Diabetes

A diagnosis of diabetes can initially be frightening and often presents the entire family with new challenges. However, diabetes can be controlled to maintain your child’s health and lessen the impact on your child’s and family’s daily lives. Our goal is to provide effective management of and education about your child’s condition, with the full complement of support you need to manage this disease and to continue living your daily lives as normally and fully as you did prior to the diagnosis.

Diabetes is a condition in which the body’s ability to maintain the correct levels of blood glucose is disrupted. Different types of diabetes have different causes for that disruption; however, in all types, persistently high blood glucose levels can result in nerve damage, kidney damage, and vision issues, among other problems.

The most common forms of diabetes are type 1 and type 2. Symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes can include unintended weight loss, increased hunger or thirst, fatigue, and vision problems. Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune condition in which the body’s own immune system damages the cells in the pancreas that manufacture insulin, which is the hormone that controls blood glucose levels. Type 2 diabetes results from the body producing too little insulin or not responding normally to insulin. Type 2 diabetes is linked to obesity, and can be prevented or reversed through a healthier diet and weight loss.

Comprehensive Diabetes Treatment for Children and Teens

At Hasbro Children’s Hospital’s division of pediatric endocrinology, we offer diagnostic testing, treatment, and diabetes management training, as well as long-term comprehensive follow-up care for our patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes and other types of diabetes. Our endocrinologists, diabetes nurse educators, and dietitian will evaluate your child to develop the best treatment plan, and our staff will educate you and your child about self-management of diabetes. You will learn how to monitor your child’s glucose levels, what you need to know about proper nutrition and weight management, and how to meet the unique challenges of diabetes.

Our diabetes clinical services include:

  • Diabetes testing and evaluation, including hemoglobin A1C testing to determine what your child’s average blood glucose level has been over the past two to three months
  • Instruction in home blood-glucose monitoring
  • Nutrition and weight management plans
  • Comprehensive, long-term, follow-up care
  • Insulin pump therapy
  • Continuous Glucose Monitoring System (CGMS)

Emergency Care for Diabetes

In addition, we want you to be assured that we are always available for emergencies, including when managing your child’s diabetes is complicated by illness. If your child is vomiting or dehydrated, or has concerning test results, please call the physician (beeper: 401-350-0520). If your child is experiencing a medical emergency such as difficulty breathing, high fever, confusion, drowsiness, or abdominal pain, please call the physician (beeper: 401-350-0520) and bring your child to the emergency department.

Pediatric Diabetes Outpatient Education Center

The Pediatric Diabetes Outpatient Education Center at Rhode Island Hospital/Hasbro Children’s Hospital has achieved the national standards for diabetes self-management education and is nationally recognized by the American Diabetes Association Education Recognition Program. It is the only pediatric service in Rhode Island, southern Massachusetts and northeastern Connecticut to receive this certification.

The program provides state-of-the-art care for children with diabetes through a multidisciplinary, highly experienced team of pediatric endocrinologists, diabetes nurse educators, registered dietitians, and medical social workers. Our diabetes educators are nationally certified by the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators.