From Virginia, USA:
My 10 year old daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was four years old. What effect will puberty have on her diabetes? I can't find any information on this subject. Will puberty and early teen years be any different for her than other girls her age? Will there be any problems I should watch for?
Puberty brings on some physical and emotional changes in diabetes. During puberty, the insulin requirements will increase due to the hormonal changes of puberty. It is important to keep up with the increased insulin needs.
Also happening at the same time are the normal adolescent issues. Teens are learning who they are and where they fit in the world, and frankly diabetes can really get in the way. Good communication in the family is crucial. A team approach to the diabetes care is recommended. It is a delicate balance between giving enough independence and helping in the diabetes care. A gradual transfer of responsibility usually works best.
There is an excellent book for teens to read called In Control -- A Guide for Teens with Diabetes by Jean Betschart, M.N., R.N., C.D.E. and Susan Thom, R.D., L.D., C.D.E.
Good luck with this challenging -- but not necessarily impossible -- time.
[Editor's comment: The Ten Keys to Helping Your Child Grow Up With Diabetes is an excellent guide for parents of teens with diabetes. JSH]
Original posting 30 Aug 97
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:53
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