Young people with diabetes
Diabetes can occur at any age. Type 1 diabetes is more commonly diagnosed in younger people, but it can occur at any age. Type 2 diabetes, the more common form of diabetes, is increasingly occurring in younger age groups. Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that can occur in pregnancy.
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Your family will need a period of adjustment after you are diagnosed with diabetes. You must establish a routine for blood glucose monitoring and injecting, learn how to count carbohydrates, see diabetes health professionals regularly and cope with fluctuating blood glucose levels. With a little planning and preparation, you can resume all activities, such as exercising or eating out.
New challenges may arise as you go through different life stages.
Children or teenagers who have recently been diagnosed with diabetes, may struggle with their emotional reactions to their condition and the reactions of others. They may have concerns about going back to school. Teenagers with diabetes may also worry about things like negotiating sex, drinking alcohol, smoking and illicit drugs.
Sometimes it is helpful to talk to other people who understand what it is like to live with diabetes or be a parent of a child with diabetes. It is important to seek professional support to discuss any concerns you may have.
If you are living with diabetes, you are not alone. Help and support are available from:
- your health care team
- your local diabetes organisation
- the NDSS. Register with the NDSS—it is free to register and provides free information services and support to people with diabetes, as well as subsidised products.
- the NDSS Helpline on 1800 637 700.
There are a large number of other organisations that can help and support you, depending on your need. Visit useful links for a list of those organisations and/or websites that can provide more information, specific detail on a topic, or support and advice.
Find out more about children and young people living with diabetes using our resources.
Where can you get NDSS products?
You can order your supplies at a NDSS Access Point (usually a community pharmacy).
- Search healthdirect for a community pharmacy in your area.
- Or call the NDSS Helpline on 1800 637 700.
Things you will be dealing with
Relationships: parents and friends
Forming friendships that are close and supportive is a critical part of young adult development. With the onset of adolescence, peer relationships can have powerful effects on a person’s sense of identity, lifestyle and emotional well-being.
Independence and self-image
Establishing your own identity and a confident self-image is an important step in your development. This is likely to involve gaining a positive self-image around gender, your looks, school work, cultural identity and sexuality.
How might these issues make you feel?
Getting your head around diabetes and working out ways to deal with it is important so you can get on with enjoying your life.
Moving into adulthood
Whether you’ve been living with diabetes for most of your life or just for a short time, you will already know a lot about it.
As you get older, your personal and health care needs change, and you become more independent in managing your diabetes.
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