Adolescence is a difficult time for both adolescents and their parents. This is the time when large-scale changes occur in the life of a child on all fronts: in life, in the body, in outlook. Regardless of the type, diabetes mellitus in adolescents requires that the maturing child be assisted and supported in managing their disease.
DIAGNOSING DIABETES IN ADOLESCENTS
If your teenager is diagnosed with diabetes, your task is to help your child get used to the presence of an incurable disease. Diagnosing diabetes can be shocking at any age, and doubly shocking when it comes to puberty. At 12–18, the only desire of most adolescents is to adapt to a new state. Many of them have the feeling of the “white crow”, so you will be required to convince your child of the opposite – with proper care and control, diabetes does not at all limit the ability of the child.
The teenage period is filled with a variety of experiences: from joy and delight to fear and embarrassment. As the child grows up, the child begins puberty yesterday, there are frequent mood swings and the first steps towards independent living take place. And in the adolescent period, new impressions, new friends and new responsibilities appear. It was at this time that the signs of diabetes in adolescents in most cases go unnoticed. Since adolescence is a transitional stage between childhood and adulthood, adolescents often take diabetes symptoms for normal changes in the body. The life of a teenager, as a rule, is quite saturated with various events – there is little room for thoughts about possible or already identified diabetes. That’s why your job is to make sureshort-term and long-term complications of diabetes if not properly controlled.
INDEPENDENT DIABETES MANAGEMENT
At some point in time, a teenager may show a desire to independently control his disease. If your child has been diagnosed with diabetes at an early age, you probably have already developed a regimen and have a diabetes management plan. If diabetes was diagnosed in adolescence, adaptation to the daily procedures, both in diabetes 1 and type 2 diabetes, will take some time.
As you get older, your child will undoubtedly strive for complete autonomy in the treatment of diabetes. This is not bad at all with proper control, but it can lead to serious consequences if a teenager is not ready for the amount of responsibility that is placed on him, especially when it comes to type1 diabetes, which requires more intensive treatment.
Each child is different, so you will need to independently discuss with your child the decision to switch to independent diabetes management. At the same time, do not forget to regularly monitor how your teenager copes with his new duty. For example, together look at the history of measuring blood sugar levels, analyze the effectiveness of control and remind you to constantly undergo the required tests. For a better understanding of whether a teenager is managing his diabetes effectively, use the HbA1ctest .
Constant pursuit of rebellion is often an integral part of a teenager’s life, regardless of whether he has diabetes. Surely you know from your own experience that such protests can take many forms. One of them is the reluctance to accept the presence of the disease: and can you blame a teenager for this ?! Unfortunately, reluctance alone is not enough. A complete cure for diabetes is not possible, and ignoring the disease will only aggravate the condition.
In some adolescents, protest is expressed in complete disregard for the presence of diabetes: irregular meals, alcohol abuse , unwillingness to measure blood sugar levels, insulin breaks without preliminary calculations, or even complete omission of insulin. The conscious omission of insulin doses or the reduction thereof is called diabetes mellitus . This is a mental disorder in which a patient has a mental disorder due to diabetes. Diabulimia can lead to the appearance of short-term complications, including dramatic weight loss and chronic fungal / urinary tract infections, which, if not treated in time, can lead to long-term complications.
Such complications can cause serious damage to health, which adolescents should also be aware of. Living with diabetes, especially in adolescence, is sometimes full of disappointments and lost hopes. Tell your child that he is not expected to be 100% correct in 100% of cases. All patients with diabetes have situations where you forget to measure the level of sugar in the blood, or you miss a meal or a dose of insulin. However, such “accidents” should not become a habit. The consequences of diabetes can be very sad, even if they are now invisible. Despite all the difficulties of adolescence, do not lose determination and put appropriate expectations in front of your child.
DOES A TEEN NEED AN INSULIN PUMP?
Using an insulin pump can help a teenager better manage diabetes. If your child has difficulty keeping blood sugar levels within the target range, there are frequent or nocturnal episodes of hypoglycemia, or he just wants to gain more freedom in daily compliance, consider using an insulin pump , ideally in combination with a continuous glucose monitoring .
In order to maintain the blood sugar level within the target range, it is necessary to independently measure the blood sugar level at least 4 times a day, while making the appropriate adjustments to the treatment regimen. Check with your doctor about the use of your adolescent insulin pump to treat diabetes.