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Teens With Diabetes: Issues for Parents

Table of Contents


The teen years may be the hardest time for young people with diabetes and their parents. Normal teen behaviors include going to bed late, sleeping late, and eating meals at varying times. These behaviors combined with the normal cycle of rapid growth spurts and periods of slow growth make it hard to keep a teen's blood sugar level consistently within a target range.

Eating fast foods often also makes it hard for teens to follow a balanced diet and stay at a healthy weight. Teens may try to control their weight by going on fad diets, vomiting after meals, or eating very little food. Insulin can cause a person to gain weight, so a teen who uses insulin may skip doses. These actions can be dangerous. They may lead to high or low blood sugar emergencies or an eating disorder.

Common ways that teens with diabetes rebel

Your teenager may be very mature and assume the right amount of responsibility for their diabetes care. If so, your job as a parent of providing supervision will be fairly easy. On the other hand, teenage rebellion is normal. To rebel, teens with diabetes may:

These behaviors may lead to high or low blood sugar emergencies.

How to help your teen

The teen years can be a hard time for teens with diabetes and their parents. Here are some things you can do that may be helpful for both you and your teen.

Credits for Teens With Diabetes: Issues for Parents

Current as of: April 13, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Rhonda O'Brien MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator

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