Back to Ask the Diabetes Team Ask the Diabetes Team

From Wisconsin, USA:

Can you explain why a 13 year old girl with juvenile onset diabetes would have difficulty controlling that diabetes as a result of a diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder? What is the relationship of the stress disorder to the diabetes that would make it more difficult to control?


Answer by Dr. Robertson

Any stress can make blood sugars rise and I have no doubt (and no scientific proof) that children who are regularly anxious and/or living in stressful environments have poor blood sugar control. This is not necessarily all physiological because anxiety provokes forgetfulness and lack of routine is a problem in diabetes. It may be a platitude but I often tell patients who are in the midst of some family crisis that they should concentrate on this first and do the minimum necessary for their diabetes provided that they can focus back on it in a month or two. They will then be in a better position to influence their blood sugar control.


Answer by Dr. Lebinger

The day-to-day care of diabetes requires a lot of self discipline and a positive attitude. Any stress or situation which causes anxiety or depression could make it difficult for teenagers to find the strength needed to succeed. Treatment of the underlying psychological problem often helps the teenager cope better. It is important not to just treat the "post-traumatic stress disorder" as an isolated problem. Diabetes can affect every aspect of a teen's life (both positively and negatively), and in turn every aspect of a teen's life (both positive and negative) affects the diabetes. The entire "teenager" must be treated both medically and psychologically.


Original posting 1 Jun 97


  Back to Ask the Diabetes Team Return to the Top of This Page

Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
This Internet site provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. If you have any concerns about your own health or the health of your child, you should always consult with a physician or other health care professional.

This site is published by T-1 Today, Inc. (d/b/a Children with Diabetes), a 501c3 not-for-profit organization, which is responsible for its contents. Our mission is to provide education and support to families living with type 1 diabetes.
By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Legal Notice, and Privacy Policy.
© Children with Diabetes, Inc. 1995-2018. Comments and Feedback.