Resources for Teens and Families
- “Understanding Diabetes” for teens with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, by H. Peter Chase, MD, Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes
- Diabetes in Teens for teens with type 1 or type 2 diabetes (See the tip sheets in English and Spanish about what diabetes is and how to be active, stay at a healthy weight, make healthy food choices, and deal with the ups and downs of diabetes.)
- Be Healthy Today; Be Healthy For Life for teens with type 2 diabetes
- Everyday Wisdom Kit for teens with type 1 diabetes
Preventing Hypoglycemia and Hyperglycemia
- Hyperglycemia and Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA)
- Insulin Pump and Continuous Glucose Monitoring Systems (CGMS) Help
- Contact the toll-free phone number or website on the back of your insulin pump or CGMS.
- Find more information about diabetes technology in the Diabetes Forecast Consumer Guide.
- Learn more about eating disorders like anorexia nervosa, binge eating, and bulimia.
- We Are Diabetes promotes support and awareness for people with type 1 diabetes who suffer from eating disorders.
Fitting Diabetes into Your Life
In-Person Diabetes Support
To locate an in-person support group, check with the nearest chapter of the organizations below, call a local hospital, or search online.
Online Diabetes Communities
- JDRF’s Online Diabetes Support Team website is provided for informational purposes only in order to provide information about type 1 diabetes, and to share the personal experiences of volunteers related to type 1 diabetes.
- TypeOneNation is a social network created by JDRF for people with type 1 diabetes, their family, and friends.
- ADA’s Teen and Young Adult Support Forum provides an outlet for teenagers and young adults with diabetes to discuss unique and common issues related to their disease and to share solutions.
- The Joslin Diabetes Center has discussion boards for adults with diabetes, for teens, and for the parents of teens with diabetes. All are moderated by health care professionals.
- DiabetesTalkfest.com hosts regular chats with some of the leading experts in diabetes.
- TuDiabetes.org is a program of the Diabetes Hands Foundation and offers an online community where members exchange ideas in blog posts and discussion forums.
- Glu is an active and diverse type 1 diabetes online community designed to accelerate research and amplify the collective voice of those living with T1D.
- Diabetes Community Advocacy Foundation uses social media, such as Twitter chats and internet radio shows, to connect people with diabetes and foster support and education.
- DiaTribe offers research and product news for people with diabetes.
- DiabetesMine offers news, reviews, guest posts, interviews, videos, cartoons, and Q&A for people touched by diabetes.
- A popular online diabetes resource, dLife, covers many aspects of living with diabetes. It offers information and community support for type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and caregivers. For inspiration, dLife has a list of talented people who have diabetes and links to their biographies.
- Diabetes Forecast and ADA e-newsletters have an assortment of interesting and helpful articles about living well with diabetes.
- Insulindependence provides support and inspiration for physically active members of the diabetes community.
- Taking Control of Your Diabetes (TCOYD) educates and motivates people with diabetes to take a more active role in their condition.
- Team Type 1 instills hope and inspiration for people around the world affected by diabetes.
Other Issues to Become Independent
Diabetes during the Teen Years
Diabetes and Driving
Type 1 Diabetes in College
- What Parents Need to Know about College Drinking – this resource page identifies considerations when your child is choosing a college, how to stay involved during your child’s freshman year, and getting assistance if your child is involved in an alcohol incident.
- For books about diabetes written for teens or parents, visit the following bookstores:
Navigating the Medical System
Visit www.healthcare.gov for information about your health insurance options and young adult coverage. Under the Affordable Care Act, you can be added or kept on your parent's health insurance policy until you turn 26 years old. This applies even if you are married, not living with your parents, attending school, or eligible for an employer's health plan. You cannot be denied coverage, or required to pay more for coverage, just because you have diabetes.
If you are attending college or working, ask if they offer insurance, how much it costs and what it covers. Compare it with your other insurance choices.
Looking for free or low-cost care in your community? If you can't afford any health plan, you can get free or low-cost health and dental care at a nearby health center. You pay what you can afford, based on your income. Health centers are in most cities and many rural areas. Visit Find a Health Center or www.healthcare.gov/where-can-i-get-free-or-low-cost-care for more information.
Visits to Adult Health Care Teams
- To prepare for the first visits with an adult health care team, work with your doctor to complete a Clinical Summary for New Health Care Team.
- Learn who is on Your Health Care Team. The American Diabetes Association details the important roles of you, your primary care provider, your diabetes health care team members, other specialists, and more.
