Adjusting to life with diabetes may be difficult in the beginning, especially for the very young. Often children feel they are being punished or are afraid they are going to die from the disease. Children may need counseling from a nurse or other healthcare professional to understand their condition and its effect on their bodies. Interacting with other children with diabetes can help them cope with the disease and form a social circle with other affected children.
Adults who either have the disease themselves, or are parents of a diabetic child, will need to understand what services are available to them over the Internet, in their community and through their doctor for education, supplies and reimbursement of expenses. For those who struggle with the cost of supplies, the local United Way may be able to help.
All insurance companies reimburse differently; some will pay for things such as diabetic socks, therapeutic shoes, nutrition counseling, and others will not. Depending on the severity of other symptoms that develop – such as vision problems – local agencies may offer free vision screenings and glasses or financial assistance for these services.
Important tests for diabetics:
- Diabetics should have regular screenings of blood pressure, as hypertension and diabetes often go hand in hand.
- Diabetics should also check their feet regularly for sores and thick callouses, which could indicate poor circulation or ill-fitting shoes.
- A twice yearly hemoglobin A1C blood test reports the average blood sugar reading over the previous two to three months, allowing diabetic to gauge how well their blood sugar has been controlled.
- Regular urine and kidney function tests can prevent the development of chronic renal failure by diagnosing reduced kidney function early.
- Yearly cholesterol screenings are important to determine whether the diabetic's diet is too high in saturated fat, as diabetics are also at high risk for development of coronary artery disease.