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Question:

From Wisconsin, USA:

Can you explain why a 13 year old girl with juvenile onset diabetes would have difficulty controlling that diabetes as a result of a diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder? What is the relationship of the stress disorder to the diabetes that would make it more difficult to control?

Answer:

Answer by Dr. Robertson

Any stress can make blood sugars rise and I have no doubt (and no scientific proof) that children who are regularly anxious and/or living in stressful environments have poor blood sugar control. This is not necessarily all physiological because anxiety provokes forgetfulness and lack of routine is a problem in diabetes. It may be a platitude but I often tell patients who are in the midst of some family crisis that they should concentrate on this first and do the minimum necessary for their diabetes provided that they can focus back on it in a month or two. They will then be in a better position to influence their blood sugar control.

KJR

Answer by Dr. Lebinger

The day-to-day care of diabetes requires a lot of self discipline and a positive attitude. Any stress or situation which causes anxiety or depression could make it difficult for teenagers to find the strength needed to succeed. Treatment of the underlying psychological problem often helps the teenager cope better. It is important not to just treat the "post-traumatic stress disorder" as an isolated problem. Diabetes can affect every aspect of a teen's life (both positively and negatively), and in turn every aspect of a teen's life (both positive and negative) affects the diabetes. The entire "teenager" must be treated both medically and psychologically.

TGL

Original posting 1 Jun 97

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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