Taking Care Of Pets Can Help Children Control Their Diabetes
Owning a pet can provide emotional and mental relief for pet owners, but new research also suggests that pet ownership can assist diabetic children to control their blood sugar levels.
The study found that diabetic children who had responsibilities related to caring for their family pets were 2.5 times more likely to have blood sugar levels that fell within the normal ranges, writes Nature World News.
Researchers surveyed 23 young people, who had been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Each of the participants were asked to answer a series of questions relating to responsible pet ownership, with the results being analyzed against how well each of the respondents were able to self-manage their illness.
The level of responsibility as well as attachment to the family pets were also taken into consideration by the researchers as some children state that they loved their pets but were not involved in the day-to-day care of their pets.
The researchers noted that known attributes that aid in the effective self-management of Type 1 diabetes, including family cohesion and self-regulatory behavior, were not dissimilar to the attributes needed to responsibly care for a household pet, according to a press release.
Factors including the creation of household routines and encouraging responsible behavior when looking after pets, could also positively effect how children were able to manage their blood sugar levels.
Researchers believe that the study could to identify specific behaviors and attributes that could help young patients better manage their Type 1 diabetes.
According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pet ownership can have a corresponding effect on the health of their owners. Some of these benefits can include lower blood pressure levels, cholesterol, triglyceride and reducing feelings of loneliness. Pet ownership can also create new opportunities for owners to get more exercise and socialize more.
The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE.
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