Teens and Diabetes
Although the teenage years can be a challenge for any child as he or she goes through sexual and emotional changes, it can be especially trying for adolescents with diabetes. Adolescents inherently want to "fit in". Being different in any way from his or her peers can be emotionally stressful, especially for the teenager.
The teen who previously complied very well with his or her diabetes management plan may now become rebellious and refuse to comply. He or she may also experience denial of the disease, or display increasingly aggressive behavior in reaction to the stress of managing diabetes, during a time in life that is challenging enough already.
One aspect of diabetes management, blood sugar control, is especially hard during adolescence. Researchers believe the growth hormone produced during adolescence to stimulate bone and muscle growth may also act as an anti-insulin agent. Blood sugar levels become harder to control, resulting in blood sugar levels that swing from too low to too high. This lack of control over blood sugar levels can be very frustrating for your teenager.
Helping your teenager cope:
|Open communication between you and your teenager with diabetes is important during these years. You should recognize that your teenager wants to be treated as an adult, even if that means letting him or her take charge of his or her own diabetes management plan. Parents should also recognize that teenagers need: |
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