Living With Diabetes: Diabetes in Teens and Young Adults
Diabetes is a disease that can affect everyone. Whatever the age, sex, and race are, diabetes can affect everyone. Today, there are more than 16 million Americans who suffer from this disease. And, 800 thousand new cases are diagnosed each year. Living with diabetes can be hard especially for teeages and young adults.
You have to consider that the rapid mental, physical and emotional growth of tens can add to the challenge in managing the disease. With the taking of insulin, monitoring blood glucose levels, and strictly following a meal plan, it can be very tiresome for teenagers and can really add to the difficulties of just being a teen.
Most teens tend to ease up on diabetes care and tend to act like everyone else. This is understandable as they are in the age where pressure from friends can really affect them.
Psychologically, you have to remember that the teen years are the years where the teen will test their limits, which includes testing his or her limits with diabetes. At some point, they will even refuse to adhere to their meal plans, skip insulin injections and they may even stop checking their blood glucose levels. In most cases, teens who do this suffer from the consequences of not taking the disease seriously. They may get hospitalized for DKA and can experience serious hypoglycemic actions. They often get discouraged in continuing testing their limits and will eventually try to follow the management care for diabetes.
However, there are some cases where teens refuse to do certain tasks in connection to the disease. Even if they experience the serious complications that diabetes has, some teens tend to consistently refuse to follow certain procedures in order to manage diabetes. As a parent, you need to find out why.
If you find out that the diabetes plan is too rigid, try adding more flexibility to it in order to make it easier for them to follow. Giving rewards is a great way to encourage them to follow the tasks designed to manage the disease. Set a goal in what he or she needs to achieve in order for them to be encouraged.
You also need to remember that the hormones that cause puberty can eventually affect the blood glucose levels. It can be very unpredictable and can really make diabetes a lot harder to manage. So, try to avoid blaming your teen for having high or low blood glucose levels. It may not be their fault and they may already be trying hard to keep it within the acceptable range.
Because of the unpredictable blood glucose levels that the hormones can cause, try encouraging your teen to work with you in order to solve the problems caused by this kind of situation. Instead of scolding them because of their unpredictable blood glucose levels, try to find a way to praise his or her efforts in trying to keep it in acceptable levels, especially if he or she gets frustrated with it.
These are the challenges that you need to expect when you are living with a teen affected by diabetes. Being a teen with diabetes is very hard, which is why you need to understand them more. With patience and perseverance as well as self discipline, your teen will be able to live a life that is as normal as possible.