Your daily routine now includes new
tasks and safety measures because you have
type 1 diabetes. You can help keep your blood sugar
levels within a
target range by following a routine. This means
testing your blood sugar and eating at regular times. It also means
consistently eating about the same amount of food every day. There is a lot to
learn about this complex disease, but for now concentrate on these critical
Spread carbohydrate throughout the day
Carbohydrate is the one nutrient in your diet that
most affects blood sugar levels. A registered dietitian can help you learn
about what foods contain carbohydrate and how to manage it in your diet. If
your child has diabetes, talk with the
dietitian about how to adjust meals and snacks for
your child's varying appetite.
- Diabetes: Counting Carbs if You Use Insulin
- Diabetes: Using a Plate Format for Eating
You need to take injections every
day because your
pancreas no longer produces
insulin. Eventually, your child can learn to give an
insulin injection. Talk to your doctor and your child to find out when is a
good time to start teaching your child to give an insulin injection.
- Diabetes: Giving Yourself an Insulin Shot
- Diabetes in Children: Giving Insulin Shots to a Child
Check your blood sugar often
Your doctor will want
you to test your blood sugar level several times a day.
- Diabetes: Checking Your Blood Sugar
- Diabetes in Children: Checking Blood Sugar in a Child
Try to do
moderate activity at least 2½ hours a week.4 One way to do this is to be active 30 minutes a day, at least
5 days a week. Some
tips for exercising safely may help. Drink plenty of water
before, during, and after you are active. This is very important when it’s hot out and when you do intense
exercise. It may also help
to keep track of your exercise on an
activity log(What is a PDF document?).
Encourage your child to do moderate to vigorous
activity at least 1 hour every day. It’s okay for them to be active in smaller
blocks of time that add up to 1 hour or more each day. Children with type 1
diabetes can participate in sports just like children who do not have diabetes. But
children who use insulin are at risk of low blood sugar. Some tips on
safe exercising for your child with type 1 diabetes can help prevent low
In addition to exercising, it is a
good idea to limit the amount of alcohol you drink. The American Diabetes
Association recommends that women with diabetes have no more than one drink a
day and men with diabetes have no more than two drinks a day.5 One drink is
12 fl oz (0.4 L) of beer,
5 fl oz (0.2 L) of wine, or
1.5 fl oz (44.4 mL)
Tobacco has many bad health effects,
especially for people with diabetes. Having type 1 diabetes can cause a lot of
problems in your body. Smoking can make many of these problems worse,
especially heart and blood vessel disease. Smoking raises your
cholesterol and makes it harder for your body to heal.
No matter how long you've smoked, your health will improve after you quit. For
help quitting, see the topic
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- Snack suggestions for young children with diabetes
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