Healthwise
To print: Use your web browser's print feature. Close this window after printing.

Teens With Diabetes: Issues for Parents

Table of Contents


Topic Overview

The teen years may be the most difficult time for a young person with diabetes and his or her parents. The normal cycle of rapid growth spurts and periods of slow growth along with the normal teenager behaviors of going to bed late, sleeping late, and eating meals at varying times makes it hard to keep a teenager's blood sugar level consistently within his or her target range.

Eating "fast foods" often also makes following a balanced diet and weight management difficult for a teen.

Your teenager may be very mature and assume appropriate responsibility for his or her diabetes care. If so, your job as a parent of providing appropriate supervision will be relatively easy. On the other hand, teenager rebellion is normal. Your teen who has diabetes may rebel by lashing out at you for the ups and downs of the disease. Try to be empathetic, and imagine the feelings of fear, sadness, anger, and even guilt your teen may be feeling.

Your teenager with diabetes may rebel by:

These behaviors may lead to a serious problem with high blood sugar and even diabetic ketoacidosis.

Teenagers, especially girls, may try to control their weight by going on fad diets, vomiting after meals, or eating very little food. Because insulin can cause a person to gain weight, a teen also may skip doses in an effort to lose weight. This can be dangerous and may lead to high or low blood sugar emergencies or to an eating disorder.

You can do some things that may be helpful and may reduce your tendency to nag your teenager:

Talk with a doctor if you have serious concerns about your teenager who has diabetes.


Credits for Teens With Diabetes: Issues for Parents

Current as of: August 31, 2020

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


Note: The "printer friendly" document will not contain all the information available in the online document. Some information (e.g. cross-references to other topics, definitions or medical illustrations) is only available in the online version.

© 1995-2021 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.