Not too long ago, one of my younger cousins was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, which really was a shock to our whole family.
I knew that she had been struggling with her weight for a while, but I didn’t realize how serious it had really gotten, and I think my Aunt and Uncle felt the same.
After conducting some research, and talking to some of the doctors at Syracuse’s St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center, we found out that we are not alone. Type 2 Diabetes used to be called Adult-onset Diabetes because only adults could get it.
Now, with the ever-increasing obesity rates still rising, children are the fastest-growing population of Type 2 diagnoses! Now, scared straight into the knowledge that my other cousins could be at risk of Type 2 too, we are committed to diligently work as a family to beat and prevent this disease. Here are some useful tips that we found helpful, which all families can use:
Detecting Diabetes Early
Detecting diabetes early in children is very important to reduce the likelihood of complications related to the condition. It is necessary to be familiar with the warning sighs and symptoms of diabetes, such as increased thirst and urination, weight lose, cuts and bruises taking a long time to heal, and decrease in energy levels. If you think your child might have Type 2, a simple blood test at your doctor’s office will be able to tell.
In general, Type 2 Diabetes has a direct connection with obesity ,and it is important to sustain a healthy diet to prevent this condition. A great way to make sure your child has a healthy intake of food is to start eating better as a whole family. Here are some additional tips:
minimize unhealthy food, such as sweets and processed items
increase intake of fruits and vegetables
look for whole grains in bread, pastas, and cereals
stick to lean meats (chicken, turkey, pork, salmon) instead of fatty cuts
Simple Snack Mix Recipe
1 cup whole grain cereal
¼ cup dried fruit
¼ cup nuts
¼ cup whole grain snack crackers
Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl. Enjoy!
Ideas for Exercise Activities
Exercise is another key component for preventing Type 2 Diabetes, and there are a wide variety of fun exercises you can do close to home. Here are some great activities to try:
riding bikes as a family to the local park
playing jump rope
go on a nature walk/hike in the nearby woods
playing fun games like kickball, soccer, capture-the-flag, etc.
swimming at the local pool
ice/water skiing or ice skating/rollerblading
Whatever you choose to do to stay active, the most important thing to remember is to do it regularly, and to do it together as a family!
Today is the day to stay healthy as a family and do your best to prevent diabetes and other medical conditions that can affect your child’s quality of life. Be the change you want to see, and your kids will be sure to follow suit.
Carolyn is a 20-something year old with a passion for life, fitness and overall well-being. She is an avid cycler, golfer and has been known to bust some serious moves on the dance floor. Check out Carolyn’s blog!