When you have diabetes, you and your family have a lot to learn. The good news is that people you can count on will help you and your parents understand diabetes and what you need to do to stay healthy.
Before you had diabetes, maybe you only met with a doctor or nurse when you went for a checkup. But now you may meet with many different people to help you understand your diabetes. Taking care of diabetes requires the know-how of many different health care workers. In fact, you'll have your very own team of experts to help you.
You'll have team members who will help you know what to eat, tell you which medicine to take, teach you all about diabetes and how to take care of yourself, and help you deal with any feelings or frustrations you're having about taking care of your diabetes.
So, who's the captain of this team? You are! That's right — you are the most important member of your diabetes team. Your parents still play a very important role — think of them as your cocaptains. But mostly everyone on the team is working to help you take care of your diabetes.
Here are some other diabetes team members you may meet during your checkups:
Your doctor is like your diabetes team coach. He or she can teach you all about diabetes and can come up with a game plan for taking care of your diabetes. This game plan is called a treatment plan, or diabetes management plan.
Your doctor might be a pediatric endocrinologist (say: pee-dee-at-rik en-doh-krih-nal-eh-jist). Pediatric endocrinologists help kids with diabetes, growth problems, and more. But other kinds of doctors like pediatricians and family doctors can also help kids with diabetes.
When you go to see your doctor, he or she will ask you questions about how you're feeling and will check different parts of your body. You'll also get your blood pressure taken with a cuff that goes around your arm. And to see how you're doing with your diabetes, your doctor may look at your diabetes records and check your blood sugar level or get a urine (pee) sample.
Just like the coach of a team, your doctor doesn't do it all alone. He or she will want to hear what the other team members have to say, then make changes to your diabetes plan if they're needed.
Certified diabetes educators (say: ser-tuh-fide dye-uh-be-tees eh-dyoo-kay-ters) are people who have special training in helping people manage their diabetes. These professionals will teach you what diabetes is and how it affects the body.
Registered dietitians are experts in food and nutrition. They will:
Make sure to tell the dietitian if you're feeling hungry all the time or have other questions about how and what you eat.
Mental health professionals are social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, or counselors, and they can be a big help for kids dealing with diabetes. If you're feeling sad or frustrated about your diabetes, they can help you.
Mental health professionals may ask you about any troubles or problems you're having at home or at school. Or they may ask you if you think your friends or family members are doing anything that is making it hard for you to take care of your diabetes.
So now you know who's on your diabetes team. It's a good feeling to know that you have a lot of people to help you take care of yourself. This team is dedicated to helping you feel your best and be your healthiest. Go, team!
Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: June 2011
|National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases This group conducts and supports research on many serious diseases affecting public health.|
|American Diabetes Association (ADA) The ADA website includes news, information, tips, and recipes for people with diabetes.|
|Joslin Diabetes Center The website of this Boston-based center has information about how to monitor blood sugar and manage diabetes.|
|Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International (JDRF) JDF's mission is to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research.|
|Talking About Your Feelings Just talking about your feelings can make you feel better.|
|Going to a Psychologist, Psychiatrist, or Therapist What's it like to go to a psychologist, psychiatrist, or therapist? Find out in this article for kids.|
|Type 1 Diabetes: What Is It? Thousands of kids all over the world have type 1 diabetes, a disease that affects how the body uses glucose.|
|Type 2 Diabetes: What Is It? Diabetes is a disease that affects how the body uses glucose, a sugar that is the body's main source of fuel. Find out more about a kind of diabetes called type 2 diabetes in this article for kids.|
|Diabetes Center Diabetes means a problem with insulin, an important hormone in the body. Find out how children with diabetes can stay healthy and do the normal stuff kids like to do.|
|Diabetes: Dealing With Feelings Dealing with diabetes can stir up a lot of different emotions. Find out more about dealing with your feelings if you're a kid with diabetes.|
|Going to the Doctor When you go to the doctor for a checkup, it's because your parents and your doctor want to see that you're growing just the way you should. Read all about what happens at the doctor's office.|
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