Living with diabetes

Important: This content reflects information from various sources and organizations. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.

The information provided here is intended to:

* Help youth and their families living with diabetes.

* Illustrate for school friends and others the challenges faced by those living with diabetes.

Reinforcing the basics

1. The advice that applies to ‘preventing’ diabetes, applies to those living with diabetes and is all the more important. Eating well, exercising regularly, maintaining an appropriate body weight and not smoking are imperative protocols for youth living with diabetes because these actions reduce the risk of developing complications.

2. Staying in touch with your health care provider team with the frequency they recommend and expect is essential.

3. Learning how to ‘self-manage’ your condition safely and effectively is a new life challenge that must be met. Resources are available to help you at every stage. You need to ‘take charge’ and enlist the help of parents and other family members to ensure you know what resources are available and how to access them.

4. Recognizing that your condition has to be managed 24/7. That means you need a game plan for a variety of circumstances; e.g., at school, on field trips, on vacation, extended travel periods to a destination. Not every country has the same resources and you need to check the reality before you depart.

5. Getting ready for your ‘Transition’. It is imperative for you and your family to recognize that, eventually, you will need to move from the paediatric to adult health care system. That ‘Transition’ can be daunting if left to the last minute. Get started early to acquire an understanding of what is required and how you can ensure continuity of support. In Ontario and many other jurisdictions, that transition needs to be completed by the time you reach age 19.






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