Diabetes in teens

Resent research studies the effects of mood on blood sugar control….but can they really be separate? 

Teens with Type 1 diabetes are responsible for taking insulin, monitoring blood sugar levels and keeping doctor visits too. Now, a new study suggests that feelings such as anger or sadness could interfere with teens’ diabetes management.

“Adolescence is a difficult time to manage diabetes, for multiple reasons: some of them are physiological, like puberty; some are psychological, such as increasing autonomy. Also, there’s a rise during adolescence of negative emotions,” said Cynthia Berg, Ph.D., chairperson of the psychology department at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

Berg, a study co-author, and colleagues had 62 adolescents with Type 1 diabetes complete daily diaries for two weeks, detailing their mood, average blood glucose levels, overall confidence in their ability to manage their diabetes and ability to manage daily diabetes tasks, such as eating healthy foods and taking insulin.

Ann Goebel-Fabbri, Ph.D., a psychologist at Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, cautioned that the act of entering the blood glucose number in journals might cloud teens’ moods. As a result, “they may feel negatively or positively charged from that result,” she said.

I know (even though I am no longer a teenager!) if I wake up and my blood sugar is high, and I have to write it down and stare at the “Bad” number, I’ll start my day in a bad mood. I think recording blood sugars can play into that whole stereotype of the good or bad diabetic patient…here I am Doc, take a look at my grades and tell me what you think of me. Anyway, teenagers have it hard enough as it is. At least this research might bring some attention to their emotional states.

Read more at Diabetes in Control:


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