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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.

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After diagnosis

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.

For information about the diabetes programs and services available in your area, contact your local diabetes organisation or call the NDSS Helpline on 1300 136 588.

Support

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:

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.

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.

Read more about relationships.

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?

  • angry
  • frustrated
  • rebellious
  • disrespected.

Getting your head around diabetes and working out ways to deal with it is important so you can get on with enjoying your life.

These resources are for young people aged 16 to 25 years with diabetes.