Friday, December 7, 2012

Diabetic Teens Know What They Are Supposed To Do, But Don't

The trouble with teens and diabetes Adolescents often know what they are supposed to do, but don't do it anyway. (See: homework, chores, junk food, hygiene, etc.) 

Turns out, they can be just as reckless when dealing with their own Type 1 diabetes. National studies show that blood sugar levels worsen when diabetic children reach their adolescent and teen years. Often due to disbelief or despair - or because they assume more responsibility from their parents - diabetic teens get a little sloppy with their diet, exercise and medication habits.

A U of M study is testing a solution that researchers hope will motivate teens with type 1 diabetes to take better care of themselves. Instead of the usual treks to clinics to talk with doctors and nurses, diabetic teens will participate in online clinic visits and view educational materials created at the U of M in which the information is delivered by teens.

Getting a handle on teen diabetes is significant. Some public health experts predict a tripling of type 1 diabetes cases in teens over the next 40 years.

Type 1 is an autoimmune disease in which the body produces no insulin at all to move sugar from the bloodstream. Type 2 is when the body starts to produce too little insulin, often as a result of poor diet and exercise. Both diseases can result in severe health problems if they aren't managed.

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