Could I have prevented my child’s diabetes?

Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (sometimes called Juvenile Diabetes) is the most common form of diabetes in children, and at this stage there is no way to prevent it. What we know from research is that type 1 diabetes is not caused by lifestyle factors like diet and exercise, but is due to complex interactions between genes and environment. Early recognition of the symptoms of diabetes (increased thirst, passing lots of urine, tiredness and weight loss) is the best way to prevent becoming very unwell with diabetes before it is diagnosed.

While it cannot be prevented, type 1 diabetes can be managed very well - this takes teamwork with your endocrinologist, diabetes educator, dietitian and family to work with a healthy diet, exercise, and insulin plan. 

Sometimes other forms of diabetes may be prevented in some cases. Some of the strategies to prevent diabetes in children include ensuring they eat low-fat, nutrient-rich foods such as vegetables, fruits, dairy products, lean proteins and whole-grain cereals. Limiting sugary foods and beverages, encouraging physical activity and limiting screen time with TV, computer, and video games. Consider consulting a dietitian if your child is overweight.