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Choosing Friends and Meeting New People

Information for young adults

Up to now you and your parents have mostly relied on one another (along with the professionals on your diabetes care team) to help manage your diabetes. Grandparents, brothers or sisters, and close family friends may also be part of your diabetes support team. But as you get older, your circle of important people changes. This section will help you expand your support system beyond the one you have now.

It's all about you

Surround yourself with people who take the time to get to know you and what you need to do. Then pick carefully. And there are plenty to pick from:

  • Roomates
  • New friends or neighbors
  • People you work with
  • Spouse or significant other

Start simple...

When you decide that you would like to share information about your diabetes lifestyle, give your new friends the basics first. This simple information can ease them into diabetes education. Let them know that the key parts of managing type 1 diabetes are

  • Monitoring blood sugar as directed by your care team
  • Taking medicine as prescribed
  • Healthy eating
  • Being active

...Then give some diabetes support details

Anyone who cares about you will need some guidance about how to offer support. Don't let them guess. Tell them what you need. Here are a few ideas. By sharing this information you are making it easier for others to help you.

  • Learn about diabetes. Treatment is improving all the time. Suggest taking a diabetes education class, or do some online research to see what's new
  • Understand type 1 diabetes. It's different from type 2. And type 1 diabetes is different for everyone who has it. Let them know about your personal experience
  • Help when it's needed. Maybe it's going to a drug store or keeping high-calorie snacks out of sight when you visit
  • Talk about what it feels like to support someone with diabetes. Your support team members may not have type 1 diabetes, but through you they are living with it. They should talk about their emotions. It helps increase cooperation
  • And finally, remind them they don't need to be the diabetes police. No one likes being nagged or told what to do. So tell friends that if they really care, they'll provide positive support only

Moving toward an adult care team

Picking support team members from your circle of friends is important. But it's also crucial that you have a doctor with whom you are comfortable. It may be time to make the move from your pediatric endocrinologist to an adult specialist. He or she should be a person whom you can speak to with ease. To learn about one person's close relationship with her doctor, click here.

Video: What is Diabetes?

An animation that shows how diabetes affects the body.

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