Diabetes Control: Why It's Importantenparentshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/P-diabetesControl-enHD-AR1.jpgYou've probably heard your child's doctor talk a lot about diabetes control. What is it and why is it important?type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, children and diabetes, kids with diabetes, diabetes control, why is diabetes control important, long-term complications, health problems, monitoring blood sugar, keeping track of blood sugar, glycosylated hemoglobin, hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, blood sugar levels, diabetes medicines, blood glucose meter, diabetes health care team, CD1Diabetes04/01/200503/15/201803/15/2018Steven Dowshen, MD02/01/20187d22785e-7ef3-4580-975f-e73aafbe846fhttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/diabetes-control.html/<p>You've probably heard your child's doctor talk a lot about "diabetes control," which usually refers to how close the blood sugar, or <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/glucose.html/">glucose</a>, is kept to the desired range. What does this mean&nbsp;and why is it important?</p> <p><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/in-diabetes-vd.html/" target="windyWindow" onclick="MM_openBrWindow(this.href,'windyWindow','width=605,height=595,status=no,scrollbars=no,toolbar=no,resizable=yes,location=no'); return false;"><img class="right" title="What Happens in Diabetes?" src="https://kidshealth.org/EN/images/buttons/diabetes-enBT.gif" alt="What Happens in Diabetes?" name="3326-DIABETES_ENPR.GIF" /></a></p> <h3>What Can Happen if Diabetes Isn't Under Control?</h3> <p>Too much or not enough sugar in the bloodstream can lead to short-term problems that must be treated right away, like <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/def-hypoglycemia.html/">hypoglycemia</a>, <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/def-hyperglycemia.html/">hyperglycemia</a>, or diabetic <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/ketoacidosis.html/">ketoacidosis</a>.</p> <p>Too much sugar in the bloodstream also can cause long-term damage to body tissues. For example, it can harm vital organs, which can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, kidney disease, vision problems, and nerve problems.</p> <p>These problems don't usually affect kids or teens with diabetes who have had the disease for only a few years. But they can happen in adults with diabetes, particularly if they haven't managed or controlled their diabetes properly.</p> <p>Kids with diabetes who don't control their blood sugar levels may also have problems with growth and development. They might even have a delay in when <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/understanding-puberty.html/">puberty</a> starts. Puberty is when the body changes as kids start growing into adults.</p> <h3>What Can Affect Blood Sugar Levels?</h3> <p>Controlling diabetes means keeping blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible. Your child's <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/diabetes-medicines.html/">diabetes medicines</a> (such as <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/insulin.html/">insulin</a>), food, and activity level must be in balance to keep blood sugar levels under control. If any one of these is off, blood sugar levels will be too.</p> <p>Poorly controlled blood sugar levels can be due to:</p> <ul> <li>not taking medicines as prescribed</li> <li>not following the <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/meal-plans-diabetes.html/">meal plan</a> (like eating too much or not enough food without adjusting medicines)</li> <li>not getting regular <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/sports-diabetes.html/">exercise</a> or not changing the treatment plan when there's a big change in physical activity level</li> <li>illness or stress</li> <li>not watching blood sugar levels closely enough so that changes are seen and dealt with quickly</li> </ul> <h3>What Are the Benefits of Good Diabetes Control?</h3> <p>The problems that diabetes can cause are serious. But the good news is that keeping blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible can help prevent them.</p> <p>One large study showed that people with <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/type1.html/">type 1 diabetes</a> who checked blood sugar levels four or more times a day &mdash; and adjusted their medicines, diet, and exercise based on their readings &mdash; had a lower risk for eye disease, kidney problems, nerve damage, and high cholesterol levels (a major risk factor for heart disease).</p> <h3>How Do I Know if Diabetes Is Under Control?</h3> <p>How do you find out if your child's diabetes is&nbsp;under control? First, the <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/diabetes-team.html/">diabetes health care team</a> will tell you&nbsp;what the blood sugar levels should be (the "target" range), which is based on things like your child's age and medical condition.</p> <p>Day to day, the only way to know if the blood sugar levels are close to the target range is to <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/track-blood-sugar.html/">measure them often</a> with a glucose meter or continuous glucose monitor (CGM). These should be used several times a day.</p> <p>Your doctor will also check your child's blood sugar with a <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/hba1c.html/">hemoglobin test</a> (HbA1C test for short). It gives information about blood glucose control in the 2 to 3 months before the test. This lets doctors know if the diabetes care plan needs changes.</p> <h3>How Can I Help My Child?