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Preventative measures and early diagnosis can help reduce the risk of children developing diabetes.

Diabetes is on the rise. Diabetes SA says that, according to the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organisation, a person dies from diabetes complications every six seconds. Every eight seconds, two people develop diabetes. Perhaps what is more frightening is that worldwide 200 children are becoming diabetic every day.

Unfortunately, when it comes to children, the disease is often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. The symptoms can often be mistaken for flu or other common illnesses. But if not detected early, it can worsen quickly. Type 1 diabetic children run the risk of falling into a diabetic letoacidosis coma. Type 2 diabetic children s are at a higher risk of developing complications like eye or kidney disease, especially if left untreated.


But up to 80% of of type 2 diabetes can be prevented by following a healthier lifestyle, reports Diabetes SA. So it’s important to know what symptoms to look out for, so you can catch the disease early and manage it:

  • Children may drink a lot of water, which could lead to increased urination and bedwetting
  • They may eat a lot, but still lose weight
  • They could become dehydrated
  • Children may have blurred vision
  • They could suffer from fatigue.

Importantly, people with diabetes may only have a few of these symptoms, or none at all. But if you are concerned, see your healthcare practitioner.

Try these low-carb breakfast ideas to give your family members better control of their glucose.

managing the risk

You can help lower the risk of diabetes, or help manage it by following a few healthy lifestyle guidelines:

  • Get to, or maintain a healthy weight.
  • Choose healthy foods and eat regular meals. Look for Low GI options that allow for a slower release of glucose into the blood stream.
  • Lean proteins, legumes and fish are other good options.
  • Plant-origin fats, especially monounsaturated fats, don’t increase your cholesterol. You should also use salt sparingly.
  • Watch your portion size and try to keep your starch portions small. If you’re not sure what the right portion sizes are for you, speak to a dietician.
  • Do physical activities and exercise regularly.
  • Reduce stress.

Popular mealtime dishes that can be just as delicious as sugar-free meals.

Tamlyn Vincent