Don’t blame yourself if your child is diagnosed with this disease

Don’t blame yourself if your child is diagnosed with this disease

When a child is diagnosed with a medical condition, parents oftentimes blame themselves. Could you have done something to prevent this? Did something during pregnancy lead to this diagnosis? Is a child’s diet to blame? Parental guilt is especially common with diseases like type 1 diabetes, which is typically diagnosed between the ages of 4-6 or during early puberty.

In children and adults with type 1 diabetes, the pancreas does not produce insulin, which the body needs to allow blood sugar to enter cells in the body and produce energy. Children with type 1 diabetes need insulin injections and close monitoring to prevent low blood sugar.

“As parents, we always wonder if we could’ve done anything differently to prevent a disease,” says Dr. Liliana Burdea, a pediatric endocrinologist at Advocate Children’s Hospital. “But to our knowledge, no food or dietary habits can cause type 1 diabetes. No one knows for sure why some people get it or how to prevent it.”

Dr. Burdea explains that while adjusting to life with type 1 diabetes isn’t easy, with extra effort, parents can help their children live a normal life. “Your child can do all the things other kids do, including playing any sports they want with some extra effort. As a parent, you can help them by treating them as a normal child and incorporating diabetes management as one aspect of their daily life. I know that a diabetes diagnosis can feel overwhelming. As your child’s care team, we will be with you every step of the way with the necessary tools to manage diabetes at home and help your child live well. We’re only a phone call away.”

Are you trying to find a pediatrician near you? Look here if you live in Illinois. Look here if you live in Wisconsin. 

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About the Author

Holly Brenza
Holly Brenza

Holly Brenza, health enews contributor, is a public affairs coordinator on the content team at Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago. In her free time, Holly enjoys reading, watching the White Sox and Blackhawks, playing with her dog, Bear and running her cats' Instagram account, @strangefurthings.