</h3> <p>Helping your child achieve good blood sugar control and manage diabetes can be challenging. Here are some tips:</p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li>Make sure your child takes insulin or other diabetes medicines as prescribed.</li> <li>Provide meals and snacks that fit into your child's meal plan.</li> <li>Encourage your child to engage in regular physical activity.</li> <li>Check blood sugar levels often and make any needed changes to the treatment plan with guidance from the health care team.</li> <li>Make sure your child gets regular medical checkups.</li> <li>Learn as much as you can about diabetes.</li> </ul>El control de la diabetes: por qué es importanteProbablemente habrá oído al médico de su hijo hablar mucho sobre el "control de la diabetes", que se suele referir a mantener el azúcar, o la glucosa en sangre, lo más cerca posible de los valores deseables. ¿Qué significa esto y por qué es tan importante?https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/es/parents/diabetes-control-esp.html/66330b3b-67af-42ef-b795-bcbcff061726
Diabetes CenterDiabetes means a problem with insulin, an important hormone in the body. Find out how children with diabetes can stay healthy and do the normal stuff kids like to do.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/center/diabetes-center.html/0767277a-98f9-4541-b2f6-f3c68f43a94c
Diabetes Control: Why It's ImportantKeeping blood sugar levels under control can help keep you healthy and prevent health problems from happening down the road. Find out more.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/diabetes-control.html/5ec43be3-261e-4e07-b64b-831ea38c9fbf
Hyperglycemia and Diabetic KetoacidosisWhen blood glucose levels (also called blood sugar levels) are too high, it's called hyperglycemia. A major goal in controlling diabetes is to keep blood sugar levels as close to the desired range as possible.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/hyperglycemia.html/604daaa3-061f-4de7-adef-81dfb8478b52
HypoglycemiaWhen blood glucose levels drop too low, it's called hypoglycemia. Very low blood sugar levels can cause severe symptoms that require immediate treatment.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/hypoglycemia.html/a5a7783c-d631-4896-baa4-6f28cc0d82bd
Keeping Track of Your Blood SugarChecking your blood sugar levels is a really important part of managing diabetes. Knowing those levels will help you keep your blood sugar under control - and that helps you feel good and keeps you healthy.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/track-blood-sugar.html/916cc0c6-db09-4e05-a43f-46ab8e0d9f25
Medicines for DiabetesTaking medicines is a major part of staying healthy if you have diabetes because they help you keep your blood sugar levels under control.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/medicines-diabetes.html/bbb46625-eff9-4291-97bd-a4a9b50a4866
Monitoring Blood SugarTo keep blood sugar levels under control, you have to check them regularly. Learn about checking and recording your child's blood sugar levels.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/track-blood-sugar.html/3fe33959-0544-4019-97bd-85605bd27355
Other Diseases That Are More Common in People With Type 1 DiabetesKids and teens with type 1 diabetes have a greater risk for thyroid disease, celiac disease, and Addison's disease. Learn more about these autoimmune disorders.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/other-diseases.html/407bd30c-879d-4f07-869d-5fcb5f683660
Treating Type 2 DiabetesKids who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes will need a diabetes management plan to help them manage the condition and stay healthy and active.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/treating-type2.html/ab6e8644-fed9-4b2a-8fe6-18393da696cb
What Problems Can Diabetes Cause?Thinking about your diabetes a little bit now — and taking some steps to prevent problems — can make things easier down the road.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/complications.html/a156cd10-f4e7-4416-94c5-0182fc4e0ae5
When Blood Sugar Is Too HighToo much glucose in the blood can be unhealthy. Learn more about what to do when blood sugar is too high in this article for kids.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/high-blood-sugar.html/b1f31b86-0514-439b-9289-50be0310de8b
When Blood Sugar Is Too LowHypoglycemia is the medical word for low blood sugar level. It needs to be treated right away. Learn more about what to do when blood sugar is too low in this article for kids.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/low-blood-sugar.html/58cf6333-fb32-4731-a3a5-8d93292e7b04
Your Child's Diabetes Health Care TeamWhen you have a child with diabetes, you and your family have a lot to learn, but you don't have to go it alone. Your child's diabetes health care team can help.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/diabetes-team.html/0f4d2690-4665-4073-b5ca-026fae7fc768
Your Diabetes Health Care TeamIt takes all of your team members — you, your parents, doctors, certified diabetes educators, dietitians, and mental health pros — to help you take care of your diabetes.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/diabetes-team.html/8bce6552-f82e-4e39-9abf-ba3817c872f6
kh:age-allAgesOrAgeAgnostickh:clinicalDesignation-endocrinologykh:genre-articlekh:primaryClinicalDesignation-endocrinologyDiabetes Medications & Monitoringhttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/diabetes-center/meds-monitoring/bc69633f-1218-41d1-b832-66b2e63b4c18Diabetes Basicshttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/diabetes-center/diabetes-basics/e7c6c2d5-789f-475d-bead-54cfac997f23Living With Diabeteshttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/diabetes-center/living-diabetes/5a968d25-3c67-4e70-bae8-74e297508436https://kidshealth.org/EN/images/buttons/diabetes-enBT.gif