Posts tagged as:

diabetes

Opportunity knocks: diabetes teaches life lessons

by Lisa Fratt on November 18, 2013

Diabetes management can drain anyone. The multiple daily needle sticks, constant need to estimate carbohydrate intake and occasional hypoglycemic dizzy spells are tough to manage. These challenges may be magnified for kids with diabetes, who often find it difficult to stay on top of managing their condition while also juggling school, sports and time with friends.

Yet, 19-year-old Henry Abrams, a Cape Cod teen diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 12, says he’s grateful for its life lessons.

Henry, currently an engineering student at University of Massachusetts, credits his ability to keep his glucose levels under control to his math finesse. “I can estimate the amount of sugar in food and make the adjustments I need.”

Henry’s mother, Lysbeth Abrams, says he’s taken the diagnosis in stride from day 1, finding ample opportunities to learn from his condition, whether it be math or nutrition or task management. Full story »

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When a child suffers from nutrition related health problems, it can cause a good deal of emotional and financial strain on her family. Obesity-related medical conditions like diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure and cholesterol often lead to pricey medications and doctor visits, and are sometimes tied to emotional issues that can be costly to treat.

On the flip side, eating disorders can have a devastating affect on a person’s health and usually take years of regular therapy to treat successfully.

Treating these conditions in a single child is expensive; when you add together the cumulative costs of treating them on national level, the numbers are astronomical. But researchers from Children’s Hospital Boston and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), have found that a fairly inexpensive health promotion initiative could reduce both obesity and bulimia nervosa in adolescents, potentially saving millions in would-be healthcare costs.

Their study, recently published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, shows that by adopting an educational initiative called Planet Health, five Boston area schools successfully reduced the prevalence of obesity and behaviors linked to bulimia. If these Boston schools are any indication, a nationwide adoption of the program could lead to less obesity and eating disorders on a national level, thereby saving millions in healthcare dollars usually allotted to treating these conditions. Full story »

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One patient’s story: rustling diabetes’s feathers

by Boston Children's Hospital staff on October 21, 2010

Noah is one of the 23.6 million Americans with diabetes.

In September of 2007, my son Noah started first grade. He was very excited, but after a few weeks of school, I noticed he was acting more and more tired all the time. After a few weeks, it seemed like all he did was sleep: falling asleep in the car to and from activities, dozing off while watching TV, he once even fell asleep on the bleachers at a baseball game. As parents we knew kids Noah’s age needed more rest to grow, but the extreme fatigue was starting to worry us. Pretty soon it was apparent that a trip to the doctor was in order. Full story »

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teen girl at computerIn today’s tech savvy world, we can use social media for just about everything. Facebook can function as a never-ending class reunion, Twitter lets us keep tabs on close friends and celebrities alike and now, social media can even be used to track our health and share with others.

One such site is TuDiabetes.org, a social network for people with or affected by diabetes. It currently has almost 14,700 members. The website recently partnered with Children’s Hospital Boston to create a new online application where members can communicate their Hemoglobin A1c levels–a health metric used to measure a person’s control over his or her diabetes over a prolonged period of time–within the TuDiabetes community.

Called TuAnalyze, the new applications enables TuDiabetes members to easily share (publicly or anonymously) some of their health history as part of a massive data donation drive being conducted to enhance public knowledge of the disease and possibly improve its research and treatment.

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Health headlines: Peanut allergies, obesity rehab and diabetes

by Boston Children's Hospital staff on February 27, 2010

Child at the DentistOther stories we’ve been reading:

This newborn care program promises to dramatically reduce the number of stillborn births. IVF babies are four times more likely to be stillborn.

Is diabetes to blame for birth defects? [Read Minnie’s story about living with Type 2 diabetes.] Taking antidepressants while pregnant can slow fetal development.

What you eat during pregnancy can impact your baby’s chance of having certain allergies. Can peanut allergies be cured? [Watch Brett’s journey to overcome his milk allergy.] The lactose intolerant population might be smaller than we think.

Poverty in childhood can shape neurobiology. [Read about how more children than ever are relying on food stamps.] Twenty percent of children don’t see a dentist annually. [Did you know that February is Children’s Dental Health Month?]

H1N1 hasn’t peaked yet. [Have your questions answered about whether or not your child should get the H1N1 shot.] A new vaccine has been approved for child infections. [Read about the new immunization schedule.]

Does obesity rehab for kids work? [Read about the First Lady’s obesity initiative.] Physically fit students do better academically. Playing the Wii could help stroke rehabilitation. [What are the effects of “exergames” like the Wii?]

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Other stories we’ve been reading:

Adolescents taking a certain anti-psychotic drugs are at an increased risk for diabetes. An industrial chemical is being sold as a dietary supplement for autism treatment. Diabetes drugs are helping dieting teens lose weight. [Read Minnie’s story about living with Type 2 diabetes.]

Loving foster homes improves children’s attention and impulsivity. Girls with ADHD are more likely to develop other mental health risks.

Obese boys are more likely to begin puberty later in life. A Girl Scouts’ survey found that the fashion industry pressures girls to be thin. [Read about unrealistic media images and how one teen feels about them.] Boys are treated with growth hormone therapy much more often than girls.

Babies of mothers who smoke during pregnancy are much more stressed out. [Read how dangerous secondhand smoke is to children.] Black and Hispanic infants are more likely to have HIV. Expectant mothers can receive pregnancy tips through texting.

Girls who bike to school are in better shape than those who walk or get a ride. The USDA is tightening requirements to assure school lunch safety.[Read about our nation’s fight for kids’ food.]  Overloaded backpacks set your child up for spine strain. [Read about National School Backpack Awareness Day.]

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Minnie Ortiz, a patient of Children’s Hospital Boston’s Optimal Weight for Life Program, is being featured on a new PBS Web video series called Living with My Type 2. Here’s her introductory video, where she talks about not even knowing what type 2 diabetes was before she was diagnosed with it and how, after the death of her mother left her without someone to talk with, she writes in her journal to express the concerns she has about her health.

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Health headlines: Artificial bones, puberty blocking drugs and Halloween treats

by Boston Children's Hospital staff on October 31, 2009

Other stories we’ve been reading:

stockphotopro_70918WPX_no_titleSurgeons put an artificial bone in a 3-year-old’s arm. Parents can use these guidelines for letting their diabetic kids enjoy Halloween’s treats.

Listen to the new guidelines being reviewed by British doctors that would lower the country’s age limit for transgender patients receiving puberty-blocking drugs. The segment begins at the 34 minute marker.

stockphotopro_2801614LNH_no_titleMultiple studies show how pregnant women getting the flu vaccine is an important way to protect their babies. Sesame Street characters Elmo and Rosita show your child the right way to sneeze. Last weekend, Emergency Department doctors at Children’s began seeing increases in what they think are swine flu cases and Judy Palfrey, MD, FAAP, comments on the Obama girls getting the flu shot. Have you ever wondered how the flu virus spreads? Watch this video to see how.

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