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Youth & Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes affects the majority of young people with diabetes; however, Type 2, which usually occurs in adults after the age of 40, is on the rise among youth. Central Ohio Diabetes Association's Youth Program is designed to promote the health of children with diabetes and to prevent the development of diabetes-related complications.

For children that develop this chronic condition at a young age, it is crucial they receive diabetes education to learn self-management skills including blood-sugar (blood glucose) testing, insulin injections and the importance of adhering to diet and exercise regimens. By gaining self-confidence, decision-making and communication skills, young people enhance their ability to achieve good metabolic control.

Feelings such as anxiety, depression, denial, guilt, shame, anger and despair are recognized and addressed so they do not interfere with learning new coping skills, problem solving, self confidence and motivation. Positive interaction with other youth with diabetes and their families helps participants foster a sense of relatedness, self esteem, confidence and self-discipline. The participants learn from each other and share coping strategies.