Type I diabetes is a very difficult condition for children to adjust to. MedicalXPress reported on April 25, 2016, there is an association between responsible pet care and well-controlled blood sugar levels in kids with diabetes.
According to a study which was published in the journal PLOS ONE by Louise Maranda from University of Massachusetts Medical School and colleagues young people with type I diabetes who actively helped take care of family pets were 2.5 times more likely to have blood sugar levels which were well-controlled. In order to investigate a possible positive association between responsible pet care and self-care in dealing with chronic illness the authors of this study surveyed 23 young people afflicted with type I diabetes on responsible pet ownership. The results were analyzed with respect to the successful self-management of their diabetes.
It has been determined that attributes which assist in the effective self-management of type I diabetes such as self-regulatory behavior and family cohesion are basically similar to those attributes which are required for responsible care of household pets. It was observed by the researchers that diabetic kids who actively care for at least one household pet were 2.5 times more likely to maintain healthy blood sugar levels than kids who did not care for a pet.
It was postulated by the authors that certain factors, for example the development of household routines and the promotion of feelings of responsibility, which assist young people in caring responsibly for pets may also assist them in controlling their blood sugar levels. In this study the actual care responsibilities for pets were distinguished from the level of attachment to the pet because some kids said they loved for their pet but were not involved in caring for it.
Type 1 diabetes mellitus is a chronic illness which is characterized by an absolute deficiency of insulin. This condition needs conscientious patient self-management in order to maintain glucose control within a normal range. Glycemic control has been found to be favorably influenced by family cohesion and positive coping strategies, adaptability, social support and adequate self-regulatory behavior.
The researchers conjectured that the responsible care of a pet is linked to these positive characteristics and is associated with the successful management of a chronic condition such as type 1 diabetes. The results of this study support the position that caring responsibly for pets is associated with kids controlling diabetes better.