Being told that your teenager has Type 2 diabetes can be surprising at first, but then you might become concerned. Luckily, many people with diabetes live happy, fulfilling lives when they control their glucose levels. As their parent, here are some pointers to focus on as you all adjust.
Learn What You Can
You might know the basics about your teen's disease already. For instance, you probably realize they'll have to inject themselves with insulin and prick their finger to find out how high glucose levels are. However, what you might not yet know are the dangers of hypoglycemia, when the glucose level is too low. You might not know how diabetes might affect the overall health of your teenager. Finding out as much as you can about the disease that will affect your family is the best thing you can do for your teenager, who may not do as much research as you do.
Assess Your Foods
Most teenagers enjoy pizza and ice cream, but those foods could be problematic for your diabetic teen. To avoid isolating your teenager and continuing to eat a lot of carbs, you might instead assess the food that everyone in the family is eating and slowly change your diet to one that is healthier for everyone. You might start purchasing more green vegetables and nuts to snack on, for instance.
Encourage Them to Track Glucose
To see how different foods and activities might be affecting their glucose levels, you might encourage your teenager to keep some sort of journal or diary for that purpose. By paying attention to how exercise might lower blood sugar levels or how a big breakfast raises those levels, your teenager can better anticipate their insulin needs so that they are always in a healthy range.
Notify School Personnel
Remember to talk with your teen's school nurse, coaches and administrative staff about the fact that your teenager is newly diagnosed. The news will alert them to pay attention to how your child behaves throughout the day. They may ask to keep extra insulin on hand.
While you might have a great relationship with your family medicine doctor, you may need more regular support from parents who understand what you're living with. Online support forums and in-person groups can allow you to vent about your teen's reluctance to monitor their glucose levels as closely as you wish.
With these pointers, you and your teenager can better navigate the world of diabetes. Talk more with your family doctor about what you should be doing to keep your teen healthy.Share