Being diagnosed with diabetes as a child is devastating in most cases. It's a disease that requires its victims to be ever-aware to the needs of their body. Recent studies have found that along with being emotionally and physically devastated, children diagnosed with type 1 diabetes are also more likely to achieve less in school and struggle financially going into adulthood.
Researchers from Yale University studied 15,000 kids (age groups between middle school and high school) with type 1 diabetes for a period of 14 years. The results from the study were very interesting and disturbing:
- The dropout rate for high school students with type 1 diabetes was 6% higher than the dropout rate for kids without diabetes.
- Adults with type 1 diabetes were 10% more likely to be unemployed by age 30.
- The patients who were employed made an average of $6,000 less than their peers without diabetes.
These facts are worrisome, but there may be a way for helping children with diabetes handle their illness in a more positive way. Sam Fuld, the Tampa Bay's outfielder, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 10. He says that having someone to talk to about the disease who knows what it's like can be a great way to feel normal.
Fuld felt there was a need for a camp specifically for kids with type 1 diabetes which is why this summer at the University of South Florida, he's holding a sports camp for children in the area with type 1 diabetes. It's a great opportunity for kids to receive more education about their disease and to connect with children their age who are experiencing the same things.
"I got the message early on that (diabetes) is not a hindrance, as long as you stay on top of it and are conscientious with it," Fuld said.
Dealing with diabetes is something our country will have to get used to in the years to come. The number of children at risk for developing type 2 diabetes will continue to climb until healthy lifestyles becomes a priority in our country. Being educated on insulin and blood sugar levels will help the next generation be more aware of the consequences of unhealthy living.
Dr. Danciger deals with patients with type 2 diabetes on a regular basis. Foot complications are some of the more common side effects of diabetes.