Helping Teens Adapt to Diabetes

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And her research found the opposite is true. Teens who viewed diabetes as negative, like an intruder that did not fit with their sense of self, didn’t adapt to the diabetes or its management. They kept their diabetes a secret from others and avoided diabetes care, both of which can negatively affect glucose control (Qualitative Health Research, 2016).

In fact, teens who had not demonstrated acceptance of their illness had A1Cs, on average, nearly two percent higher than those who had accepted the diagnosis and felt confident with diabetes self-management in social situations.

“We at Joslin know that treatment needs to address how both the label of diabetes and its management tasks affect the way you feel about yourself, as well as how diabetes impacts your mood and behavior, your school, your family dynamic, and your social life,” says Dr. Commissariat. “Treatment is so much more than just taking insulin and checking your blood sugar.”

How can we help young people transition from diagnosis to a healthy new normal? Here are a few things to think about:

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