them. Praise and rewards can work wonders.
App for this! As a rule, teenagers are fused to their cell phones. So give a useful app a try.
Simply together. Try to allow the teen to have contact with peers with diabetes. Together it is often easier to come to terms with diabetes.
Why magnesium is so important in diabetes
Not only an unbalanced diet, obesity or too little exercise can cause the metabolic disease – a magnesium deficiency can also contribute to it! Because the mineral helps to channel blood sugar into the cells.
Especially children and adolescents are often severely undersupplied. The first signs of a magnesium deficiency are muscle twitches such as fluttering eyelids or migraines. If you already have type 2 diabetes, an adequate supply of magnesium is doubly important: because it promotes the action of insulin, magnesium helps to improve blood glucose levels.
Young people in particular avoid foods that contain a lot of magnesium. Among the best suppliers of magnesium:
Vegetables and legumes: Green vegetables, such as z. B. Spinach, contains plenty of magnesium. Legumes, such as peanuts or beans, are equally rich in magnesium. If these foods are integrated into the daily diet, the risk of developing diabetes can be reduced.
fruit: Bananas contain a lot of magnesium, but are not advisable for people with diabetes because of their high glycemic index. Better are berries, such as z. B. Blueberries or gooseberries. ATTENTION! With smoothies& Co.Most varieties provide magnesium, but are extremely rich in sugar.
Whole grain products: Particularly good are products made from whole grains, such as z. B. Wholemeal bread or pasta. If you reach for oatmeal in the morning, it gives your body a healthy start to the day with plenty of magnesium and fiber.