Find a Physician, Education Program, Diabetes Educator, or Dietitian
The type of health insurance coverage you have often affects your choice of physicians. Most insurance companies provide an online list of physicians by specialty who are covered by the insurance plan. To find other health care professionals, use the links below.
Find a Physician
- Recognized Physician Directory sponsored by the National Committee for Quality Assurance - Click on your state and select Diabetes Physician Recognition Program. The directory helps individuals find doctors who have demonstrated that they meet current standards of diabetes care.
- Physician Finder is an easy-to-use search tool to find an endocrinologist by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists.
- Find a family doctor who is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians.
- MedlinePlus offers tips for Choosing a Primary Care Provider. This article defines the role of a primary care provider (PCP), outlines what to consider when choosing a PCP, and explains how to get referrals when choosing a PCP. The article also explains the difference between several types of PCPs such as internists, nurse practitioners, and general practitioners.
Find an Education Program, Diabetes Educator, or Dietitian
- There are currently three organizations that have the authority to accredit or recognize diabetes education programs. Search for a program near you:
- American Association of Diabetes Educators: Find a diabetes educator
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Find a registered dietitian
If you or your family are unable to see a physician due to the cost of care, there may be a local community health clinic in your area that can provide services. These clinics generally are free or require a small fee. Visit Find a Health Center. (See more information under Health Insurance.)
Participation in Research
People with diabetes and their family members may wish to participate in diabetes clinical research studies. Clinical trial research in humans is the final step before a new drug or treatment is approved. It is through clinical trials that a cure for diabetes will be discovered. The decision to participate in clinical research is very personal and should be made carefully after speaking with your doctor, family, or others you trust.
Several large national and international studies are under way through the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and other groups. To learn more about some of these studies, talk with your health care team and visit the websites below:
- NIDDK’s Clinical Trials website answers some of the most frequently asked questions about participating in research studies. NIDDK conducts and supports a wide range of research aimed at finding ways to prevent and treat diabetes and its health complications.
- DirecNet —The Diabetes Research in Children Network—involves a number of clinical centers working to determine the potential use of glucose monitoring technology and its impact on the management of type 1 diabetes in children.
- JDRF lists the clinical trials it funds as well as research being conducted by other institutions and organizations.
- The consortiums to identify The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young (TEDDY) is an international effort to identify infectious agents, dietary factors, or other environmental factors that trigger type 1 diabetes in genetically susceptible individuals.
- The National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) is promoting research to help reverse the childhood obesity epidemic.
- The SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth study will help us learn how many youth have type 1 and type 2 diabetes; identify the medical problems that arise in children with diabetes; improve the health care children receive; and understand how diabetes shapes their daily lives.
- Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet is an international network of researchers who are exploring ways to prevent, delay, and reverse the progression of type 1 diabetes. To find out if you can join a study, visit the TrialNet website or call 1-800-HALT-DM1 (1-800-425-8361).
- T1D Exchange Clinic Registry encourages research and development projects and programs in type 1 diabetes by helping researchers characterize individuals living with the disease, conduct analyses, and identify participants for future clinical studies.
The following NIDDK studies have concluded. Visit their websites for more information about helping your child:
- The TODAY (Treatment Options for type 2 Diabetes in Adolescents & Youth) study followed a large group of children with type 2 diabetes to find the best ways to care for type 2 diabetes in children and teens.
- The HEALTHY study was an intervention in middle schools to lower obesity rates. Findings reported in 2010 reported lower obesity rates in students at highest risk for type 2 diabetes who started out overweight or obese in sixth grade.
Health Care Professional Resources
- National Diabetes Education Program
- American Diabetes Association
- The Endocrine Society
- American Academy of Pediatrics
- HEEADSSS, a psychosocial risk assessment instrument for teenagers
- National Center for Medical Home Implementation: Transitions
Spanish Language Resources
- Diabetes in Teens (See the tip sheets in English and Spanish about what diabetes is and how to be active; stay at a healthy weight; make healthy food choices; and deal with the ups and downs of diabetes.)
- Health Care Transition Initiative, Institute for Child Health Policy at the University of Florida, Children’s Medical Services (CMS)
- EsTudiabetes.org (the Spanish counterpart to TuDiabetes.org online community) is a program of the Diabetes Hands Foundation and offers an online community where members exchange ideas in blog posts and discussion forums.