Individual results may vary.
Teenagers and young adults are in the process of taking full responsibility for
their own health care. As adults, they will have to practice diabetes self-management
and make more decisions about their own health care needs. Parents, and the rest
of the family, can help make the transition to adult health care a smooth one.
Feelings and stress
Everyone has a bad day once in a while, and having diabetes may make bad days seem
worse. There are many teens dealing with diabetes every day. Most of the time, they're
no problem to deal with. But sometimes they may feel sad, angry, or afraid.
Diabetes may make teens feel alone and different. They may be teased at school for
being overweight, or for having to use insulin during school hours. They may blame
themselves or their family for their diabetes. Almost everyone with diabetes has
felt this way at some point in life.
Keep the lines of communication open. Simply speaking to someone makes it easier
to know when something is wrong. Communication is a two-way street. It is the best
way to help and to be helped. Teens should be able to talk to family members, friends
in the neighborhood or at school, a teacher or guidance counselor, or a doctor or
As teenagers grow more independent, they will need to make choices when it comes
to friendship. It may be difficult for teens when friends do not understand diabetes.
Teens should be able to explain diabetes to their friends without fear of teasing.
Choosing friends who offer understanding and support is important. It may be helpful
to meet new friends who also have diabetes. Clinics and hospitals often have support
groups for teens with diabetes. There are also summer camps for teens who need to
lose weight or who have diabetes.
Support from the rest of the family is important. It is helpful for the family to
choose to eat healthy foods. It may also be helpful for the whole family to be active
together. This can help everyone get exercise, relax, and lower stress. Remember,
things that are healthy for people with diabetes are also healthy for everyone in
It is a good idea for teens to get involved in decisions about diabetes care. Setting
a goal is a good way to start. Goals may start small, such as the decision to drink
fewer regular sodas. After the first goal is reached, the next goal may be a little
harder. Whenever a goal is accomplished, there could be a small reward.
For more support
For more support, sign up for Cornerstones4Care.com.
You'll get ongoing support, tips, and tools for people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes
and their caregivers. Sign up now.