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Health Information For Teens
Managing your diabetes takes a team — you, your parents, doctors, certified diabetes educators, dietitians, and mental health pros — working together to get the job done.
Your diabetes health care team will help develop a treatment plan that’s made just for you. Also, the team can help you cope with some of the emotions and feelings that people with diabetes have to deal with.
You’ll probably meet one or more of these diabetes health care team members during your checkups:
A pediatric endocrinologist (pronounced: en-duh-krih-NOL-eh-jist) is a doctor who specializes in caring for kids and teens with diseases of the endocrine system, such as diabetes and growth disorders. But pediatricians, family practitioners, and other medical doctors also treat people with diabetes.
Doctors ask detailed questions about how you feel and do physical exams, which can include checking several parts of your body and taking your blood pressure. They also may check your diabetes records and your blood sugar level, and they may ask you for a urine (pee) sample.
Your doctor can help teach you about diabetes and any other health problem you may have. After getting treatment suggestions from other diabetes health care team members as needed, your doctor will write down what you need to do to manage your diabetes in a treatment plan, or diabetes management plan.
Think of your doctor as your diabetes team coach who develops a game plan for managing diabetes. Doctors also write prescriptions for insulin and other medicines and can refer you to other specialists as needed.
Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor questions, and make sure you understand the answers. If you’re uncomfortable asking questions in front of your parents, ask to speak to your doctor alone. Your doctor has probably heard it all, so you shouldn’t feel embarrassed or ashamed to ask about anything that’s on your mind.
Certified diabetes educators have special training in helping people manage their diabetes. CDEs will talk to you about what diabetes is and how it affects the body. They’ll also:
Registered dietitians are experts in nutrition and meal planning. They can teach you about how food affects your blood sugar levels and make sure you’re getting enough food to grow and develop properly.
When you meet with a dietitian, expect to answer a few questions about your eating habits and activity levels. The dietitian will:
Make sure to tell the dietitian if you feel like you’re not getting enough to eat, you think you’re eating too much, or you’re not happy with your food choices.
You might feel uncomfortable talking to people with the words “mental health” or “therapist” associated with what they do. But diabetes can be a lot to deal with, and talking to someone who’s not your mom, dad, or doctor can help.
Mental health professionals can be social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, or counselors. They’re a great resource for people coping with diabetes. Maybe you’re frustrated because you feel embarrassed to give yourself shots at school or feel different from your friends. If so, these team members can help you get through it.
Mental health professionals can help you handle problems at home or at school, even if they’re not related to your diabetes, so don’t be afraid to ask for advice. They can also help you find ways to manage your diabetes, even when you don’t want to deal with it.
Always remember that you don’t have to manage diabetes on your own. You can count on your team members to support you and answer your questions — the team has lots of experience with helping people deal with diabetes.
Our Diabetes Center provides information and advice for teens about treating and living with diabetes.
It’s perfectly normal for people with diabetes to feel sad, angry, confused, upset, alone, embarrassed, and even jealous. After all, these are natural emotions that everyone feels from time to time. But how can you cope?
Dining out is probably a part of your social scene. If you have diabetes, you can pretty much eat the same foods as your friends and family. You just have to keep track of what you eat and enjoy certain foods in moderation.
Being sick is no fun for anyone. For people with diabetes, being sick can also affect blood sugar levels.
You probably spend more than a third of your waking hours at school. Chances are you’ll need to check your blood sugar levels or give yourself an insulin injection during that time. So what do you do?
People who have diabetes may hear or read a lot about controlling, or managing, the condition. But what is diabetes control and why is it so important?
Teens with type 2 diabetes have to pay close attention to what they eat and do.
Taking care of your diabetes includes knowing when to call a doctor and get medical help.
Diabetes is a disease that affects how the body uses glucose, a sugar that is the body’s main source of fuel. In type 1 diabetes, glucose can’t get into the body’s cells where it’s needed.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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