PEDIATRIC TYPE 2 DIABETES AND PRE-DIABETES OUTPATIENT EDUCATION PROGRAM

EPCH’s Empower Program is funded by the PdNHF

The Empower Program at El Paso Children’s Hospital is for children who are at risk for developing or have been diagnosed with type2 diabetes.

What is Type 2 diabetes?
  • In type 2 diabetes, your child’s body can’t turn the food they eat into energy
  • This causes high blood sugar levels
What is pre-diabetes?
  • Your child’s body is showing signs that they may develop type 2 diabetes soon, including high blood sugar levels, high lipid (fat) levels in the blood and excess weight.
What are the risk factors for children/teens developing type 2 diabetes?
  • A family history of type 2 diabetes
  • Hispanic/Latino ethnicity (1 out of every 2 are affected by diabetes in their lifetime)
  • Weighing too much
  • Not being active
What are the symptoms of type 2 diabetes in children/teens?
  • Going to the bathroom a lot
  • Weight loss
  • Excessive thirst
  • Weakness and feeling tired
  • Frequent bladder infections
  • Dark patches of skin, usually on back of neck or armpits
How will my child’s doctor know if they are developing diabetes or already have diabetes?
  • In addition to checking for the symptoms listed above, your doctor will also check:
    • Level of sugar in their blood and urine
    • Level of lipids (fat) in their blood
Why should I worry about my child getting diabetes?
  • Blood sugar levels that stay high all the time can cause serious problems such as
    • Feeling tired, sick and thirsty
    • Having no energy to play and have fun
    • Going to the bathroom a lot, even at night, interrupting sleep
    • Becoming sick more often
    • Infections that are hard to heal
  • As your child gets older, high blood sugar levels can cause these serious complications
    • Damage to eyes, kidneys and nerves
    • Damage to the heart and circulation, increasing the chance for heart attack and stoke
Will my child’s type 2 diabetes go away?
  • There is no cure, but there are ways to live healthy with type 2 diabetes.
How can I help my child be healthy and manage their diabetes?
  • Making positive lifestyle changes for your child and your family can have a profound effect on your child’s ability to live a healthy life, manage their diabetes and potentially prevent diabetes complications. These positive lifestyle changes include:
    • Making healthy food choices
    • Exercising and being active every day
    • Taking diabetes medications
    • Checking blood glucose levels

The Empower Program at El Paso Children’s Hospital was developed with a team approach, to provide the education and support you need to make these changes.

Every child and teenager in the Empower Program works with a specialized dietitian and social worker to receive a personalized plan to include specific, achievable goals. This plan is also shared with your child’s primary care doctor so he or she can better manage your child’s health.

In some cases, children or teenagers and their families may also benefit from counseling services which can help them find ways to change their behaviors, overcome barriers and help the whole family to be involved in becoming healthier.

This new program is fulfilling a vital need for children and families in El Paso and our surrounding area. For more information call 915.242.8493.

For more information, please fill out the contact form below

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